Chapter 26 - Tabling of documents

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Standing Orders

164 Order for the production of documents

(1) Documents may be ordered to be laid on the table, and the Clerk shall communicate to the Leader of the Government in the Senate all orders for documents made by the Senate.

(2) When returned the documents shall be laid on the table by the Clerk.

(3) If a minister does not comply with an order for the production of documents, directed to the minister, within 30 days after the date specified for compliance with the order, and does not, within that period, provide to the Senate an explanation of why the order has not been complied with which the Senate resolves is satisfactory:

(a) at the conclusion of question time on each and any day after that period, a senator may ask the relevant minister for such an explanation; and

(b) the senator may, at the conclusion of the explanation, move without notice––That the Senate take note of the explanation; or

(c) in the event that the minister does not provide an explanation, the senator may, without notice, move a motion in relation to the minister’s failure to provide either an answer or an explanation.

(amended 9 November 2005)

165 Documents from the Governor-General

(1) When the royal prerogative is concerned in any document required by the Senate an address shall be presented to the Governor-General requesting that the document be laid before the Senate.

(2) A motion for the production of correspondence addressed to the Governor-General shall be in the form of an address.

166 Other methods of tabling documents

(1) Other documents may be presented pursuant to statute, by the President, or by a minister.

(2) If:

(a) the President certifies that a document is to be presented to the Senate; or

(b) a minister or the Auditor-General provides to the President, or, if the President is unable to act, to the Deputy President, or, if the Deputy President is unavailable, to any one of the Temporary Chairs of Committees, a document which is to be laid before the Senate,

on the certification or the provision of the document, as the case may be:

(c) the document shall be deemed to have been presented to the Senate;

(d) the publication of the document is authorised by this standing order;

(e) the President, the Deputy President, or the Temporary Chair of Committees, as the case may be, may give directions for the printing and circulation of the document; and

(f) the President shall lay the document on the table at the next sitting of the Senate.

(amended 13 February 1997, 7 December 1998)

167 Publication of tabled documents

The publication of each document laid on the table of the Senate is authorised by this standing order.

168 Documents quoted in debate

(1) A document relating to public affairs quoted by a minister may be ordered to be laid on the table, unless the minister states that the document is of a confidential nature or should more properly be obtained by address.

(2) A document quoted by a senator not a minister may be ordered to be laid on the table.

(3) An order under paragraph (1) or (2) may be made by motion without notice moved immediately on the conclusion of the speech of the senator who quoted the document.

169 Motions after tabling

(1) On a document being laid before the Senate, it shall be in order to move:

(a) that a day be appointed for its consideration; or

(b) that it be printed.

(2) Where a motion is moved by leave in relation to a document presented to the Senate, including a document presented to the President when the Senate is not sitting, a senator speaking to such a motion shall not speak for more than 10 minutes, and debate on the motion shall not exceed 30 minutes; where 2 or more such motions are moved in succession, debate on all motions shall not exceed 60 minutes.

(amended 13 February 1997)

170 Amendments after tabling

Amendments not altering the substance of the document may be made, and clerical or typographical errors may be corrected, by authority of the President, in a document that has been ordered to be printed. No other amendments may be made except by authority of the Senate.

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