Advice to government agencies

Requirement for the electronic PPS

Once a document has been tabled in Parliament and published on the department's/agency's website the department/agency must notify the Parliament by email that the document is available online.

Emails must be sent to:

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 the department/agency contact person with the details of their telephone and email contacts must also be included in the email.

Printing standards for documents presented to Parliament

Any document presented to Parliament may be included in the Parliamentary Papers Series (PPS). Adherence to these printing standards ensures that a tabled document conforms to the series' standards, with minimal additional cost to author bodies.

Production quality and value for money

Value for money may be realised by printing documents in-house. Author bodies are encouraged to print their documents in-house wherever possible. The production quality of documents printed in-house must conform to minimum standards of archival quality, be readable and useable. Where it is not possible to print in-house, Commonwealth Government agencies are expected to obtain value for money in procuring services to publish and print documents. Those responsible for the preparation of parliamentary documents should be aware that excessive or unnecessarily expensive production has, in the past, attracted criticism.

The parliamentary staff listed in the advice section of this document will provide advice on the PPS.

Colour and illustrations

While acknowledging that the cost of colour printing has decreased, author bodies must have regard to limiting the use of colour and illustrations to where it enhances the reader's understanding of the material. An excessive use of colour, illustrations and photography is not fit for the purposes of accountability and reporting to Parliament.


Printed documents prepared for presentation to Parliament may be in the international standard size of B5 (250 mm deep x 176 mm wide) or standard A4 size.


Paper must be of archival quality. Recycled papers and boards that have been deemed by the National Archives of Australia to be unsuitable for archival requirements must not be used. In selecting paper, author bodies must refer to:

Paper for text and illustrations – up to 100 gsm coated or uncoated publication paper, A2 paper, or uncoated woodfree general book paper, white only. Expensive A1 quality art and cast-coated papers must be avoided.

Tinted insert paper – (up to 100 gsm) may be used for non-textual material, such as statistical or financial sections in annual reports. In saddle-stapled documents, tinted pages must be arranged to form either a complete wrap-around or an inserted section.

Covers and binding

Covers and binding must ensure useability and longevity of documents. Thus loose-leaf binding, metal spiral binding; and bulldog clips are not permitted.

Tip-ins and inserts

Tip-ins (individual leaves loose or glued into a folded section) must be avoided wherever possible because they slow down production; and add to cost; and are likely to be lost thereby making the document incomplete. Maps are to be folded and inserted in an envelope glued to the inside back cover of the document.


When making printing arrangements, author agencies may seek advice on whether the document is likely to be required for the series from:

Agencies whose name commences with A-M Documents Officer
Department of the Senate
(02) 6277 3037
Agencies whose name commences with N-Z,
Auditor-General's reports and Budget documents
Documents Manager
Department of the House of Representatives
(02) 6277 4800

As a general guide, if a document was included in the PPS last year, it is likely to be included in future years.

Other responsibilities and costs

Author agencies must maintain a responsibility to ensure that all documents presented to Parliament are of archival quality, and are readable and useable. If a tabled document is of a quality below that specified in these standards, author agencies will bear all costs incurred in the resetting, reformatting, reprinting, rebinding of documents, and/or otherwise resolving any other issues.


An author body finding errors or omissions or needing to notify corrections in its tabled document, must prepare and arrange corrigenda or erratum slips.

For advice on the provision of slips for documents in the PPS, author bodies should refer to the Tabling Guidelines or contact the parliamentary staff listed in the advice section above.

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