Owning Ministers offices, owning agencies and the Cabinet Office jointly manage the progress of a submission through the upload, lodge, consideration and decision-making steps in CabNet.
If you are involved in managing a CabNet submission and taking actions in CabNet you must be familiar with policies and processes within your agency or Minister’s office associated with the management of Cabinet submissions.
Use information in CabNet to contact other officials to discuss the status of submissions. The search function can be used to find the details of a known contact, or alternatively refer to the submission information for contact names.
The submission preview in CabNet is the main way that documents are viewed and actions are undertaken on documents by authorised users. The submission preview in CabNet allows users to:
- access information about a paper
- read documents on screen that are contained in the submission preview
- undertake actions on documents
- update information about the submission.
At any one time a submission can be in one of the following states:
- final draft – this status indicates that the paper has been submitted by an agency to the Minister, and is ready for Ministerial approval.
- lodged – indicates that the paper has been lodged following approval by a Minister, and is ready for the preparation of the Cabinet Office summary and consideration by the relevant Cabinet committee or Cabinet.
- published – indicates that the Cabinet Office summary has been prepared, and the paper and the Summary have been published
- confirmed on committee/Cabinet agenda – indicates that the paper has been confirmed for consideration by a Committee or Cabinet
- considered by committee/Cabinet – indicates that a decision has been taken by a committee or Cabinet
- withdrawn - withdrawn prior to or after consideration by a Committee or Cabinet.
Updating submission information
The submission information can be updated by Ministerial and agency staff who support an owning Minister. Use the ‘Update submission information’ button in the submission preview for this purpose.
The intended meeting date and the agency and Ministerial office contact information can be updated if changes are required.
Agency and Ministerial consultation information should not require updating – it should be correct at the time of entry, but can be updated if necessary (e.g. to correct an error).
Managing access to a submission
Authorised users in CabNet are provided access to individual submissions automatically if they are in a Ministerial or Agency Portfolio Group that is provided with access to the submission.
Access to relevant papers is provisioned through the entry of metadata for each submission, such as the owning Minister the committee meeting and consulted agencies, for example.
This means that owning Ministers and their staff, consulted and informed agencies, committee and Cabinet Ministers, officials’ committee members and other officials all gain access to papers on a need to know basis.
As a result, CabNet users will only need to consider manually provisioning access to other individuals or groups on an exceptions basis. Guidance on how access is provided in CabNet is explained in the diagram below.
CabNet users may on occasion be provided access to a minute of a decision, without gaining access to the associated paper. This access is provided by the Cabinet Office when required.
Variations to the automatic submission access provided in CabNet
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. This will be an exception and apply only to papers classified Sensitive or Restricted that are assessed as needing to be handled in this way. If necessary, very highly sensitive papers can be dealt with off CabNet. Such papers are likely to be assessed as requiring a Special Handling Required endorsement. Agencies and Ministers’ offices who consider that a paper should be handled this way should consult the Cabinet Office. For information on what makes a paper sensitive or restricted, see the applying a security classification and endorsement diagram.
- Access on an individual user/small group basis
- For these types of papers access can be limited to a set of named individuals, or 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 will be handled in this way is a highly sensitive budget proposal
- Off-CabNet submissions
- 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.
Using the “Limit access” tickbox to suspend access to agencies
During the upload process in CabNet it is possible for the uploader to limit access to the paper to the Owning Minister’s office(s) by selecting “Limit access”. This function must only be used when access to the paper needs to be limited to individual users, as the function cuts off agency access to a submission.
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 should 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.
The "Limit access" function locks down access to the following core 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
- if the paper is uploaded by an agency: the individual who uploaded the final draft of the paper, and their agency administrator group
note: if the paper is uploaded by a Minister's office then the owning agency (including their portfolio and administrator groups) does not get access.
Restoring standard access to "Limited access" submissions
In line with the principle of CabNet 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 the Cabinet Office to restore access to limited submissions.
Attachments uploaded in error can be removed from CabNet by the uploader and other owners of the submission. Use the ‘remove’ button in the document view in the submission. The remove function will remove all the versions of the attachment that is selected for removal.
The paper, as the primary submission document, can only be removed by the Cabinet Office.