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The REAL cost of consultation – It is easy to forget that the biggest commitment of resources is by consultees – not consultors!

Tuesday Topic 6 tackled the thorny issue of budgeting and funding consultations. It recommended that organisations take steps to improve their accounting and monitor value for money. But this isn’t the whole story.

Far more money is spent responding to consultations than organising them.

Consider a consultation issued from a central Government department. It may consist of a written consultation paper outlining various policy options, printed and circulated in hard-copy as well as posted on the appropriate website. It may be accompanied by some Seminars, workshops, a focus group or even a Conference. All together – and excluding the cost of policy-makers deliberating over a period of time, the cost could easily be £50,000.


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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’.

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