In all this Olympic fever you may have missed the exciting news that the Cabinet Office has published new guidance on how Government departments and other public bodies do consultation. So here it is for your consumption. It won’t take long to read as it is only three pages long.
Many commentators have interpreted the new guidance as a green light to slash consultation times. But the reason that consultations can last 12 weeks is not because it takes people 12 weeks to read a consultation document and have their say. No! The reason we have fallen into a 12 week rule is because good consultation takes time to deliver and rushing it can create many problems for consultors and consultees. So be wary of using the guidance as a an excuse for slashing consultation time scales – it could come back to bite you.