House of Representatives Committees

Joint Committee on Publications
Committee activities (inquiries and reports)

Distribution of the Parliamentary Papers Series (2)

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May 2006
Canberra

 

© Commonwealth of Australia 2006
ISBN 0 642 78789 1 (printed version)
ISBN 0 642 78790 5 (HTML version)


Contents

Foreword
Membership of the Committee
Terms of reference
List of abbreviations
List of recommendations

Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Changes to the eligibility guidelines
Chapter 3 Methods of distributing hard copies of parliamentary papers
Chapter 4 Electronic distribution of the Parliamentary Papers Series
Chapter 5 Cost recovery and subscriptions to the Parliamentary Papers Series
Appendix A List of submissions
Appendix B List of exhibits
Appendix C List of public hearings
Appendix D Inspections and discussions
Appendix E Correspondence relating to the inquiry

Foreword

The Parliamentary Papers Series does not contain all documents presented to Parliament; however the significant documents that comprise the series provide vital information on the activities of government and the Parliament since Federation.

Advances in technology have resulted in a move towards the publication of electronic documents rather that the traditional hard copy reports. While electronic distribution may provide great opportunities for widening the access to the series, long-term availability to these documents is not yet assured. A framework is required to ensure that the series is permanently available, both in hard copy and in electronic forms, to the widest possible audience.

While costs are seen to have an impact on the distribution of parliamentary papers, the Committee feels that, due to the historical significance of the Parliamentary Papers Series, it is important that it continue to be available.

The Committee feels that the recommendations contained in this report provide a foundation on which the Parliamentary Papers Series can continue to be available to the widest possible audience.

Mrs Trish Draper MP

Chair

Membership of the Committee

Chair

Mrs Trish Draper MP

 

Deputy Chair

Senator John Watson

 

Members

Mr Dick Adams MP

Senator Steve Hutchins (to 1/7/05)

 

Mr Mark Baker MP

Senator David Johnston

 

Mr Bob Baldwin MP (to 28/2/06)

Senator Linda Kirk (to 1/7/05)

 

Ms Ann Corcoran MP

Senator Gavin Marshall

 

Mr Chris Hayes MP (from 16/6/05)

Senator Clare Moore (to 1/7/05)

 

Mrs Kay Hull MP

Senator Fiona Nash (from 16/8/05)

 

Mr Michael Johnson (from 28/2/06)

Senator Helen Polley (from 1/7/05)

 

Mr Roger Price MP (to 16/6/05)

Senator Nigel Scullion (to 16/8/05)

 

 

Senator Glenn Sterle (from 1/7/05)

 

 

Senator Dana Wortley (from 1/7/05)

Committee Secretariat

Secretary

Mr Jason Sherd

Papers Manager

Ms Vicki Bradley

Terms of reference

To inquire and report on the distribution of the Parliamentary Papers Series (PPS), with particular reference to:

List of abbreviations

AGIMO

Australian Government Information Management Office

ANAO

Australian National Audit Office

LDS

Library Deposit and Free Issue Schemes

OISOs

Online Information Service Obligations

PPS

Parliamentary Papers Series

URLs

Uniform Resource Locators

List of recommendations

2 Changes to the eligibility guidelines

Recommendation 1

The Committee recommends that the eligibility guidelines for the Parliamentary Papers Series be amended to include Commonwealth government departmental libraries.

Recommendation 2

The Committee recommends that recipients of the series be regularly surveyed to ascertain whether they wish to continue receiving Parliamentary Papers.

3 Methods of distributing hard copies of parliamentary papers

Recommendation 3

Recommendation 4

The Committee recommends that, due to the costs passed on to recipient libraries being in excess of the savings realised by the chamber departments, blister packs of parliamentary papers continue to be available to eligible recipients.

Recommendation 5

The Committee recommends that recipients of the Parliamentary Papers series be surveyed to ascertain whether they wish to receive the series as loose pamphlet copies or as a blister pack.

Recommendation 6

The Committee recommends that the guidelines for the provision of the Parliamentary Papers Series be amended to read as follows:

Recommendation 7

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government Information Management Office monitor agency compliance with the Library Deposit and Free Issue Schemes and provide a report, detailing defaulting agencies, to Parliament by no later than 30 June the following year.

Recommendation 8

The Committee recommends that the Tabling Officer of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet write to each recipient of the internal Parliament House document distribution to determine their stock requirements.

Recommendation 9

The Committee recommends that, where possible, any duplication between the Library Deposit and Free Issue Schemes and the Parliamentary Papers Series be eliminated.

Recommendation 10

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government Information Management Office, together with the Department of the House of Representatives and the Department of the Senate, investigate methods to reduce the duplication between the Library Deposit and Free Issue Schemes and the Parliamentary Papers Series. A report of their findings is to be supplied to the Committee within six months of the tabling of this report, and any changes implemented within a further six months.

Recommendation 11

The Committee recommends that the printing standards for documents presented to Parliament be strictly adhered to.

The Committee will monitor compliance with this recommendation and will regularly report to the Parliament those agencies not adhering to the standards.

4 Electronic distribution of the Parliamentary Papers Series

Recommendation 12

The Committee recommends that the Australian National Audit Office regularly monitor the online availability of government documents, especially those presented to Parliament.

Recommendation 13

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government Information Management Office continue to work with agencies to ensure that all government documents are made available online.

Recommendation 14

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government Information Management Office take steps to ensure that documents presented to Parliament are permanently available online, including encouraging the use of persistent identifiers to online information.

Recommendation 15

The Committee recommends that any digital versions of the Parliamentary Papers Series augment the hard copy series.

Recommendation 16

The Committee recommends that agencies provide a website link, for all documents to be presented to Parliament, to the Tabling Officer of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. This link is to be included in the daily list of documents scheduled for presentation to Parliament, which is circulated to Members and Senators.

Recommendation 17

The Committee recommends that the chamber departments investigate providing an online list of Parliamentary Papers with hyperlinks to those documents on agency websites.

Recommendation 18

The Committee recommends that the legal deposit provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 be extended to include electronic copies of documents.

Recommendation 19

The Committee recommends that the Department of the House of Representatives and the Department of the Senate, in consultation with the Australian Government Information Management Office and other stakeholders, investigate and implement the development of an online digital repository for the Parliamentary Papers Series.

Recommendation 20

The Committee recommends that, to complement the Department of the Senate’s digital imaging project, the Department of the House of Representatives investigate the digital imaging of House committee reports presented from 1901 to 1996 and making these available online.

5 Cost recovery and subscriptions to the Parliamentary Papers Series

Recommendation 21

The Committee recommends that any cost recovery measures are only applied to partially recover the administrative costs of the Chamber Departments.

Recommendation 22

The Committee recommends that all recipients of the series be offered additional copies of the series by subscription, in either pamphlet or blister pack. Organisations that previously received the series should be offered an opportunity to subscribe to the series.

Recommendation 23

The Committee recommends that the Chamber Departments set the price for a subscription to the Parliamentary Papers Series, and annually report to the Committee:

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