Series GR-3977 - Cabinet Order-in-Council background material

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Cabinet Order-in-Council background material

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  • textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of series.

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  • 1989-2003 (Creation)
    British Columbia. Office of the Premier

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Physical description

7.22 m of textual records

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Biographical history

The Office of the Premier includes the Premier, the Deputy Minister to the Premier, the Chief of Staff, Cabinet Operations and other administrative branches.
The name has had slight changes through its history:
1871-1988 Office of the Premier
1988-1993 Office of the Premier and Executive Council
1993-2000 Office of the Premier and Cabinet Office
2000-2001 Office of the Premier
2001- Office of the Premier and Cabinet Office

Custodial history

Scope and content

This series consists of background materials used by members of cabinet in the creation and approval of orders-in-council (OICs) and Ministerial Orders, from 1989-2003.

The majority of these records are information sheets or resumes which identify the relevant Ministry, contact person, summary of background information, authority (such as any related legislation), concerns from Legislative Counsel, impacts of the OIC, and tracking information. The OIC number is usually stamped in the top right corner. Numbers with the prefix “M” are Ministerial Orders, not OICs.

Information sheets may be stapled to other associated supporting records such as correspondence, reference materials, financial impact statements, copies of the OIC, and coloured slips showing it has been reviewed by Legislative Counsel. Green slips note the OIC can proceed, yellow indicates certain conditions that need to be met, and red indicates the OIC may be invalid or open to challenge. Most packages do not include copies of the actual OIC.

There are also a few files relating to a 1983 OIC “reduction exercise”. This involved reviewing legislation to determine if statutory powers requiring routine OICs to have full consideration and approval of cabinet could be transferred to the Minister concerned. This change was considered so Cabinet could spend more time on “non-routine” issues.

Early OICs are grouped by the name of the Ministry responsible, and roughly chronologically within each grouping. Sheets may not clearly be labelled with the year and files may contain OICs for multiple years.

Later OICs are arranged chronologically by year and OIC number. There may not be records for every OIC number or there may be a placeholder noting where records for an OIC are not included. Each year filed chronologically may begin with files for minutes of Cabinet and other miscellaneous files related to OICS of that year.

Records in the series are covered by ORCS 10200-30 of schedule 881099 (Office of the Premier and Executive Council).

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Immediate source of acquisition

Records were transferred by the Office of the Premier and Cabinet Office at various dates.


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Restrictions on access

These records are subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act or other acts and access may be restricted. Please contact the BC Archives to determine the access status of these records.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Associated materials

See GR-3677 for Cabinet Committee on Legislation and legislation review and approval case files

See GR-3676 for all other Cabinet committees meeting case files

See GR-3795 for all other Cabinet Operations administrative records and subject files

Related materials


General note

Accession number(s): 91-0449

General note

Containers 910449-0493 to 910449-0495 were originally described as part of GR-3676. In 2021 the containers were moved to this series of similar records.

General note

OICs provide the legal basis for the day-to-day operation of the government. They involve expenditures of money, appointing individuals to boards and commissions, proclaiming special events or days, and establishing or amending regulations.

OICs and their background material are usually prepared by ministries, then reviewed by Legislative Counsel. They are then provided to Cabinet for review and approval. The OIC Coordinator (or similar position), within Cabinet Operations, is responsible for reviewing OICs for completeness, ensuring that the appropriate supporting documentation is received, and for summarizing the information for Cabinet's use in decision making. The OIC is then reviewed by the Cabinet Committee responsible for OICs. If approved, the OIC proceeds to Cabinet for final approval before it is enacted by the Lieutenant Governor’s signature. Note that this exact procedure may vary over time.

Originals of enacted OICs are retained by Order in Council Administration, and copies are retained by individual ministries.

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