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    2.6 Executive Council

    The Executive Council of Queensland is constituted under the Constitution of Queensland 2001. The proceedings of the Executive Council are strictly confidential and are confined to formal recommendations to the Governor for making or approval of such instruments as are required by the Royal Prerogative or by legislation to be issued by the Governor in Council.

    The Queensland Executive Council Handbook provides detailed advice about the proceedings of the Executive Council including the matters for recommendation to the Governor.

    Except in the case of some Significant Appointments and expenditure approvals, it is normally not appropriate for an Executive Council Minute to be submitted at the same time as the associated Cabinet submission, as this would be pre-empting Cabinet's determination on the matter. In the event that a Significant Appointment or expenditure proposal, as mentioned above, is not approved by Cabinet, contact should be made urgently with the Executive Council Secretariat to ensure that the Executive Council Minute does not proceed.

    Meetings of Executive Council are normally held at 11.45 am on Thursday each week after Cabinet meets on the Monday.

    The Clerk of the Executive Council gives Ministers approximately seven days notice of meeting times and venue. Notice is in writing and included with a Schedule of Minutes to be considered at the meeting.

    2.6.1 Executive Council approval process

    There are two parts to the Executive Council approval process.

    The first part of the approval process involves the submission of Executive Council Minutes to Ministers at Cabinet for consideration. Departments must ensure that Executive Council Minutes provided to Cabinet are correct.

    Following receipt of Minutes each Tuesday the Executive Council Secretariat prepares a proposed Schedule of Minutes for consideration by Ministers. Copies of the Schedule are provided to the Cabinet Secretariat each Friday and these are distributed to each Minister and Chief Executive Officer prior to the Cabinet meeting. Entries on the Schedule are not altered once the Schedule is distributed, however Minutes may be withdrawn or amended as per the guidelines in the Executive Council Handbook.

    The second part of the approval process is the submission of the Minute the following Thursday to the Governor in Council for approval.

    If Ministers agree that the matters incorporated in the Schedule should proceed to the Governor in Council, the original Schedule, which is endorsed "Executive Councillors recommend to His or Her Excellency the Governor that the Minutes detailed in the accompanying Schedule be approved", is initialled by each Minister at the regular Cabinet meeting.

    After approval, the original Minute cover and copies of any supporting documents referred to in the Minute, are retained by the Executive Council Secretariat as a permanent record of Executive Council action.

    2.6.2 Late Minutes

    A late Minute is an Executive Council Minute which, because of time constraints, is required to be submitted to the Governor in Council for consideration at a normal Thursday meeting of the Council without having been included on the Schedule of Minutes considered by Cabinet on the Monday.

    Minutes not on the original Schedule will only be considered by Executive Council with the approval of the Premier. Only in circumstances where genuine, unforeseen, urgent matters of State arise, should the submission of late Minutes be considered.

    A Minister wishing to submit a late Minute prepared after Cabinet has met must obtain the approval of the Premier to do so. A written request for approval should be submitted to the Premier stating the reasons for the urgency. In addition, concurrent verbal advice is to be given to the Premier or the Premier's Chief of Staff advising of the proposed late Minute and again stating the reasons for its urgency. The Executive Council Secretariat (telephone 322 58254) should be kept informed of any proposed late Minutes.

    The Minute must be initialled by both the sponsoring Minister and the Premier if it is to be considered at the Executive Council meeting.

    It is preferable for a Minister lodging a late Minute to attend the Executive Council meeting on the Thursday where the Minister will be expected to explain the reasons for urgency of the late Minute to the Governor.

    2.6.3 Governor in Council matters to be authorised by legislation

    Decisions of the Governor in Council may be reviewed by the courts with the courts requiring the production of evidence supporting decisions of the Governor in Council to help ascertain the facts and/or the reasons for the decision. Matters and documents coming before the Governor in Council must be properly prepared and drafted and, where necessary, authorised by an Act of Parliament.

    If there is any doubt as to whether the Governor in Council has legislative authority to exercise a power, the agency concerned should seek advice from the Executive Council Secretariat in the first instance.

    Further details on the operations of the Executive Council are outlined in the Queensland Executive Council Handbook.

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