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Consultation – the best form of scrutiny? – Asking citizens and customers, and making their views highly visible, might do more good than a tick-box Inspection process

Consultation is used to fulfil many objectives…….probably far too many; it’s one of the problems that leads to unwarranted expectations.

One role, however, that is seldom exploited sufficiently, but may be poised for greater significance, is that of acting as a check upon the executive.

Here’s how. In the last ten years we’ve seen a period of intense target-setting by Central Government, convinced that the best way to secure performance improvements in public bodies was to focus them on some very specific numbers. Gradually, this regime was relaxed and better Councils, for example, were excused some of the more stringent requirements.


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About the Author

Rhion Jones is considered a leading authority on Public Engagement and Consultation. A founding Director of the Consultation Institute, he is co-author of “The Art of Consultation” (2009) and “The Politics of Consultation” (2018). He has delivered over 500 training courses and Masterclasses and is a prolific writer on the subject, having written over 350 different Topic papers and over 50 full Briefing Papers for the Institute. Since 2003 over 15,000 person-days of training based on courses he invented have been delivered. Rhion is in demand as an entertaining Keynote Speaker and Special Adviser, particularly on the Law of Consultation, and its implications for Government and other Public Bodies. In 2017, he was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.

Read more about Rhion

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