Series VPRS 11948
Cabinet Record I, Labor Government, Cain-Kirner
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1982 - 1992
  Series in Custody 1982 - 1992
  Contents 1982 - 1992
Public Access: Closed
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1982 - 1992 Cabinet Office [known as Cabinet & Executive Branch 1991-1992; Cabinet Secretariat 1992 - 2015] VA 2989
1982 - 1992 Parliamentary Secretary of the Cabinet VA 3031
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1982 - cont Cabinet Office [known as Cabinet & Executive Branch 1991-1992; Cabinet Secretariat 1992 - 2015] VA 2989
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    This series recorded decisions of the Cabinet from April 1982 to September 1992. The decisions are arranged in meeting number order, which is also chronological.

    If you know the approximate date that a matter was discussed, consult the Consignment Details to retrieve the unit that includes that date.

    If you do not know when a matter was discussed, determine which Minister/portfolio a particular Cabinet decision is likely to have related to and estimate in what year the decision would have been made. Then consult VPRS 11955 Register of Cabinet Decisions (Database Output), Cain-Kirner, which lists all Cabinet decisions made each year.

    Use VPRS 11955 to find a list of decision numbers and titles relating to that Minister in that year, then consult the Consignment Details for this series (VPRS 11948) to retrieve the unit containing the decision numbers in which you are interested.

    Some records in this series were found to be duplicates, and therefore sentenced as temporary records, under Public Record Office Standard 13/06 Variation 1, class 1.2.2 and destroyed in 2016. (VPRS 11948/P0002)

  • Function / Content
    Cabinet Recordkeeping Prior to 1982

    Few records relating to Cabinet meetings prior to 1982 are known to be extant and little is known about the recordkeeping processes associated with Cabinet before 1982. It is unlikely, however, that a "Cabinet Record" in the form that this series takes was created prior to 1982. For records of Cabinet decisions prior to 1982 consult VPRS 11935 Cabinet Records.

    Cabinet Recordkeeping 1982 -- 1992

    In April 1982 a Labor Government was elected. The new government formalised the Cabinet process and established a Cabinet Office within the Department of Premier and Cabinet to operate as a Secretariat. Precise records creating requirements were introduced and a system of using submissions to bring matters before Cabinet was established. This system was set out in detail in the 1989 Cabinet Handbook (see VPRS 11953).

    Cabinet usually met weekly, at 10am on Mondays.

    Many matters requiring Cabinet's consideration were brought to Cabinet by a Cabinet Submission. Submissions were lodged with the Parliamentary Secretary of the Cabinet, ideally twelve days prior to the meeting at which they were to be considered (although often this deadline was not met) and were distributed to Cabinet members prior to the meeting. Submissions to Cabinet comprise VPRS 11944 Cabinet and Cabinet Committee Submissions.

    For each meeting an agenda was prepared by the Parliamentary Secretary in liaison with the Cabinet Office and was also distributed a few days prior to the meeting.

    Officers of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet provided a written briefing to the Premier on some matters to be considered by Cabinet. Briefing papers for 1982 to 1992 comprise VPRS 11951 Agenda and Briefing Papers. Some other Cabinet Ministers may also have received additional briefings from officers of their Departments.

    Officials did not attend Cabinet meetings. The Parliamentary Secretary of the Cabinet took a record of the decisions of Cabinet and prepared a "Cabinet Record" of each meeting. Further information about the Cabinet Record appears below.

    The Cabinet Office also maintained a register of Cabinet decisions as required by section 10 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982. This register was a separate document from the "Cabinet Record" and its content was approved by the Premier. The FoI register comprises VPRS 11949 Register of Cabinet Decisions (FoI).

    The Cabinet Record

    The Cabinet Record was prepared after each Cabinet meeting by the Parliamentary Secretary. Cabinet Records were not complete "minutes" of the meeting in that they did not provide a detailed record of discussion but rather recorded decisions reached or matters noted. Each Cabinet Record was approved and signed by the Premier then numbered copies were sent to all Cabinet members. The master set was retained in the Office of the Parliamentary Secretary and ultimately bound into volumes. These volumes comprise the P0001 consignment of this series.

    The Cabinet Office retained a reference set of certified copies, which comprised the P0002 consignment until its destruction in 2016.

    The Cabinet Record for each meeting followed a common format which corresponded to the format of Cabinet meeting agendas. Items usually included were:

    -- The names of Cabinet members present and apologies
    -- Invitations received from various organisations for Ministers to attend functions. These were tabled and allocated to Cabinet members.
    -- Current political matters. These included any issue requiring Cabinet agreement.
    -- Bills in Principle (that is undrafted Bills proposed for inclusion in the government's legislative program).
    -- Bills at Cabinet (that is Bills approved in principle by Cabinet, drafted by the Chief Parliamentary Counsel and yet to proceed to Parliament).
    -- Appointments to senior government positions and statutory positions.
    -- Committee reports for Cabinet endorsement.

    Each decision made by Cabinet was numbered in a single number sequence which commenced at number 1 in April 1982 and by September 1992 had reached number 17,721. Cabinet decision numbers were written next to the decision to which they referred on the right hand side of each page of the Cabinet record.

    Where an entry in the Cabinet record related to a submission to Cabinet the number of the submission was noted on the left hand side of the page. Submissions to Cabinet comprise VPRS 11944 Cabinet and Cabinet Committee Submissions.

  • Recordkeeping System
    Each Cabinet meeting was numbered and the meeting number was written at the top of the first folio of each Cabinet Record. Each folio was also numbered. Both these number systems commenced at 1 in April 1982 and continued until September 1992.

    This series ceased when the Labor government lost office in 1992. Meeting numbers recommenced at 1 with the first Cabinet meeting of the new government: see VPRS 12341 Cabinet Record II for minutes of meetings from October 1992.

    The Master Set of the Cabinet Record comprising volumes in the P0001 consignment of this series (VPRS 11948) is arranged in meeting number order. The range of meeting numbers and date range of each volume is embossed on the spine and cover.

    Each Cabinet meeting was numbered and the meeting number was written at the top of the first folio of each Cabinet Record. Each folio was also numbered. Both these number systems commenced at 1 in April 1982 and continued until September 1992.

    This series ceased when the Labor government lost office in 1992. Meeting numbers recommenced at 1 with the first Cabinet meeting of the new government: see VPRS 12341 Cabinet Record II for minutes of meetings from October 1992.

    The Master Set of the Cabinet Record comprising volumes in the P0001 consignment of this series (VPRS 11948) is arranged in meeting number order. The range of meeting numbers and date range of each volume is embossed on the spine and cover.

More research resourcesMore research resources
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
? 1986 - 1992 Register of Cabinet Decisions (Database Output), Cain-Kirner VPRS 11955
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
- 1992 Cabinet Record II, Liberal Government, Kennett VPRS 12341
List/s of records in this seriesList/s of records in this series
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 1982 - 1992 Closed 10
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
? 1986 - 1992 Register of Cabinet Decisions (Database Output), Cain-Kirner VPRS 11955
More research resourcesMore research resources