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How to submit an oral item to Cabinet or a committee

Issue date: 
Tuesday, 8 May 2018
Issue status: 
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This publication is part of the CabGuide.

Ministers may raise oral items at Cabinet for items of particular urgency or sensitivity, to update Cabinet on an issue, or to test support for a proposal before it is further developed. Oral items must not be used to seek decisions on significant issues in lieu of submitting a paper for consideration.

Oral items at Cabinet

If a Minister wishes to raise an oral item at Cabinet, then the Minister’s office should send an oral item email request to the Cabinet Office by the 10.00am Thursday lodgement deadline, or as soon as possible afterwards. As oral items can relate to urgent matters, requests can be submitted up to the Monday before the Cabinet meeting if the matter is appropriately urgent.

Oral items at Cabinet will be accepted only with the prior approval of the Prime Minister.

To make an oral item request, copy the form attached in the Word document below into an email and send it to the Cabinet Office at Please complete all relevant sections of the form.

Note that an oral item request is made on behalf of a Minister, so a Minister’s office must have the Minister’s approval before submitting one.

Oral items at a Cabinet committee

Oral items should only be used at Cabinet committees to provide a brief update on a relevant work programme. If Ministers are wanting to seek committee agreement or to test a particular proposal, then it is recommended that a Cabinet paper which contains supporting information is lodged instead.

In the first instance, the Minister’s office should discuss the proposal for an oral item with the relevant Cabinet committee secretary .  An oral item request may then be required as per the process above. Note that oral items at Cabinet committees will only be accepted with the approval of the committee Chair. Cabinet Office will liase with the Chair’s office and the Prime Minister’s office to confirm requests.






Last updated: 
Wednesday, 2 December 2015

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