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    4.4 Lodgement process for Cabinet submissions

    Lodgement of a Cabinet submission can occur only when a proposal is fully developed and meets the structural and content guidelines outlined in Chapter 5 "Preparation of submissions" and the consultation requirements as specified in Chapter 6 "Consultation". Proposals that are not fully developed should be delayed where possible, so further work can be undertaken to ensure the submission outlines all relevant information and issues for Cabinet's consideration. Cabinet relies on submissions being both well drafted and argued to assist their decision-making needs.

    Where a proposal is seeking Cabinet's approval or endorsement of documents for reproduction and circulation purposes (i.e. Green and White Papers or communication material), departments must not pre-empt Cabinet's decision by reproducing the material prior to Cabinet's consideration. This will decrease the potential for any unauthorised releases of information that may or may not eventually receive Cabinet's endorsement. For further details in relation to major communication campaigns refer to Chapter 3.2.3 "Consideration of major communication campaigns".

    The process is governed by a strict lodgement timeframe to ensure that Cabinet proposals reflect a coordinated approach from a whole of government perspective, and accord with government policy. Importantly, the lodgement deadline for final submissions ensures that Ministers are properly informed of Cabinet proposals prior to the meeting so that informed deliberations can occur.

    Although first lodgement submissions may be lodged with the Cabinet Secretariat, it remains the Premier's prerogative to determine whether a submission will proceed to Cabinet. Refer to Chapter 4.3 "Determination of the business list for Cabinet meetings".

    4.4.1 Lodgement of first lodgement copy of a Cabinet submission

    The first lodgement copy of the submission should be approved by the Minister prior to lodgement with the Cabinet Secretariat. The Minister does not need to sign the first lodgement copy.

    The next stage of the first lodgement process is the registration of an electronic copy of the first lodgement submission on the Cabinet Information System. The department should then lodge fifteen "first lodgement" copies of the proposed Cabinet submission with the Cabinet Secretariat by 12.00 noon on the Monday, fifteen working days prior to the Cabinet meeting at which the submission is proposed to be considered. First lodgement copies must be printed on plain white paper.

    The copies must be accompanied by a covering lodgement letter as described in Chapter 4.6 "Lodgement letter". Unless an electronic copy has been registered, the hardcopy submission will not be processed by the Cabinet Secretariat. An electronic copy of attachments to submissions also must be registered where they contain:

    • recommendations considered or approved by Cabinet;
    • a proposed strategy, policy response, course of action or Ministerial or government statement to be considered or approved by Cabinet in the recommendations;
    • drafting instructions attached to Authority to Prepare a Bill submissions; and
    • legislative proposals, explanatory notes and Second Reading speeches.

    It is essential that the electronic copy of the submission reflects the hard copy exactly.

    The provision of first lodgement copies of submissions for perusal within the Department of the Premier and Cabinet ensures that matters to be considered by Cabinet accurately reflect government policy and are properly coordinated.

    Final advice is provided by a Department of the Premier and Cabinet contact officer on the Friday of the second week after the first lodgement through the agency CLLO, of any perceived difficulties with the submission and of recommendations for amendments or possible withdrawal of the submission. However, in the interim, contact officers may well be discussing with departments any perceived need for changes to the submission. In addition, the Premier may use this period to discuss the proposed submission with the relevant Minister/s. At this stage, Ministers are able to make amendments where necessary, enabling the final submission to be lodged prior to the requisite deadline.

    Should the proposing Minister not concur with the recommendation concerning the perceived deficiency of the submission, the submission may still be lodged. However, in such instances, the final submission being placed before Cabinet should raise any issues of concern.

    Agency CLLOs must confirm the status of their advance submissions by the Friday before final lodgement is due and update their forward timetable accordingly.

    4.4.2 Lodgement of final copy of a Cabinet submission

    After the Premier has determined that a submission should be considered by Cabinet (refer to Chapter 4.3 "Determination of the business list for Cabinet meetings"), the second stage of the lodgement process can commence. Final lodgement begins with the registration of an electronic copy of the final copy of the submission on the Cabinet Information System. Attachments must also be supplied electronically where they contain:

    • recommendations considered or approved by Cabinet;
    • a proposed strategy, policy response, course of action or Ministerial or government statement to be considered or approved by Cabinet in the recommendations;
    • drafting instructions attached to Authority to Prepare a Bill submissions; and
    • legislative proposals, explanatory notes and explanatory speeches.

    Unless an electronic copy has been registered, the hardcopy submissions will not be processed by the Cabinet Secretariat. The appropriate number of hardcopies on Cabinet-in-Confidence paper and a lodgement letter must be lodged with Cabinet Secretariat by 1.00 pm on the Tuesday before Cabinet.

    The appropriate number of copies of a submission to be lodged is discussed in Chapter 4.7. The lodgement letter is described in Chapter 4.6 "Lodgement letter".

    If after lodging a final Cabinet submission, an amendment is required to be made, a corrigendum will need to be lodged with an appropriate replacement page(s). Chapter 5.4.5 "Preparation of a corrigendum to a submission" describes the requirements to be met in relation to the lodgement of a corrigendum.

    4.4.3 Lodgement of "late" final copy of a Cabinet submission

    Should a Minister need to lodge a submission that will not meet prescribed lodgement deadlines, the prior approval of the Premier must be obtained. Approval is to be sought by the Minister in writing, including sufficient detail so that the Premier may make an informed decision based on the merits of the situation. The written request may be lodged with the Premier through the Cabinet Secretary.

    Generally, approval will be given by the Premier only where there is a clear case of urgency which will not allow deferral of the submission to the next Cabinet meeting. The Premier will notify both the Minister concerned and the Cabinet Secretary of the decision on the proposed late Cabinet submission.

    The Cabinet Secretary is not authorised to include a proposed late submission on the Cabinet agenda until such notification is received from the Premier.

    If the Premier approves late lodgement of a submission, the appropriate number of hardcopies on Cabinet-in-Confidence paper and a lodgement letter must be lodged with the Cabinet Secretariat as close as possible to the Tuesday cut-off and by no later than 1.00 pm on Friday.

    If the 1.00 pm cut-off cannot be met, the late submission will be held over to the following Cabinet meeting, unless the Minister has obtained the personal approval of the Premier for the submission to proceed. If the Premier approves the late submission proceeding, it will be distributed to Ministers in Cabinet.

    To assist with coordination of Cabinet briefing notes, general information only about late submissions may be communicated by the originating agency CLLO to the CLLO network.

    For security reasons, the notification email must contain general wording only and may provide information about:

    • the fact that a submission is coming through late;
    • the general subject matter of the submission;
    • which agencies were consulted on the submission at discussion paper stage; and
    • when the submission is likely to be lodged with Cabinet Services.

    Having regard to the strict security surrounding classification "A" (Secret) submissions, no information about the subject matter of these submissions may be communicated to agencies.

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    Last updated:
    18 May, 2016
    Last reviewed:
    21 October, 2011