Summary of Procedures

Extract from PM&C tabling guidelines, October 2013

Presenting documents to the President of the Senate when the Senate is not sitting

  • Senate standing order 166 provides for the presentation of documents when the Senate is not sitting (see Appendix L).  Presentation of documents when the Senate is not sitting is coordinated by the Senate Table Office.  Departments should contact the Documents Officer in the Senate Table Office directly to make the appropriate arrangements (see Appendix G for detailed procedures).  The responsible Minister writes to the President of the Senate (see form letter of transmittal at Appendix M).
  • Legislative and other disallowable instruments cannot be presented when the Senate is not sitting, however, they can be delivered for tabling on the next available sitting day.
  • Upon receipt by the President, the document is deemed to have been presented to the Senate and is authorised for publication.  Departments should note that parliamentary privilege and the authority to release a document is not obtained until the President has received the document, so the document remains under embargo until that time.
  • Documents presented out of sitting are usually tabled in the Senate on the next sitting day. 
  • Documents to be presented in this way must have received clearance by relevant Ministers and, in the case of Government responses and Ministerial Statements, also by Cabinet or the Prime Minister before presentation to the President of the Senate.
  • Copies should be packaged and delivered according to Appendix G.
  • Documents presented out of sitting will be tabled in the House of Representatives at the earliest opportunity when it next meets, unless the document relates to the Senate only (e.g. a Government response to a Senate committee report).
  • Access to Parliament House — Due to security arrangements in place around Parliament House, external pass holders should access the building through Security Point 1 (not the Senate, House of Representatives or Ministerial entrances). Security Point 1 is located in the public car park under the Forecourt at the front of Parliament House. After passing through Security Point 1, follow the red line painted on the concrete which will direct you to the relevant lift to access the Senate side of the building. It is the responsibility of departments / agencies and couriers to organise a parliamentary pass to gain access into Parliament House.
  • Copies should be packaged and delivered according to appendix G
  • Documents presented out of sitting will be tabled in the House of Representatives at the earliest opportunity when it next meets, unless the document relates to the Senate only (eg. a government response to a Senate committee report). Departments should arrange with the PM&C Tabling Officer for documents to be tabled in the House of Representatives.

APPENDIX G — PRESENTATION OF DOCUMENTS TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE WHEN THE SENATE IS NOT SITTING

The following procedures should be followed when presenting a document to the President when the Senate is not sitting (refer to paragraphs 8.1 - 8.7):

  1. Notification of the intention to present the document is to be advised to the Senate Documents Officer.
    • Notification can occur by either:
    • emailing: table.docs@aph.gov.au, or
    • telephoning: (02) 6277 3037.

Notification must include:

    • name of document,
    • proposed presentation date, and
    • phone and email details of the contact officer in the department/agency.
  1. On the day of presenting the document:
    1. enter Parliament House via Security Point 1, then proceed directly to SG 25 to hand deliver to the Senate Documents Officer the Minister’s letter to the President of the Senate (see Appendix M), together with a copy of the document, the required 5 copies for the PM&C Tabling Officer, and the covering memorandum (see Appendix H). The remaining copies for the Senate Table Office, House of Representatives Table Office, Parliamentary Press Gallery, and the Parliamentary Library should be brought to Parliament House at the same time to enable immediate distribution once the document is certified (see paragraph 4).
    2. the document will be processed immediately upon receipt by the Senate Documents Officer (the procedure can take up to 15-30 mins).  Once the document has been presented (made public), a copy of the signed certification letter will be given to you for your records; and
    3. then proceed to distribute copies of the document to the relevant areas of Parliament House (namely, the House of Representatives Table Office, Parliamentary Press Gallery and the Parliamentary Library).
  2. On the nominated day of presenting the document, an email must be sent to documents.tabled@aph.gov.au attaching the relevant hyperlink address to the document.  It is the responsibility of the author department/agency to ensure that the electronic version of the document is identical to the printed version presented to the President of the Senate (see paragraphs 4.35 – 4.36).
  3. Departmental officers then distribute the document in Parliament House in accordance with the requirements in the following table overleaf.  This is the responsibility of the author department/agency.  The Senate Documents Officer will immediately notify senators and members, and other interested parties, of the tabling via email, including the hyperlink.

PRESENTATION OF DOCUMENTS WHEN THE SENATE IS NOT SITTING – SUMMARY OF COPY REQUIREMENTS (TABLING OUT OF SITTING)

Prerequisites

  • Appropriate approval specified for the particular category of document.
  • Prior arrangement made with Senate Documents Officer, on (02) 6277 3037.

Distribution

President

1

hand deliver to the Senate Documents Officer, SG 25, together with letter to the President of the Senate

PM&C Tabling Officer

5

together with departmental covering memorandum, copies may be left with the Senate Documents Officer, SG 25

Senate Table Office

40

deliver to: SG 25

Press Gallery

60

deliver to: S2

Parliamentary Library

9

deliver to: M2

House of Representatives Table Office

30

deliver to: RG 89

Additional copies

Parliamentary Papers Series

100

PPS
CanPrint Communications Pty Ltd
1 Tralee Street
Hume ACT 2620

ePPS    Email    Email sent to documents.tabled@aph.gov.au (see paragraphs 4.35 – 4.36 and 9.1 – 9.5)

Commonwealth Library Deposit and Free Issue Schemes (LDS)

31

Library Deposit Distribution Service
C/- Decipha Pty Ltd
Level 1, Canberra GPO
53 – 73 Alinga Street
CANBERRA  CITY
[Please ensure you have included a completed Notification of Publication form]

40 extra copies for each of the destinations must be provided for reports of Royal Commissions.

NOTE:

Email a copy of Government responses to Senate/joint parliamentary committee reports to Hansard.esg@aph.gov.au and Hansard-hsu@aph.gov.au

Distribution by the responsible department/agency to all addressees must take place immediately after the document is received by the President.

APPENDIX GA

SAMPLE COVERING EMAIL TO NOTIFY AVAILABILITY OF DOCUMENTS ONLINE ONCE TABLED

Emails notifying availability of documents online once they are tabled are sent to documents.tabled@aph.gov.au.

The subject field in the email must contain the title of the document. The body of the email must contain a hyperlink to the document and should be set out like the following:

“The following report, [insert report title], tabled on [insert date] is now available on the department’s/agency’s website and can be accessed using the following hyperlink: [insert hyperlink]”.

The name of a departmental contact person with the details of their telephone and email contacts must also be included in the email.

APPENDIX L

EXTRACT FROM THE SENATE STANDING ORDERS*
(issued February 2014)

166.      Other methods of tabling documents

  1. Other documents may be presented pursuant to statute, by the President, or by a Minister.
  2. If:
    1. the President certifies that a document is to be presented to the Senate; or
    2. 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 Chairmen 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:

    3. the document shall be deemed to have been presented to the Senate;
    4. the publication of the document is authorised by this standing order;
    5. the President, the Deputy President, or the Temporary Chairman of Committees, as the case may be, may give directions for the printing and circulation of the document; and
    6. the President shall lay the document on the table at the next sitting of the Senate.

(amended 13 February 1997, 7 December 1998)

APPENDIX M — FORM TRANSMITTAL LETTER FROM A MINISTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE TO PRESENT A DOCUMENT WHEN THE SENATE IS NOT SITTING

[date]

Senator the Hon [name]
President of the Senate
Parliament House
CANBERRA  ACT  2600

Dear Mr President

Pursuant to standing order 166, relating to the presentation of documents when the Senate is not sitting, I present to you [insert details of document].

Yours sincerely

[signature block of Minister]

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