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    8.1 Guidelines for departmental officers required to brief Members (including Opposition Members) of Parliament in relation to Bills before the House

    When requested by their Minister, departmental officers are to provide a briefing to Members in relation to Bills before the Legislative Assembly.

    Should a departmental officer receive a request for a briefing directly from an Opposition Member, that officer or the relevant CLLO is to contact their Minister and seek advice in relation to providing the briefing requested.

    Generally the time and location for the briefing will be supplied when the request for the briefing is made by the Member. The briefings will usually take place while Parliament is sitting.

    The briefing officer must be accompanied by an officer from the Minister's Office and, if necessary, another departmental officer such as the CLLO.

    The briefing should outline the Minister's policy objectives to be achieved by the Bill and discuss and explain the provisions of the Bill, and should not take place until after the Bill has been introduced into the House. Individual Ministers may arrange for an earlier briefing - however, this should be after the Bill has been considered by Cabinet.

    Advocacy and defence of policy is the responsibility of the Minister and accordingly should not form part of the brief.

    Briefing officers should answer questions of a factual nature and not venture an opinion. If the briefing officer considers the question requires a response which goes beyond the factual nature of the briefing, the Member concerned should be advised that it is not appropriate for the briefing officer to answer the question.

    Any written material provided should be limited to copies of the Bill, the explanatory notes and any other publicly released material such as discussion papers or statistical information.

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    Last updated:
    18 May, 2016
    Last reviewed:
    17 July, 2009