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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3134

Mr VINER (Stirling) (Leader of the House) -in reply- With the indulgence of the House perhaps I can shortly explain the purpose of this motion. It has been passed by the Senate, as indicated by the message received by this House. At present the only committee records able to be released to public access are those that a committee has published under its resolution of appointment; the report which is presented to the House, the minutes of proceedings- if they are tabled with the report- and any other documents which are reported to the House. All other records are covered by Standing Order 340, or by Senate Standing Order 308 in the case of joint committees, and are not to be disclosed or published without the authority of the House.

The purpose of the motion is to delegate to Mr Speaker the authority which the House has under Standing Order 340 to release for public scrutiny such other committee records to which confidentiality should not attach. Examples of those types of records are submissions received by committees which for various reasons were not thought sufficiently important to be incorporated in the committee's evidence but which are relevant to the inquiry, exhibits and other publications such as brochures, pamphlets and books presented to a committee. Under the authority proposed by this motion Mr Speaker will be in a position to exercise his descretion to ensure that conditions of confidentiality given by a committee are not breached. It will facilitate the release of documents in a way which does not breach the confidentiality given to them by a committee.

Mr Bryant - They still have to have had them for 10 years? It is a start I suppose.

Mr VINER -Yes, that is so.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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