More Public Engagement Needed in Policy Making
In May 2013, the House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee released a report recommending greater public engagement with policy-making.
It states that ‘Whitehall does not have a monopoly on policy-making expertise’ and that ‘the Civil Service would no longer to be the sole source of policy advice’.
Clearly, ultimate responsibility and accountability would remain with Ministers and senior civil servants. But the report recommends what it calls a ‘wiki’ approach to policy: one in which public contributions are sought and welcome at all stages of the policy cycle.
This engagement would be carried out through consultation between Ministers, civil servants and the public through social media and other forums. However, caution was expressed that consultation entirely through social media would exclude large proportion of the population. The report also cautions that policy-making processes must not be dominated by powerful vested interests.
Thumbnail image: The House of Commons, 2013. Credit: Catherine Bebbington, UK Parliament