Things you need to know
Publication of submissions
Once a submission is received by a committee, you cannot publish or disclose it to any other person unless or until the committee has authorised its publication; nor can it be withdrawn or altered without the committee’s permission. If you are not sure about the status of your submission, please check with the committee secretariat. If there are additional matters you wish to raise, this can be done in a supplementary submission.
Once the committee has received a submission it will decide whether to accept it as a submission and authorise its publication. For a range of reasons, the committee will reserve the right to not publish a submission, or any part of a submission, including those it judges do not address the inquiry’s terms of reference.
You should be aware that submissions are part of a committee’s public record and are usually published on the Parliament’s website. To protect the privacy of submitters, the secretariat will remove signatures and personal contact details before publishing submissions. To assist us, we encourage you to include any personal information in a covering letter or through your My Parliament lodgement, not in the body of your submission.
If your submission includes matters of a private nature that could lead to the identification of individuals, you should contact the committee secretariat before lodging your submission.
While committees prefer that evidence be given in public whenever possible, you can request that all or part of your submission remain confidential. This should be indicated clearly on the front of the submission. When submitting, you should provide a reason for requesting confidentiality or anonymity, bearing in mind that, as stated above, contact details are generally removed from non-confidential submissions prior to publication.
You could also consider putting any confidential information in an appendix to the submission to allow the body of the submission to be published and publicly referred to by the committee. You should contact the committee secretariat in the first instance if you are considering lodging a submission that you would wish to remain confidential, either in whole or in part.
The committee will consider individual requests for confidentiality, but retains the authority to publish any submission. A committee may also decide not to authorise publication of a submission for a range of reasons, despite the author wishing it to be public.
The presentation or submission of a document to a committee is privileged under the Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987. This means that a person is immune from legal action in respect of lodging the submission or any statements contained in it. If a submission is authorised by a committee for publication, its distribution is also immune from legal action.
You are strongly encouraged to contact the committee secretariat to clarify the status of your submission if you wish to distribute it outside the committee, or if you have any queries about the application of parliamentary privilege.
A parliamentary committee will base its findings on the written evidence it receives as well as oral evidence it takes at public hearings and in other forums. People or organisations making a submission may be asked to appear before the committee at a public hearing or a private (in camera) hearing.