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Departmental Publications

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 6 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what his practice is regarding meeting, discussions with and taking into account the views and opinions of (a) private individuals and (b) representatives of organisations when drawing up and framing legislation to be introduced by his Department; and if he will make a statement. (81637)

The Northern Ireland Office and the Northern Ireland Departments seek a range of views when drawing up and framing legislation. Consultation is a key part of the policy-making process, both informal and formal. Each department holds regular meetings with its principal stakeholder groups and with relevant experts. Organisations and individuals can also contribute to the Departments’ formal consultations which abide by the code of conduct on consultation. Known stakeholders are alerted to the fact that a formal consultation is taking place. As required by the code, the relevant Department then gives feedback on the responses received.