JSB178 Week Nine Lecture Notes
What is Consultation?
Giving information to other people.
Finding out other people’s opinions and knowledge on a particular subject.
Discussing solutions and options.
Providing reasons for possible decisions.
All taking place prior to making a decision.
Objectives of Consultation
Supporting democratic values.
Building consensus and political support.
Improving regulatory quality through information collection.
Reducing regulatory costs on enterprises, citizens and administrations.
Carrying out strategic agendas.
Types of Consultation
Information – one way provision of information.
E.g. information about a new law or administrative arrangement. Not strictly consultation as you are not
seeking their opinion.
Consultation – seeking input from others but retaining the control of the decision making. This is the normal
form of consultation.
Partnership – working in cooperation so that the other parties have a say in decision making as well as
having input. Most advisory boards work on this basis, although the majority can only make
recommendations rather than exercise discretion.
Delegation – giving the decision making power to another body, such as a statutory authority. In this way
the government sets the agenda through the enabling legislation but the decisions are made by the
authority or official (usually an expert).
Control – giving outsiders the full decision making power such as a referendum.
Techniques of Consultation
Which type of consultation would be involved in each of the following:
Public information campaigns – Information.
Focus groups – Information.
Surveys – Consultation.
Issues paper seeking public comment (Green paper) – Consultation.
Advisory committees – Partnership.
Interest group meetings – Consultation.
Privatisation – Control.
White paper – Information.
Town hall meetings – Consultation.
Public inquiries – Delegation.
Citizen’s advisory committees – Partnership.
Policy communities – Partnership.
Referenda – Control.
Who do you talk to?
Other people with experience in the issue within your agency.
Other sections of your agency that are stakeholders. Other sections of your agency that support your activities with expertise or resources, such as legal unit, HR
Overall management units such as the Cabinet Legislation and Liaison Officer to coordinate your actions
with the agencies agenda.
External but within the Government
Partnership agencies in the project.
Other agencies that may become stakeholders but are note partners, to ensure they are not adversely
Agencies that provide expertise in your area.
Agencies that liaise with key stakeholder groups that may be affected e.g. multicultural affairs.
Coordination agencies such as Premiers or Treasury.
Agencies from other jurisdictions who may be affected or have a say in your project, such as the
Commonwealth Attorney-General or Federal Police.
External to Government
Individuals directly affected by the proposal.
Peak bodies for stakeholder groups.
Key interest groups who deal in the area of your proposal such as victims or crime.
Professional bodies that work in the area you are dealing with such as Bar Association or Police Union.
Commercial interests in your area such as Interpreters Agencies, where they will be affected.
People with expertise in the field either from academia or the private sector.
Occasionally the local member for the geographic area affected.
Some consultation methods do not deal with individual issues but provide open access to the government
Letters to departments
Community cabinet meetings
Ministerial community forums
Letters to Departments
Anyone can write to a department to express an opinion or ask a question.
Most departments now have automatic email services on their websites.
Agencies must reply.
These form a useful source of information on community concerns and may be a useful source of feedback.
This is an electronic method of providing an agency with feedback – people having a say over the internet.
Community Cabinet Meetings
While cabinet meetings are not open to the public, Community Cabinet meetings give citizens an
opportunity to meet with Cabinet members in person and have their questions answered.
The Premier, Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Chief Executive Officers of government departments
travel to any location in Queensland including regional areas generally every three to four weeks for a
Community Cabinet commences on a Sunday at 1.00 pm and generally finishes at 6.00 pm. For the first hour,
a community forum open to the public is held. The Premier speaks and individu