Public Consultation On Guiding Principles for Public Engagement

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr. Brendan Howlin T.D., recently published proposed Principles based Guidelines which aim to foster greater citizen consultation and involvement in policy and service development to strengthen democracy and improve public services.

A four week consultation process was initiated on the draft Guidelines - and there is still time to add your voice too. 

Anyone wishing to submit their views may do so by forwarding them to  by Friday 18 September 2015. 

Deadline for submissions: Friday, 18 September 2015

All submissions will be considered, may be published on the Department’s website and will be subject to Freedom of Information legislation.  It is proposed, following the consultation process, to submit the draft Guidelines resulting from the consultation process to the Government in the Autumn, for final approval.


review of national and international guidelines was carried out. This included an examination of the Codes of Practice/Guidance on Consultation, and Consultation Principles in place in the UK, Australia, and Canada as well as those produced by the Council of Europe, the OECD, and the European Commission.  A principles based approach to public consultation is advocated by these administrations and institutions. The review informed the development of the draft guidelines setting out the principles to inform engagement by Government departments and other public bodies with stakeholders and citizens when developing policy, services and legislation.

Key Principles

In summary, the key principles are:

  • Consultation with citizens must be genuine, meaningful, timely, balanced and with the ultimate objective of leading to better outcomes and greater understanding by all involved of the benefits and consequences of proceeding with a particular policy or legislation proposals.
  • Consultation should be targeted at and easily accessible to those with a clear interest in the policy in question.
  • In the case of significant policy, services or legislative proposals, public bodies should make systematic efforts to ensure that interested and affected parties have the opportunity to take part in open consultations at all stages of the policy process: development, implementation, evaluation, and review.