Department Deputy Secretary Information And Approval


For Department Deputy Secretary Information and approval
Department/Secretary Name
Author’s name / student number

 TITLE Add a one-line title Bold and in 11 Times Roman font 

Short summary (to be provided in this text box)-Write a core message summarising the briefing in no more than 3 sentences and 5 lines. Summarise the issue, the Department’s analysis of the issue and the actions that should follow. You can structure the core message with 1 sentence each on the topic, the analysis and the action, being sure to capture why the Minister/ Department Secretary should support the recommendation.(11 point Times Roman font)

Department Deputy Secretary Information And ApprovalKey Information

Start with minimal descriptive context of the topic and the issues it raises. Limit this to 1 or 2 paragraphs. Place most of the traditional ‘Background’ in the ‘Context’ section over the page if further detail is needed.Foreground your analysis of the issue -As briefly as you can, discuss the analysis that supports your recommendation, capturing the main conclusions about the topic and the reasons supporting the recommendation.If your readers need more extensive analysis, include the most important elements on the first age and place any further detail in the ‘Rationale’ in the subsequent pages.Use analytical headings to structure your key information. Structure this page by your analysis of the issue rather than by the narrative of the research.Your main reasons should appear in one-line analytical headings, and the text under each should briefly justify each reason and support it with evidence.  The Minister should be able to read the core message, scan the headings and understand the essence of the briefing and the reasoning for the recommendation.Be as concise as possible. Consider your reader’s needs rather than the level of detail you may prefer. How much information does the Minister really need to understand and act on your recommendation?In more complex briefings, foreground the most important information on the first page, then follow with supporting information. The Minister can decide how much detail he needs.In simpler briefings, you do not need to write any text for the ‘Rationale’ or ‘Context’ sections if you can fit everything on 1 page, but include the media and consultation table.

Make sure the key information and recommendation do not go over 1 page.Write in plain English and delete instructions. Prefer short words and sentences, write in the active voice and avoid jargon and clutter. Delete or overwrite all instructional text in this template.(11 point Times Roman font)

Financial Implications

This should include both funding and financial impacts. Funding implications include cost, total budget, funding source and PAC number. Financial implications include information on any potential broader risks for the Department or government (eg even though no additional funding is being sought, there may be a change in a pattern of service delivery, or if the recommended project is not funded there may be wider financial implications for government). Finance Directorate must be consulted if funding is affected, to confirm funding sources for large budgets or if there are significant potential financial risks.(11 point Times Roman font)

Recommendation  (ensure recommendation appears on page 1)

That the Deputy Secretary …..(11 point Times Roman font) 

Visual summary 

Title (Repeat the title from page 1) 

Note that you are able to provide up to but not exceeding 4 pages for your rational, context and consultation (as per headings below.

This section would comprise pages 3,4,5,6 of your report.

All text in the following pages to be 11 point Times Roman font


Do not repeat key information

Only include the ‘Rationale’ section if you need to provide more detail for the reasons supporting your recommendation.

This section should add further analysis (conclusions, opinion, reasons, evidence, explanations) rather than description (background, process, history, basic facts).

Use this format for lists

When explaining why the recommendation is the best approach, consider:

  • the risks and benefits of the recommendation
  • how these will be mitigated or realised
  • the risks and benefits of alternatives, including status quo.


Add further context only if needed

Do not repeat the descriptive information that you included at the start of the ‘Key information’ section. This ‘Context’ section is for additional background detail that the Minister may turn to after reading the most important points.

Where possible, keep the ‘Rationale’ and ‘Context’ under 1 page, and the briefing under 2.

For a chronology of events, use the table below (this can be used as part of providing a short history of key events, policies, legislative change)


NB: Departments/ division or names that have been consulted. In a real submission you will have their input to this brief and their written approval as to the recommendation. For your submission you are required to identify relevant departments and or divisions and where necessary related policies and reported that demonstrate your understanding of the inter-relationship between your topic and that of other parts of government

Add dateDescribe what happened
Add dateDescribe what happened


note that you would not action this section, as this would be filled in after the deputy secretary has considered your briefing note. The table however must be included in your template.


This would comprise page 7 of your report and would be the last page. This should be in font size 9.

Formatting  of references either endnotes (that would provide a sequential order of your references and use Harvard (refer to university web link: or just standard in text Harvard referencing.

No other information or attachments are to be included