CabNet user accounts
CabNet is used by government agencies that require access to Cabinet material. CabNet is operated under a devolved accountability and user-administration model - agencies that use CabNet are responsible for administering the accounts of the CabNet users within their agency and for the quality of the material and information entered into CabNet.
Under the devolved model individual CabNet users:
- must have a legitimate need to access Cabinet material on an ongoing basis
- must only access information and documents on a need to know basis.
Approval for a CabNet account must only be provided to a staff member of CabNet user organisations on delegated authority from the agency Chief Executive or the General Manager of Ministerial Services.
Information accessible by the CabNet user community
Certain information in CabNet is accessible to all CabNet users:
- the calendar of Cabinet, Cabinet committee and Executive Council meeting events
- as a result of a keyword search in CabNet limited information on every record in the system is returned – irrespective of whether the searching user has access to the full content of that record
- a user profile of other CabNet users to facilitate inter-agency and internal communication, accessible through CabNet search.
How access works at each stage of the decision-making process
The diagram below outlines the access that CabNet automatically provides at each stage of the Cabinet decision-making process for general submissions.
Group-based access to information in CabNet
In general, access to submissions in CabNet is provisioned to groups in CabNet. Individual CabNet users are put into one or more groups.
A number of staff in each CabNet user agency are nominated as Organisation Administrators. These users are responsible for setting up and de-activating user accounts, in conjunction with allocating users to the group, or groups, that are administered by that agency.
As a result of group membership individual CabNet users receive access to Cabinet material relevant to the group (or groups) to which they belong.
CabNet provides the group-based access to submissions and documents automatically, depending on metadata associated with individual documents, in addition to user actions that provision access on a case by case basis. For more information, read the guidance for managing a CabNet submission.
Agency portfolio groups
Each CabNet user agency has one or more associated agency portfolio groups. Staff that have been authorised to have a CabNet user account will be a member of one or more agency portfolio group within their agency.
Each agency portfolio group includes the name of the agency and the name of the portfolio that the agency supports (i.e. the Treasury (Finance)). Contact the Cabinet Office for a list of the agency portfolio groups.
Variations to automatic submission access
CabNet has been designed to provide group-based access to all Ministers, their offices, and agencies with a portfolio interest in a submission at appropriate points in the approval and Cabinet consideration process. The automatic group-based access provided through the CabNet system applies to all submissions in CabNet.
In some circumstances, such as for papers that deal with a highly sensitive matter, it may be appropriate for access to be limited in CabNet. Agencies and Ministers’ offices who consider that a paper should be handled this way should consult the Cabinet Office. For more information, read the guidance on what makes a paper sensitive or restricted.
Access on an individual user/small group basis
For the types of papers described above, access can be limited to individual named CabNet users, or to small groups of individuals. Contact the Cabinet Office if you wish to request that a submission be handled in this way. An example of the type of submission that would be handled in this way is a highly sensitive budget proposal, or a submission with significant staffing implications.
Alternatively, for very highly sensitive proposals, the Cabinet Office may determine that the paper should be dealt with off-CabNet. Such papers are likely to require a Special Handling Required endorsement. Follow this link for more information on off-CabNet items.
The “Limit access” function
During the upload process in CabNet it is possible for the uploader to limit access to the paper by selecting “Limit access” when uploading the paper. This function must only be used when access to the paper needs to be limited to individual users, as the function completely cuts off any agency access to a submission, except to the owning agency in cases when it has uploaded the paper. This means that the use of the function limits access the following user groups only:
- Cabinet Committee Ministers (if the paper is lodged for a Cabinet committee)
- Cabinet Office
- Office of the Prime Minister
- the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Policy Advisory Group
- the Minister, portfolio, and administrator groups of the Minister lodging the paper
- the Minister and administration groups of consulted and informed Minister
- the Officials' Committee for a Cabinet committee (if the paper is lodged for a Cabinet committee)
- the individual that uploaded the paper and their agency administration group (if the paper is uploaded by an agency).
Important note: If the 'Limit access' function is used, one individual user from each agency consulted on the paper must be added by name to the access list for the submission, so that they can access the material on behalf of their agency (e.g. for submissions with financial implications the relevant Vote Analyst in Treasury must be added to the access list). CabNet will automatically add that user's organisation administrator group, which can be removed manually after the paper is lodged if required.
Restoring standard access to "Limited access" submissions
In line with CabNet’s purpose as the repository for all Cabinet material, standard access to each submission should be restored once access to a submission no longer needs to be limited (i.e. an announcement has been made). Standard access means that all consulted and informed agencies will be able to access the submission, not just the lodging agency. Contact Cabinet Office to restore access to limited submissions.