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    4.9 Circulation of Cabinet submissions

    On Monday afternoon, the Premier will consider submissions for inclusion on the business list for the next Cabinet meeting. After receiving notification from the Premier on the submissions to be included, and following the deadline for lodgement of final Cabinet submissions, the Cabinet Secretariat will bar code and label the relevant submissions, and collate them for circulation according to the security classifications assigned by Ministers to their submissions. Refer to Chapter 5.2 "Security classifications on Cabinet submissions" for further detail on security classifications.

    In the case of Classification "A" Secret and "B" Restricted submissions, generally only those Chief Executive Officers of agencies that have been identified in the Consultation Addendum of a submission will be provided with access to copies at the Minister's discretion. Ministers, as members of Cabinet, will generally receive copies of all submissions.

    Submissions will be compiled into Cabinet folders for each Minister and Chief Executive Officer, except where submissions are classified as "A" Secret, in which case they will be separately sealed in envelopes to preserve security. Envelopes to Chief Executive Officers containing "A" Secret submissions will be provided to their respective Minister, who will exercise discretion as to whether it should be passed on to the Chief Executive Officer. Ministers will make this determination based on the sensitivity of the issue, and existing security concerns.

    Cabinet folders, envelopes and any other Cabinet information to be circulated will be locked in "Cabinet bags" allocated to individual Ministers and Chief Executive Officers. Each bag is locked with a combination lock for which the combinations are known only to the recipient Minister and Chief Executive Officer and/or their delegate, and officers in the Cabinet Secretariat.

    Individual Ministers and Chief Executive Officers are responsible for deciding who shall have access to and the right to open Cabinet bags. Generally this responsibility is invested in the CLLO and selected personal Ministerial staff member(s). Extreme care must be exercised to store Cabinet bags in a secure environment to safeguard the confidentiality of the Cabinet information contained within.

    Ministers and Chief Executive Officers are provided with special Cabinet bags, which fit within the mandatory regulations for carry-on luggage, for use when travelling by air, in particular, for Community Cabinet meetings. In such circumstances, the Cabinet bags should be taken on board to enable them to be stored in a relatively secure environment under the supervision and control of Ministers and Chief Executive Officers.

    When Cabinet bags are ready for collection, CLLOs will be notified to arrange collection. Generally Cabinet bags will be available for collection on the Tuesday afternoon dependent on the volume of the contents and their complexity, which in turn affects processing timeframes.

    After the Cabinet bags have been circulated, any subsequent circulation of Cabinet information will be via sealed envelopes and/or satchels addressed to Ministers and Chief Executive Officers. CLLOs will be notified as and when these are available for collection.

    The Cabinet bag and any subsequent Cabinet information must be collected in person from the Cabinet Secretariat and signed for by an authorised collection officer. The officer will be asked to record receipt of any items collected and to certify that items are sealed and secure. Collection officers may be required to show identification to the satisfaction of Cabinet Secretariat Officers before being permitted to collect Cabinet bags or associated Cabinet information. Cabinet material will not be distributed to any persons not authorised by the respective CLLO. The collection officer must be listed on the Authorised Officers List maintained by the Cabinet Secretariat. It is the responsibility of each CLLO to ensure that they advise the Cabinet Secretariat immediately of any changes to the Authorised Officers List.

    4.9.1 Return of Cabinet bags

    For normal Cabinet meetings, Ministers are required to leave their Cabinet bags and documents in the Cabinet Room after the meeting, while Chief Executive Officers are required to return their bags to the Cabinet Secretariat by close of business that day. For Community Cabinet meetings, Ministers and Chief Executive Officers are required to make arrangements for the return of their bags to the Cabinet Secretariat as soon as possible after the meeting.

    Following notation of returned submissions, decisions and other Cabinet information, generally all documents returned in a Cabinet bag are securely disposed of by the Cabinet Secretariat. Care should be taken not to include any documents which are needed to be retained by Ministers or departments. While all care is taken by the Cabinet Secretariat to return any documents that may be needed by Ministers, secure disposal of documents may occur immediately after Cabinet and therefore preclude retrieval.

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