I am today launching a review of Government consultation policy. The centrepiece of the review is the paper, published today, entitled “Effective Consultation: Asking the Right Questions, Asking the Right People, Listening to the Answers”.
Consultation helps public bodies make better-informed decisions on matters of policy and helps them improve public-service delivery. Consultation also helps improve the accountability of these bodies to the public, to business and to civil society. Government are most credible when they listen, and show that they are listening, to the customers of public services, the country’s experts, businesses, charities and NGOs and those who are most directly affected by the Government’s actions.
The code of practice on consultation has been in place since 2001 and has spread best practice across Government, facilitating effective stakeholder engagement in relation to formal, written consultations. The “Effective Consultation” paper looks to the future of Government consultation policy, asking how Departments can improve their approach to consultation.
The “Effective Consultation” paper will be placed in the Library of the House for the reference of Members and copies will be made available in the Vote Office.
The paper can be viewed at: www.consultations.gov.uk
The consultation period will run until 28 September 2007, and will be carried out in accordance with current consultation policy as set out in the Cabinet Office code of practice on consultation.