All circles have exactly as much authority as is given to them when aims and domains for circles are defined. For example, an implementation document might give financial, overall strategical authority and hiring/firing of staff to the mission circle. Or it could distribute all of those areas of authority into department circles and the general circle. Ideally – in alignment with the spirit of sociocracy – authority is as distributed as possible. When implementing sociocracy in an existing organization, these are decisions that need to be made before adopting a circle structure.
For more information, check out our handbook Many Voices One Song chapter 2