Cabinet and Cabinet committees often request reports on particular issues from Ministers and agencies.
The Cabinet Office manages the requests for extensions to or cancellations of reports, and provides Cabinet and Cabinet committees with advice on outstanding reports, though it is the responsibility of agencies and Ministers’ offices to ensure that reports are submitted within the requested timeframe.
The process for seeking an extension to, or cancellation of, a report
Seeking an extension to a reporting date
If a report requested by Cabinet or a Cabinet committee cannot be submitted on time, the following options apply:
- Paper to be submitted up to one month after the due date:
The department should advise the Minister’s office, which will then advise the Cabinet Office of the proposed new reporting date. The Minister’s office and the Cabinet Office will then decide whether to inform Cabinet or the Cabinet committee of the delay, and the central report register that is maintained by the Cabinet Office will be updated accordingly;
- Paper to be submitted more than one month after the due date:
The Minister’s office should send an email using the template in the attachment above, to the Cabinet Office addressed to the chair, seeking an extension to the report back. The email must summarise the original report request (including minute reference) and due date, the reason for the delay, and the proposed new reporting date. It should also indicate that the extension is supported by other relevant Ministers/departments;
The Cabinet Office will forward the email request to the Cabinet or Cabinet committee Chair’s office, with any necessary additional information. The Chair’s agreement to the request will be recorded in a memo, which will be distributed like a Cabinet committee minute, to all interested Ministers and departments. It will also be included in the committee’s next weekly report to Cabinet, and the central report register will be updated accordingly.
Reports that are no longer required
If a report that has been requested is no longer necessary, the Minister should seek the agreement of the chair of Cabinet/Cabinet committee through an email sent to the Cabinet Office. The email must summarise the original report request (including minute reference) and due date, and explain why the report is no longer required. It should also indicate that the cancellation is supported by other relevant Ministers’/departments. The Cabinet Office will advise the Chair of the Cabinet committee in the same way for an extension, and the cancellation decision will also result in a memo.