UK Government code of practice for consultations

Government code of practice (12 pages, PDF) for the conduct of consultation processes.

Comment, July 2008

The document does not go into depth. For example, it enjoins authorities to “be clear about what your proposals are, who may be affected, what questions are being asked”, but does not comment on the level of detail about the proposals that is needed before a fair consultation can be conducted. Indeed, the requirement at paragraph 2.3 that “as far as possible, consultation should be completely open, with no options ruled out” seems to encourage unspecific proposals and the raising of broad issues and questions.

My overall impression is that this document is too vague. And it has not been updated since 2005. Departments facing difficult or contentious issues in the organisation of consultations probably find themselves having to refer to the case law (including the 2007 Greenpeace case) rather than this code of practice. Franck

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under DTI/BERR, Guidance.

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