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Your Views Matter  

What is Public Consultation?

Consultation is a two-way process for the government to seek and receive views from the business community and the general public on changes in policy or regulations that affect them directly; or in which they may have a significant interest. It is a process which provides opportunity and encourages groups and individuals to participate and give inputs in the policy or regulations development process. This allows the government to obtain feedback from and work directly with members of the wider society throughout the regulation development process to ensure that their issues and concerns are consistently understood and considered. As such, consultation needs to begin at the earliest possible time when regulations are being developed. Box 1 illustrates the different levels of consultation.

Wide consultation supplements the procedures and decisions of the Government especially at the identification and conceptualizing stage of regulation development. It helps to improve the quality of regulation and enhances the involvement of interested parties and the public at large. Consultations help regulators in developing regulations that are technically viable and practical.

Government sponsored consultations may, among others, take the form of public meetings, community workshops, focus groups and surveys as well as interactive websites and citizen’s juries.

Box 1: Different levels of engagement
Consultation may involve different levels of stakeholder participation.
  • At the lowest level, it is just to inform and educate the public on the regulations. It is to provide balanced and objective information to support understanding by the stakeholders.
  • Consultation can take on a higher level of listening to and acknowledging the stakeholders’ concerns. The objective here is to obtain feedback on analysis, the options and/or decisions.
  • The next level consultation is more of a dialogue, a two-way conversation with the stakeholders to exchange information, ideas and concerns. The objective is to work with the public to ensure concerns and aspirations are understood and considered.
  • Better still is at the level on which to have multi-groups engagement to seek advice and innovations from and amongst various stakeholders. Such engagement is to facilitate discussions and agreements between stakeholders to identify common ground for action and solutions.
  • The highest level is to work in partnership with stakeholders and the public to implement agreed-upon decisions or regulation. Here, a governance structure is created to delegate decision-making and/or work directly with stakeholders and the

Last Updated 2015-10-19 17:28:14 by admin2

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