The office received and processed all of the 5,515 documents provided for tabling in the Senate during 2017–18, recorded their details in the Journals of the Senate and the Index to the Papers Presented to Parliament, and archived them. This figure is comparable to the number of documents tabled in the previous year (5,880). Documents presented to the Senate in 2017–18 added approximately 27 metres of boxed documents to the archive. Figure 7 shows the number of documents tabled in the Senate in recent years.
Documents from ministers, the Auditor-General and committees may be presented when the Senate is not sitting. The office administers this procedure, which facilitates the timely publication of material of interest to, or required by, the Parliament. In 2017–18, a total of 627 documents (or approximately 11 per cent of all documents tabled in the Senate) were presented using this procedure. The lower number of documents presented using this procedure in the previous reporting period (398) was because there were no out-of-sitting presentations during the double dissolution period in July and August 2016.
All documents presented to the Senate in the reporting period were digitised and made publicly available in the ParlInfo database on or as soon as possible after receipt, or otherwise published on the Parliament’s website (in the case of certain committee documents) or the Federal Register of Legislation (in the case of legislative instruments).
Significant work was also undertaken in the reporting period to organise and rationalise the office’s holdings of hardcopy materials. This work will continue in the next reporting period to ensure the preservation of historically important material and the efficient use of the office’s document storage areas.