Consultation exercises normally begin with publication of a consultation paper in which Defra invites comment from stakeholders on a policy issue, legislative or other proposal.
We have reorganised our consultations by grouping them into the following main areas:
NOTE: we only retain consultations for one year this section of the website - see list of consultations older than one year.
Consultations are carried out in accordance with the Cabinet Office Code of Practice on Written Consultation. The consultation period will normally last a minimum of 12 weeks, although there are circumstances in which shorter consultations will be unavoidable (e.g. where tight timescales are dictated by EU processes). A full/partial Impact Assessment will be included as part of the consultation where proposals may create burdens for business - for further information go to: www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/bre/consultation-guidance/page44420.html
Once the consultation has closed, all comments will be carefully considered by Defra in developing its policies, plans for legislation etc. After this stage, a summary of responses to the consultation will be made publicly available on the Defra website.
Defra intends to publish the summary of responses within three months of the consultation closing It is after this that your reply will be made publicly available. Please see the section on Freedom of Information in the BIS consultation guidance for more information.
You should also be aware that there may be circumstances in which Defra will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations.
The main Departmental library is at the Information Resource Centre (IRC) at Ergon House, c/o 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR (Telephone 020 7238 6575) and will supply, on request, copies of responses to personal callers or telephone enquirers. For those wishing to obtain copies of comments, an administrative charge to cover copying and postage will be made. To enable requests to be dealt with efficiently and to avoid delay for those calling at the Library in person, it would be appreciated if personal callers could give the Library at least 24 hours' notice of their requirements.
- Criterion one - When to consult
Formal consultation should take place at a stage when there is scope to influence the policy outcome.
- Criterion two - Duration of consultation exercises
Consultations should normally last for at least 12 weeks with consideration given to longer timescales where feasible and sensible.
- Criterion three - Clarity of scope and impact
Consultation documents should be clear about the consultation process, what is being proposed, the scope to influence and the expected costs and benefits of the proposals.
- Criterion four - Accessibility of consultation exercises
Consultation exercises should be designed to be accessible to, and clearly targeted at, those people the exercise is intended to reach.
- Criterion five - The burden of consultation
Keeping the burden of consultation to a minimum is essential if consultations are to be effective and if consultees’ buy-in to the process is to be obtained.
- Criterion six - Responsiveness of consultation exercises
Consultation responses should be analysed carefully and clear feedback should be provided to participants following the consultation.
- Criterion seven - Capacity to consult
Officials running consultations should seek guidance in how to run an effective consultation exercise and share what they have learned from the experience.
All consultation documents are published in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format PDF.
Page last modified: 12 January 2010
Page published: 27 August 2009