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Public Bodies: Public Participation

Volume 477: debated on Friday 20 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what guidance his Department has issued on the (a) minimum and (b) maximum periods for written consultations by public bodies. (210833)

The Government has a code of practice on consultation which sets out how central Government's formal, written consultation exercises should be run. The first criterion of the code states that such consultation exercises should last for a minimum of 12 weeks. The code acknowledges that there will sometimes be circumstances that require a consultation period of less than 12 weeks but states that this should be the exception and should be avoided wherever possible.

No guidance exists on maximum periods for written consultations.

Public bodies outside of central Government are free to adopt their own approaches to consultation.