Give feedback regarding the responses received and how the consultation process influenced the policy.
From E-Consultation Guide
Criterion 4: Give feedback regarding the responses received and how the consultation process influenced the policy.
- Responses should be carefully and open-mindedly analysed. Do not simply count votes when analysing responses. Particular attention may need to be given to representative bodies, such as business associations, trade unions, voluntary and consumer groups and other organisations representing groups especially affected. In order to ensure that responses are analysed correctly, it is important to understand whom different bodies represent, and the methodology used to gain members’ input into the response.
- Particular attention should be paid to:
- possible new approaches to the question consulted on;
- further evidence of the impact of the proposals; and
- strength of feeling among particular groups.
- The consultation document should state the date when, and the web address where, the summary of responses will be published. As far as possible this should be within three months of the closing date of the consultation. Those without web access should be able to request a paper copy of this summary. Feedback should also be available in formats which are appropriate to the audience.
- The summary should give an analysis of the responses to questions asked: for each question there should be a summary of responses to that question and then an explanation of how it is proposed to change the proposal in light of the responses received. There should also be information provided on themes that came out of the consultation which were not covered by the questions.
- Wherever possible the summary of responses should also include a summary of the next steps for the policy, including reasons for decisions taken.
- Explain that information provided in response will be dealt with in accordance with the access to information regimes. These are primarily the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and the Environmental Information Regulations (2004). Please refer to the accompanying Guidance on the Code of Practice on Consultation http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/regulation/consultation/index.asp for more information.
- When providing copies of responses, it is legitimate to make a reasonable charge for copying and postage.