Presentation of papers to the House
This circular sets out the procedures for the presentation of papers to the House from 1 July 2007.
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Parliamentary and non-parliamentary papers
“Papers” is the collective term used for various documents presented to the House by Ministers or the Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 363. Papers fall into two separate groups:
Parliamentary papers: These are papers presented to and ordered to be published by the House. Their printing is arranged by the organisation responsible for the paper, subject to any general requirements of the Speaker. When they are ordered to be published by the House, they are published on the Parliament website and later in annual bound volumes. Parliamentary papers are assigned a shoulder number (e.g. B.7). They are the statements of intent of departments and the annual reports of departments and of some other public organisations. They also include the Budget documents, reports of the Law Commission and some committees and commissions of inquiry.
Non-parliamentary papers: These are papers presented to the House that are not ordered to be published. The agency responsible for the paper must make its own arrangements for printing and public access. Their printing is not subject to the Speaker’s direction. They are not assigned a shoulder number and are not published on the Parliament website or in the bound volumes.
Where a reporting entity is unsure as to whether or not a new report should be presented to the House as a parliamentary paper, the criteria for deciding this can be discussed with the Office of the Clerk.
The presentation of papers is managed in the Bills Office (part of the Office of the Clerk) by the Parliamentary Officer (Papers).
General requirements for parliamentary papers
Shoulder number: Each parliamentary paper must be identified by carrying the appropriate shoulder number in the top right hand corner of the cover and title page. Shoulder numbers are issued by the Office of the Clerk (Bills Office) and remain constant for the same document from year to year.
Size: Parliamentary papers must be produced in A4 size.
Number of copies: Eighty copies of each parliamentary paper are required to meet the requirements of the House. Should a reporting entity consider that a particular parliamentary paper will be in significant demand, extra copies should be provided after consultation with the Office of the Clerk (Bills Office).
Please make sure that boxes sent to the Bills Office are not too heavy. It is suggested that each box should not exceed 15kgs.
Electronic copy: Reporting entities must also provide the Office of the Clerk (Bills Office) with a PDF file for each parliamentary paper to be presented to the House for the purpose of publishing to the Parliament website. The file must be in 150 dpi and should not exceed 5.5 MB. The file should be provided in two parts of more if over 5.5MB. It may be forwarded on disk, by email or on a CD ROM. The Parliamentary Papers email address is available from the ‘Email contacts’ panel.
Eighty printed copies – each box should not exceed 15kg
One electronic copy delivered by CD, disk or e-mail
PDF format, 150dpi, maximum file size 5.5MB
Requirements for non-parliamentary papers
Fifty copies are to be provided, though this number may vary in particular instances. Please ensure that boxes sent to the Bills Office are not too heavy. Each box is required to be no more than 15kgs.
As non-parliamentary papers are not ordered to be published, they are not issued with a shoulder number, there are no format requirements and no electronic copy is required.
Fifty printed copies – each box should not exceed 15kg
Reporting under the Crown Entities Act 2004
The reporting provisions of the Crown Entities Act 2004 relating to the publication of annual reports came into effect from the financial year commencing on 1 July 2006 (s 198 Crown Entities Act 2004).
Reporting entities are free to choose their own printer for the printing of papers to be presented to the House. In addition to the size and shoulder number requirements for parliamentary papers, papers should carry a banner identifying the statutory obligation under which they are being presented, e.g. "Presented to the House of Representatives pursuant to section 44 of the Public Finance Act 1989". A parliamentary paper should not carry any imprint indicating it is printed or published by order of the House of Representatives.
Payment for parliamentary copies
The Office of the Clerk may on request contribute to the printing costs incurred by non-departmental reporting entities presenting parliamentary papers over 24 pages. Entities seeking reimbursement should contact the Office of the Clerk (Bills Office).
Publishing Auditor-General’s disclaimer
The Auditor-General requires that a disclaimer be published with audited financial statements that are published on websites. A copy of the disclaimer is appended to this circular. For financial statements that are ordered to be published by the House, this requirement will be met by a general disclaimer included on the Parliament website Parliamentary Business/Papers page. The link to this document is available from the ‘Related Documents’ panel. The statement should not be included in the PDF file that is required for presentation to the House.
Reporting entities that are publishing financial statements on their own websites should contact the Auditor-General’s office about meeting this requirement.
Process for presenting papers
Papers may be presented to the House by the Speaker or a Minister on any working day throughout the year. (This does not include the period from 25 December to 15 January). For presentation to be effected on a sitting day, papers must be received by the Clerk by 1.00 pm.
The presentation of papers is managed in the Office of the Clerk (Bills Office).
Presenting parliamentary papers
For parliamentary papers, the reporting entity should forward two copies of the printed document to the responsible Minister. It is then the responsibility of the Minister's office to ensure that the established procedure is followed for the paper to be presented to the House. This involves the Minister's office delivering one copy of the paper to the principal private secretary in the office of the Leader of the House for transmission to the Clerk. (See Legislation and House Procedure Handbook, Ministerial Services, 2006).
The 80 copies required and the PDF file must be delivered to the Office of the Clerk (attention the Bills Office) on the morning of the day on which the paper is due to be presented to the House. A paper will not be accepted for presentation if the required number of copies and the PDF file have not been received.
Papers presented by the Speaker
A paper from an Officer of Parliament, the Office of the Clerk, the Parliamentary Service or the Abortion Supervisory Committee is presented to the House by the Speaker. Arrangements to present these papers are made with the office of the Speaker and not with the office of the Leader of the House.
