The confidentiality of Cabinet’s deliberations is a fundamental principle of the Westminster system of government. It enables free and frank discussions amongst ministers and underpins the principle of Cabinet solidarity.

Any breaches of confidentiality or security must be reported to your responsible line manager, who should report the breach to an appropriate executive or Cabinet Office. Breaches are taken seriously, reported to the appropriate authority and investigated thoroughly.

Cabinet papers, in both final and draft form, must be stored securely and must never be emailed outside the government email network or stored on non-government devices.

Cabinet papers and attachments should be classified with the correct information asset classification (for example at a minimum, Sensitive: SA Cabinet-I2-A2 which is pre-populated on the submission and note templates). The ‘Protected’ classification should be used in addition to the Sensitive classification where appropriate. The classification should also be used in the subject line of emails relating to Cabinet business and papers.

Accessing Cabinet Papers

Authorised users can access Cabinet papers through the electronic Cabinet database.

If you do not have access to the electronic Cabinet database, or are looking for historic papers, the following matrix provides guidance on accessing Cabinet Papers.

  

Who created the document?

  

Current government

Former government of same political persuasion as current government

Former government of different political persuasion to current government

Who is requesting the document?

Agency seeking final copy of a document it authored

Referred to their CE’s office; CE’s office will have access through Cabinet system

Referred to their CE’s office in the first instance

If document cannot be located, DPC will supply a copy

Referred to their CE’s office in the first instance

If document cannot be located, DPC will supply a copy

Agency seeking a copy of a document authored by a different agency

Referred to the relevant minister’s office

Referred to the current CE’s or current minister’s office in the first instance

If document cannot be located, it may be supplied by DPC where business need can be demonstrated and the current minister, as custodian of the document, consents

Referred to current CE’s office in first instance; information from the document rather than the document itself should be provided

Where business need can be demonstrated and document cannot be located, DPC may provide information or a copy if necessary

Minister

Not applicable – already accessible through Cabinet system

Referred to the current minister’s office in the first instance

If document cannot be located, it may be supplied by DPC where business need can be demonstrated and the current minister, as custodian of the document, consents

Request determined by CE, DPC, following consultation with the Leader of the Opposition

Investigative agency

(Covered by PC047)

Auditor-General: may apply in writing to CE, DPC; subject to approval of Premier

Other: may apply in writing to Premier

Auditor-General: may apply in writing to CE, DPC; subject to approval of Premier

Other: may apply in writing to Premier

Request determined by CE, DPC, following consultation with the Leader of the Opposition

Party external to government

(e.g. an individual covered by FOI Act and PC031)

May apply to DPC through FOI if over ten years old; document may be disclosed subject to any exemptions under FOI Act; current minister notified of disclosure

May apply to DPC through FOI if over ten years old; document may be disclosed subject to any exemptions under FOI Act; current minister notified of disclosure

May apply to DPC through FOI if over ten years old; document may be disclosed subject to any exemptions under FOI Act; Leader of Opposition notified of disclosure

The following documents provided further guidance on requesting copies of Cabinet documents

Premier and Cabinet Circular 047 - Disclosure of Cabinet documents to investigative agencies PDF, 144.19 KB

Premier and Cabinet Circular 031 - Disclosure of Cabinet documents 10 years or older PDF, 80.13 KB