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INDEXED LISTS OF DEPARTMENTAL FILES--ORDER FOR PRODUCTION OF
DOCUMENTS--FINANCE AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION--STANDING
COMMITTEE--REFERENCE

Motion determined as not formal: Senator Harradine requested that

General Business notice of motion no. 544 standing in his name for this

day, relating to an order for the production of indexed lists of

departmental files, be taken as formal.

An objection was raised and the motion was not proceeded with as a

formal motion.

Suspension of standing orders: Senator Harradine, pursuant to contingent

notice, moved--That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would

prevent Senator Harradine moving a motion relating to the conduct of the

business of the Senate, namely a motion to give precedence to General

Business notice of motion no. 544 standing in his name for this day,

relating to an order for the production of indexed lists of departmental

files.

Question put and passed.

Senator Harradine moved--That General Business notice of motion no. 544

standing in his name for this day, relating to an order for the

production of indexed lists of departmental files, may be moved

immediately and have precedence over all other business till determined.

Question put and passed.

Senator Harradine, by leave, amended his notice of motion to read as

follows, and moved--That, subject to paragraph (e), there be laid on the

table, by each Minister in the Senate, in respect of each department

administered by that Minister, or by a Minister in the House of

Representatives represented by that Minister:

(a) by not later than 10 October 1994, an indexed list of the titles

of all relevant files, including new parts of existing files,

created between 1 January and 30 June 1994 in the central office

of that department;

(b) by not later than the last sitting day of the first week of the

1995 Autumn sittings, an indexed list of the titles of all

relevant files, including new parts of existing files, created

between 30 June 1994 and 31 December 1994 in the central office

of that department;

(c) by not later than the last sitting day of the first week of the

Spring sittings in 1995 an indexed list of the titles of all

relevant files, including new parts of existing files, created

between 1 January and 30 June of that year in the central office

of that department;

(d) by not later than the last sitting day of the first week of the

Autumn sittings in 1996 an indexed list of the titles of all

relevant files, including new parts of existing files, created

between 30 June and 31 December of the preceding year in the

central office of that department;

(e) for the purposes of this resolution:

"Autumn sittings" means the period of sittings of the Senate first

commencing on a day after 1 January in any year,

"indexed list" means:

(i) a hard copy of an indexed list in which file titles may

be grouped by classifications used internally within

departments, such as "policy", "legislation",

"advisings", etc, and

(ii) an indexed list in electronic database format, provided

the Senate has adopted a recommendation from the

Library Committee that the list be tabled in that form

also,

"relevant files" includes files relating to the policy advising

functions of the department, including any relating to the

development of legislation and other matters of public

administration, but need not include:

(i) files transferred to the Australian Archives

(ii) case related files (eg personal representations or

dealing with the personal affairs of departmental

clients or taxpayers)

(iii) files essentially related to the internal

administration of the department (eg staff or personnel

matters),

"Spring sittings" means the period of sittings of the Senate first

commencing on a day after 31 July in any year, and

"title" means the name or title of the file, excluding any part of

that name or title which would necessarily disclose commercially

confidential, identifiably personal or national security matters.

Debate ensued.

Reference to committee: Senator Vanstone moved the following amendment:

At end of the motion, add:

"(2) That paragraph (1) of this resolution not take effect until the

earlier of the following:

(a) 1 September 1994; or

(b) the day on which the Senate, by resolution, adopts a

recommendation of the Standing Committee on Finance and

Public Administration that that paragraph, or that paragraph

as amended, is to take effect on and from a specified day.

"(3) That the following matters be referred to the Standing

Committee on Finance and Public Administration for inquiry and

report on or before 24 August 1994:

In relation to the order of the Senate for the production of

indexed lists of departmental files:

(a) whether the order will produce material which is in a

user-friendly form for Senators and others;

(b) the practicality of implementing the order;

(c) the cost of carrying out the order;

(d) the implications of the order for Commonwealth departments;

and

(e) whether any more efficient and effective method may be

devised to achieve the objectives of the order".

Question--That the amendment be agreed to--put and passed.

Main question, as amended, put and passed.