Presenting non-parliamentary papers
For non-parliamentary papers, the reporting entity should forward two copies of the printed document to the responsible Minister. It is then the responsibility of the Minister's office to ensure that the established procedure is followed for the paper to be presented to the House. This involves the Minister's office giving the Bills Office the go ahead to present the document. (See Legislation and House Procedure Handbook, Ministerial Services, 2006).
The 50 copies required must be delivered to the Office of the Clerk (attention the Bills Office) on the morning of the day on which the paper is due to be presented to the House.
Presenting regulations and deemed regulations
All regulations are required to be presented to the House not later than the 16th sitting day after the day on which they are made. For regulations published as part of the SR series, the promulgation of which is notified in the Gazette, this is effected by the legislative printer forwarding copies to the Bills Office on behalf of the Gazette Officer in the Department of Internal Affairs.
The requirement to present regulations to the House includes any instruments deemed to be regulations for the purposes of the Regulations (Disallowance) Act 1989 (“deemed regulations”). Where deemed regulations are not included in the SR series, the agency responsible for the regulations must arrange for the responsible Minister to present them to the House.
Two copies of any deemed regulation should be forwarded to the responsible Minister by the agency responsible for its promulgation. The Minister's office should follow the established procedure for the presentation of a non-parliamentary paper. This involves the Minister's office giving the Bills Office the go ahead to present the deemed regulation.
Fifty copies must be delivered to the Office of the Clerk (attention the Bills Office) on the morning of the day on which the deemed regulation is due to be presented to the House.
Formal advice of presentation
Formal advice of all papers presented on the previous day is made on a daily basis by the Office of the Clerk to Ministers’ offices. Reporting entities may seek confirmation of the presentation of a paper from the appropriate Minister’s office or directly from the Office of the Clerk (Bills Office). All papers presented are listed in the Parliamentary Bulletin, which is published at the end of each week that the House sits. They are also listed daily on the Parliament website.
A copy of each parliamentary paper is posted to the Parliament website, when it is ordered to be published by the House, www.parliament.nz (select Parliamentary Business/Papers)
Errors in papers
Where, following the presentation of a paper, a substantive error is subsequently discovered in it, an erratum may be printed and presented. In the case of parliamentary papers, the erratum must meet the same format and numbers requirements as for the original paper. Reporting entities should discuss the preparation of an erratum with the Office of the Clerk (Bills Office).
Release and distribution of papers
Generally, papers should not to be released until they have been presented. The legal protection conferred on parliamentary papers by the Legislature Amendment Act 1992 does not apply until the House orders a parliamentary paper to be published. This occurs on a House sitting day immediately following the announcement of papers presented.
Presentation during an adjournment may be necessary when a reporting entity is under a separate statutory obligation to report publicly and the House is not sitting at the time the paper is required, or when the reporting entity must meet reporting requirements under the Public Finance Act 1989 when the House is not sitting. In such a case, legal protection will not apply until the next day the House sits and the paper is ordered to be published.
On confirming that a paper has been presented, the reporting entity concerned must arrange for the distribution and sale of copies of the paper. The Office of the Clerk does not arrange for the distribution and sale of copies of papers and any costs incurred in carrying out this duty are the responsibility of the organisation concerned. Each reporting entity is responsible for ensuring that appropriate arrangements are made for printed copies to be available to members of the public and, in particular, that there is no impediment to public access to papers.
The likely public demand for copies of a paper should always be considered and whether it should be available for sale or distributed by some other means.
Bound volumes of parliamentary papers
All parliamentary papers with shoulder numbers A to H presented during a calendar year are bound into annual volumes, the Parliamentary Papers, organised by shoulder number. These volumes are made available to the major libraries, the National Library of New Zealand and the Parliamentary Library. This compendium series replaces the series known as the A to Js, published as the Appendix to the Journals for each term of Parliament. Non-parliamentary papers are not published in these volumes. Select committee reports (I papers) and other papers closely related to the operation of the House (J papers) are now bound in the Appendix to the Journals by session.
Provision of public documents to the National Librarian
Reporting entities are reminded that they are responsible for ensuring that the requirements to provide copies of papers to the National Librarian under the National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa) Act 2003 are complied with. Two copies of each paper presented must be delivered to the National Librarian, National Library of New Zealand, PO Box 1467, Wellington.
Enquiries regarding this circular should be addressed to the Office of the Clerk (Bills Office). The officer for enquiries is the Parliamentary Officer (Papers). Email and phone details are available from the ‘Contacts’ panels.
Should there be any changes to these procedures they will be notified on the website.
D G McGee
Clerk of the House of Representatives
Important disclaimer by the Auditor-General on audited financial statements on this web site
Please note that the maintenance and integrity of the financial statements in parliamentary papers on this web site is the responsibility of the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
I, as Auditor-General, and my appointed auditors, accept no responsibility for any changes that may have occurred or may occur to financial statements audited by us in regard to the presentation of those financial statements on this web site.
Our audit reports refer only to those financial statements named within a particular audit report. They do not provide an opinion on any other information that may have been hyperlinked to/from those audited financial statements.
If readers of this web site are concerned about the inherent risks arising from electronic data communication, they should refer to the published hard copies of the audited financial statements to confirm the information.
Legislation in New Zealand governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.