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Cabinet Confidentiality

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Number:           2019/05
Date of Issue:  30/04/2019
Review Date:   30/06/2021

Download: PC Cabinet Confidentiality




Public Sector officers who receive copies of Cabinet documents, including Cabinet submissions and decision sheets, or who are otherwise made aware of information contained in such documents, are required to observe the confidentiality of that information. Cabinet documents and the information contained in them must not be revealed except for such purposes as are authorised by the relevant Minister and Chief Executive Officer.


The confidentiality of Cabinet documents, discussions and decisions is a long established principle and has been regarded as essential for the maintenance of Cabinet's collective responsibility.  This requirement is tempered by the requirement for prior advice and consultation, and the need to disseminate Cabinet decisions and background information to ensure effective implementation.  The Cabinet Procedures contained in the Cabinet Handbook provide guidelines on maintaining the confidentiality and security of Cabinet documents, including the circumstances and manner in which those documents may be distributed.

Officers who are provided with access to information that is or has been subject to Cabinet's deliberation (including Cabinet submissions and decision sheets) need to be mindful of their obligation not to reveal that information, other than as authorised by their relevant Minister or Chief Executive Officer in accordance with the guidelines contained in the Cabinet Procedures.

Freedom of Information
All Cabinet documents falling within the ambit of a Freedom of Information (FOI) application, that are not over ten years old, are exempt in accordance with clause 1(1), Schedule 1, to the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (WA) (FOI Act) and must not be released.

Cabinet documents or copies of Cabinet documents that have been tabled in Cabinet (signed) that fall within the ambit of a FOI application can be transferred to the Department of the Premier and Cabinet for processing in accordance with section 15(2) of the FOI Act. 





Mark McGowan MLA



For enquiries contact:                            Courtney Barron   6552 5765 (Cabinet advice)
                                                               A/Director, Cabinet Services
                                                               Department of the Premier and Cabinet

                                                               David Paice  6552 5991 (Freedom of Information advice)
                                                               Manager, Freedom of Information Unit
                                                               Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Other relevant Circulars:                       
Circular/s replaced by this Circular:         2003/09, 2003/14


Acknowledgement of Country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.