SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
(a) We recommend that
all departments, agencies and public bodies should formally record
in their consultation exercises that they have adhered to the
Cabinet Office Code of Conduct on written consultation (paragraph
(b) We recommend that
the Government consider introducing legislation to replace the
multiplicity of statutory requirements to consult with an overarching
framework (paragraph 37).
(c) We recommend that
the Cabinet Office produce a list of cases where there is such
an obligation to consult (paragraph 37).
(d) We support the
idea of a competitive fund for sponsoring innovation in consultation
at both national and local level (paragraph 43).
(e) We believe that
any strategy for increasing electoral participation at local level
will have to include consideration of the local electoral system
(f) We recommend that
the remit of the Electoral Commission should be extended to allow
it to issue a code governing the conduct of local referendums,
and their validation. Government should also clarify the powers
of local authorities to hold referendums (paragraph 47).
(g) We believe that
deliberative techniques should be routinely employed to explore
the views of citizens on appropriate issues of scientific uncertainty(paragraph
(h) We would like
the Cabinet Office to consider how the People's Panel could be
more innovative and distinctive, as well as to keep its usefulness
under continuous review (paragraph 70).
(i) We recommend that
all public authorities should have access to a code of guidance
which expresses the fundamental importance of involving the public
in decision-making wherever and however it can be made feasible
at reasonable cost and in a timely and responsible manner. The
Cabinet Office should take on responsibility for compiling this
simpler and more general set of obligations, ideally formulated
around a number of basic principles, whose derived implications
in particular contexts could be spelt out in more detail either
by other central departments giving guidance to local councils
or health bodies, or by local bodies themselves (paragraph 76).
(j) We believe that
it would be helpful if a Public Participation Unit was established
in the Cabinet Office as a single clear focus for public participation
across government. (Paragraph 76).
(k) We recommend that
a connected approach designed to acquaint people working at all
levels of government with the best current practice can play a
useful role. The Office of the e-Envoy within the Cabinet Office
is best placed to take on this mission, working in close collaboration
with Cabinet Office colleagues promoting public consultation and
the positive development of political participation (paragraph
(l) We recommend that
central government work closely in partnership with other bodies
(such as the Local Government Association, IDeA and so on) to
disseminate information about good practice, to help authorities
avoid 'reinventing the wheel', and to strengthen the training
in participation models available for staff - especially knowledge
of more deliberative methods (paragraph 79).