Series VPRS 11951
Agenda and Premier's Briefing Papers I
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 comprises agendas for Cabinet meetings and briefing papers prepared by the Cabinet Office for the Premier.

    If you know when a matter was to be considered by Cabinet, search or browse the Consignment Details for this series to identify the unit that contains records of that date.

    If you do not know when a matter was to be considered by Cabinet, consult VPRS 11955 (Alphabetical List of Cabinet Decisions (Computer Output) or VPRS 11954 (Alphabetical List of Cabinet and Cabinet Committee Submissions) to obtain the date and number of the meeting concerned, and then search or browse the Consignment Details for this series (VPRS 11951) to identify the unit that contains the records.

  • Function / Content
    Cabinet Recordkeeping from 1982

    In April 1982 a Labor Government was elected in Victoria. 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 and 1997 editions of the Cabinet Handbook (see VPRS 11953).

    Cabinet usually met weekly. Throughout the period of the Labor government meetings were 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. For submissions to Cabinet see 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 distributed a few days prior to the meeting.

    The Cabinet Office provided Cabinet provided a written briefing to the Premier on some matters to be considered by Cabinet. Briefing papers for the years 1982 to 1992 comprise this series (VPRS 11951). For later agenda and briefing papers refer to VPRS 12340 Agenda and Premier's Briefing Papers II. Further information about briefing papers in this series appears below. Some other Cabinet Ministers may also have received additional briefings from officers of their Departments.

    Officials did not attend Cabinet meetings during the period covered by this series. The Parliamentary Secretary of the Cabinet took a record of the decisions of Cabinet and prepared a Cabinet Record of each meeting. This summarised the decisions of the meeting. Each Cabinet Record was approved by the Premier then copies were sent to all Ministers. The master was retained in the Office of the Parliamentary Secretary and, for the period covered by this series, ultimately bound into volumes. Bound Cabinet Records comprise VPRS 11948 Master Copy of the Cabinet Record.

    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 register comprises VPRS 11949 Register of Cabinet Decisions (FoI).

    Cabinet Agenda and Briefing Papers

    The papers in this series comprise Cabinet Office copies of papers forwarded to the Premier prior to each Cabinet meeting. Two types of documents were included in the series: agenda, and briefing notes to the Premier. For each Cabinet meeting there was one or more stapled bundles of briefing papers with a copy of the agenda on top.

    The agenda are missing for some of the meetings. This indicates that the contents of papers for those particular meetings might not be complete.

    Agenda

    The Parliamentary Secretary of the Cabinet, in liaison with the Cabinet Office and the Premier, prepared the agenda for each Cabinet meeting. This was distributed to all Ministers a few days prior to the meeting.

    Each agenda item was numbered and listed with the name of the Minister responsible for it ("P" denoted Premier). Where a submission regarding the agenda item had been distributed the submission number was also given. The "date received" column indicated the date the Cabinet submission was received by the Cabinet Office, or the date, Cabinet meeting number and agenda item number at which the matter was first raised in Cabinet.

    Briefing Papers

    The Cabinet Office provided the Premier with an additional briefing regarding some matters to be discussed by Cabinet. In some instances the briefing note comprised only a few sentences, in other instances a detailed briefing paper was prepared.

    During the period 1982 to 1992 briefing notes appear to have been used to:

    -- inform the Premier about matters for which there was no Cabinet submission,
    -- indicate whether the Department of Premier and Cabinet thought a proposal had been adequately considered prior to going to Cabinet,
    -- warn of the political implications of certain courses of action, and
    -- advise the Premier when the Department of Premier and Cabinet disagreed with the recommendations of a submission.

    Only some matters on the Cabinet agenda were the subject of briefing papers. In some instances the papers for a Cabinet meeting also included a copy of a memo to the Premier summarising the agenda items for which a brief was provided.

    Missing Papers

    The agendas and briefing papers for some meetings, including the first meeting of Cabinet under the Labor Government in April 1982, are missing from the consignment transferred to the Public Record Office.

  • Recordkeeping System


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- 1992 Agenda and Premier's Briefing Papers II VPRS 12340
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 1982 - 1992 Closed 17
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