This Handbook is an internal government (Cabinet) guide for ministers. Its purpose is to assist ministers and officials in the preparation of matters to be dealt with at government meetings, in accordance with the principles of collective responsibility. It also offers guidance on a
number of ancillary matters. The guidelines in the Handbook may be changed by the government as they see appropriate and, where appropriate the government may decide that the guidelines (in whole or in part) do not apply in particular circumstances.