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Consultation Requirements for Policy Development

Last updated 21 Sep 2015

Best practice policy development involves consulting with the public and/or interest groups on new proposals. Consultation is important because the people affected by a policy often have more and better information about the real world impacts of policies than the government officials who are developing them.

If it is unlikely consultation will elicit useful policy-influencing information then consultation may not be appropriate. There may be cases where there are obvious adverse effects from consultation and therefore it is not appropriate. For example increasing the excise tax on cigarettes, or restricting the sale of a good may lead to stock piling of cigarettes or the soon to be prohibited good. 

This link provides information on Cabinet’s expectations for consultation with government agencies and the public/interest groups: Cabinet's Consultation Expectations.

If a RIS shows no evidence of consultation it is unlikely to meet the RIA requirements. The RIA Handbook contains a section on what type of consultation is expected and a section on how to carry out Effective Consultation.

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