Memorandum by the Department of Trade
Thank you for your letter of 16 February seeking
information on innovative approaches to public consultation.
The Department has conducted over 175 consultations
since May 1997. Our work is very diverse and these have ranged
from extensive consultations on issues of wide public interest
to small consultations on technical issues. Approaches are varied,
therefore, according to the differing circumstances of each, but
the Cabinet Office guidance on conducting written consultation
exercises is readily available to staff on the Department's intranet
system. We are now looking at using the intranet to help staff
involved in consultations to network and spread best practice
I attach a paper giving details of a sample
of consultations conducted by the Department in recent years which
I think brings out this diversity and illustrates our firm commitment
to involving outside interests in the decision making process.
The extensive use of the Internet and electronic mail to improve
accessibility and speed is particularly noteworthy. This can be
vital, especially when there are unavoidable time pressures on
the process. The Department has recently created an index of current
(and some completed) consultations on its web-site with direct
links to the consultation documents (http://www.dti.gov.uk/consultations).
Rt Hon Stephen Byers MP
Secretary of State