Governments need high quality policy advice to develop public policies in a context of increasing complexity. Governments legitimize decisions through evidence provided by advisors who, in turn, legitimize themselves through the quality of the advice. The article elaborates on the policy advice provided by research bodies dependent on or strictly connected with executives. This mirrors a type of consultancy characterized by the bi-directional link between policy advisors and policy makers. The article describes the boundary work of policy advice in Lombardy, Austria (Carinthia) and Bavaria, and offers reconstructive insights into the notion of quality of policy oriented research products through the verification of the processes developed for its control.