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Cabinet Office circular

CO (20) 5: Constitutional Procedures after the Election (2020)

Issue date: 
Monday, 31 August 2020
Issue status: 
Version note: 

Intended for: 

  • All Ministers
  • All Chief Executives
  • Chiefs of Staff
  • All Senior Private Secretaries
  • Speaker of the House of Representatives
  • Chief Parliamentary Counsel
  • Controller and Auditor-General
  • Chief Ombudsman
  • Official Secretary, Government House


1In January this year the Cabinet Office issued guidance on government decision making in the pre-election period.1 That guidance reiterates that the government has the right to govern as usual until the election. As in previous election years, the government has chosen to exercise restraint in respect of significant appointments and government advertising.

2This circular provides guidance on the constitutional procedures that will apply after the general election. It includes key dates, a summary of the transition process between administrations, and references to other guidance material.

3All Ministers, Ministers’ offices, and government agencies are expected to follow these guidelines.

4For the purposes of this circular, “government agencies” means agencies in the state sector, including public service departments, other state services, agencies in the wider state sector (see paragraphs 3.3-3.5 of the Cabinet Manual for a complete definition of the state sector), and other agencies within Ministers’ portfolios that do not form part of the state sector.

1 Government Decisions and Actions in the Pre-election Period, Cabinet Office Circular CO (20) 1.

Last updated: 
Monday, 31 August 2020

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