Be clear about what your proposals are, who may be affected, what questions are being asked and the timescale for responses.
From E-Consultation Guide
Criterion 2: Be clear about what your proposals are, who may be affected, what questions are being asked and the timescale for responses.
- Ask focused questions, and be clear about the areas of policy on which you are seeking views. Responses that do not refer to the specific questions asked should still be accepted. Encourage respondents to provide evidence, where appropriate, to support their responses.
- Explicitly state any assumptions made about those who are likely to be affected by the proposed policy. Encourage respondents to challenge these assumptions.
- As far as possible, consultation should be completely open, with no options ruled out. However, if there are things that cannot be changed because, for example, they are part of a European Directive or due to prior Ministerial commitments, then make this clear. The risks and consequences of doing nothing should be outlined.
- If there are particular areas where respondents’ input would be especially valuable, make this clear as well. Responses are likely to be more useful and focused if the respondents know where to concentrate their efforts.
- Representative groups should be asked when responding to give a summary of the people and organisations they represent.
- Provide a list of consultees as an annexe to your consultation document and ask for suggestions of other interested parties who should be consulted. It may also be helpful to refer to any earlier or informal consultation.
- Clearly state the deadline for responses and any alternative ways of contributing to the process in the consultation document.
- Explicitly state both who to respond to and who to direct queries to, giving a name, address, telephone number and e-mail address. This may be the same person.