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Tabling Procedures and Guidelines

Reports and other documents

This information relates to the tabling of reports and other documents. Information on procedures relating to answers to Questions on Notice can be found here

Index

Hard and Electronic Copies of Documents

A single hard copy of all reports and other documents required to be tabled by statute or the Standing Orders must be provided to the Clerk (this will be the actual document tabled). In addition, the Committee of the Legislative Assembly determines the number of hard copies to be supplied to the Clerk (Standing Order 24).  Hard copies need only be photocopies of the report and do not need to be formally printed documents.

From 1 January 2013, the following quantities must be provided:

Document Paper copies required
Annual Reports 10
Financial statements included in annual reports as CD     2
Financial Reports 10
Reports eg. Parliamentary Committee, Auditor-General, Ombudsman, Information Commissioner, Crime and Misconduct Commission, statutory officers 25
Reports and other documents where there is a request to circulate to all members in the Chamber immediately after tabling 90
Reports on Ministerial Call In 2
Reports of a Commission of Inquiry or similar 40
Overseas travel reports 2
Documents on CDs 2
Budget papers and ministerial portfolio statements 146
Bills and Explanatory Notes 100
Erratum to Bill Explanatory Notes 100
Amendments to Bills and Explanatory Notes 60
Subordinate legislation 10

 

Apart from petitions, all documents tabled in the Legislative Assembly are published on the Parliament's tabled papers database. To facilitate a faster tabling process, the Table Office appreciates electronic copies of all documents being tabled. However, an electronic copy must be supplied of all documents required to be tabled by statute or the Standing Orders.

Electronic versions are to be:

– in searchable PDF format (not a scanned image)
– consistent in content and otherwise with the paper copy to be tabled
– provided as a single document only
– emailed to TableOffice@parliament.qld.gov.au

Documents over 5MB should be provided on a CD or USB and delivered to the Table Office (Room A.18, Parliament House, Cnr Alice and George Streets, Brisbane).

Tabling on Non-Sitting Days

Only the Speaker, Ministers, the Governor and Parliamentary Committee Chairs may table documents on non-sitting days by transmitting the documents to the Clerk for tabling (Standing Orders 31 and 217).

There is no provision for Assistant Ministers or backbench members to table documents on non-sitting days.

Documents for tabling in accordance with Standing Orders 31 and 217 should be provided to the Clerk during the business hours of the Table Office (8.30am to 5pm on non-sitting days). Documents received after 5pm will be tabled on the next business day.

Covering Letter

Documents transmitted to the Clerk for tabling must be accompanied by a covering letter requesting that the documents be tabled in accordance with the relevant legislation or policy and/or Standing Orders. Covering letters and documents for tabling can be transmitted via post to the Clerk or via email to the Table Office.

The covering letter should specify each document to be tabled, particularly in the case of financial statements included in annual reports as a CD and any annual reports that comprise more than one volume.

It is expected that covering letters are signed by the Minister. However, in circumstances where this is not possible (and this is the exception not the rule), it is sufficient for an email to be sent by someone who has the authority to request tabling on the Minister's behalf. In this situation, the email must state that the Minister requests that the document be tabled in accordance with the relevant legislation or policy and/or Standing Orders. This is the minimum standard that will be accepted in order to comply with the Standing Orders.

Examples:

1. Covering letter signed by the Minister

Dear Mr Laurie

Please find enclosed the Office of the State Coroner Annual Report 2014-15 and required copies for distribution. In accordance with section 77(4) of the Coroners Act 2003 and Standing Order 31, I request that the report be tabled today.

An electronic copy of the report has also been provided to the Table Office.

 

2. Email sent in absence of a covering letter from the Minister.

Dear Mr Laurie

Please find attached the overseas Travel Report from the Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef for his attendance at the World Heritage Committee and other meetings in Bonn, Germany. In accordance with section 4.13.9 of the Ministerial Handbook and Standing Order 31, the Minister has requested that this report be tabled today.

Ten hardcopies of the report and an electronic copy have been provided to the Table Office.

Timing of Tabling on Non-Sitting Days

Documents provided for tabling on non-sitting days are tabled and published on the Parliament’s tabled papers database as soon as practicable after they are received by the Clerk. Therefore, the covering letter should clearly state if the document is to be embargoed until after a specific time.

It should be noted that documents can be embargoed up until a particular time, but no guarantee can be given that documents will be tabled at a nominated time on the tabling day.

Notification of Tabling on Non-Sitting Days

On non-sitting days, an automated email advice is generated from the tabled papers database when a document has been tabled. This is sent to Members and other clients who have subscribed to the service. The Table Office forwards this email to the relevant ministerial/departmental officer as confirmation that a report has been tabled.

Subscribe to the automated email alert

Tabling on Sitting Days

Ministers and Members may table documents during the parliamentary proceedings on sitting days. They may also transmit documents to the Clerk of the Parliament to table on the next sitting day on their behalf (Standing Order 32).  Note, this is restricted to the time set aside in preliminary business for Notification and tabling of papers by the Clerk.

Documents for tabling in accordance with Standing Order 32 should be provided to the Clerk by 5pm on the day before the required tabling date. Please contact the Table Office if this timeframe cannot be met.

Erratum Pages

If an erratum is tabled by transmitting it to the Clerk at the same time as the report to which it relates, the erratum may be stapled inside the report at the appropriate point. Where multiple copies of reports are provided, the erratum slip must also be stapled inside each copy. In these cases, no separate written request for tabling the erratum is required.

If an erratum is tabled at the same time as the report to which it relates, but is not stapled inside the report, or if the erratum is tabled at a different time to the report to which it relates, a covering letter must be provided to the Clerk requesting that the erratum be tabled.

A loose-leaf erratum must be provided on A4 paper. The first page of the erratum should clearly indicate the report to which it relates.

Further Information

All enquiries relating to these requirements and guidelines should be directed to the Senior Parliamentary Officer (Papers and Research) on 07 3553 6404 or email TableOffice@parliament.qld.gov.au.

Effect of Dissolution of Parliament

A Minister or the Speaker may table documents during the period between the dissolution of one Parliament and before the new Parliament is opened where there is a legislative provision or standing orders permit the tabling of a document and the Minister or the Speaker believes it desirable to be tabled between Parliaments.  (See s 59A of the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001.)  An example may be an important Crime and Misconduct Commission or Auditor-General report.  Departments should seek advice about the caretaker convention before making any arrangements.

Documents transmitted to the Clerk for tabling during the dissolution period must be accompanied by a covering letter signed by the Minister requesting that the documents be tabled in accordance with the relevant legislation and/or standing orders.  The covering letter should specify each document to be tabled, particularly any reports that comprise more than one volume.

In addition, the covering letter must include the following paragraph:

In accordance with s 59A of the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 and Standing Order 31, I request that this document be tabled during the period that the Legislative Assembly is dissolved.

If this paragraph is not included, the document will be held over for tabling on the first regular sitting day of the next Parliament.

Most documents that are presented to the Clerk for tabling after the dissolution of a Parliament are held over for tabling on the first regular sitting day of the new Parliament. At that time, the Clerk will table the documents and notify the Legislative Assembly of their date of receipt.