1. Consultation Process
(a) Public invitation
Purpose: To give those within and
outside defence the opportunity to make their views known to those
conducting the Strategic Defence Review (SDR).
Method: The Secretary of State invited
everyone who wished to contribute to the Review to put forward
their ideas at the launch of the SDR on 28 May 1997.
Response level: Over 570 submissions
were received. Each submission was analysed to record the subjects
of concern, and circulated to the appropriate working groups for
consideration. 486 authors consented to having their submissions
made public. These were placed in the Libraries of the House and
provided on microfiche to 12 public libraries across the United
Outcomes: Views were considered and
were fed into the working groups undertaking the Review.
Purpose: To bring together a wide
range of people with an interest in defence issues to contribute
to the development of Government policy.
Method: The Secretary of State and
Ministers of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office jointly hosted
three seminars to contribute to the Strategic Defence Review to
which a wide range of academics, journalists, opposition MPs and
members of non-governmental organisations were invited.
Response level: Over 70 academics,
journalists, opposition MPs and members of non-governmental organisations
Outcomes: The views expressed offered
encouragement to thinking already being developed within the MOD
and also opened up new areas of consideration. Summaries of each
seminar were placed in the Libraries of the House and published
on the Ministry of Defence website. The assessment of the submissions
and the seminars formed part of the Strategic Defence Review White
Paper (Cm 3999) and the Strategic Defence Review Supporting Essays.
Both documents were also published on the Ministry of Defence
2. Ways in which decision-making processes
have been adapted to take account of public participation
We are currently considering ways in which we
may involve defence experts and academics from outside the Ministry
of Defence in our strategic planning process and other areas where
they may inform the policy-making process.
3. Lessons learned regarding good (and bad)
practice in consultation
The good practice we have learned is to ensure
that all organisations which may have an interest are included
in the consultation. We are considering the best practice in how
to engage those who have a substantial contribution as effectively
as possible. Details of the SDR process were published in one
of the Supporting Essays, a copy of which is enclosed for the