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seConsult provides a weekly update on all consultations begining and ending that week.
Consultation is an essential and important aspect of Scottish Government working methods. Given the wide-ranging areas of work of the Scottish Government, there are many varied types of consultation.
However, in general consultation exercises aim to provide opportunities for all those who wish to express their opinions on a proposed area of work to do so in ways which will inform and enhance that work.
Consultation exercises may involve seeking views in a number of different ways, such as written papers, public meetings, focus groups, questionnaire exercises or on-line discussion forums.
While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may eventually inform the policy process, consultation exercises can not address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant Scottish Executive department or public body.
Typically consultations involve a written paper inviting answers to specific questions or more general views about the material presented. Written papers are distributed to organisations and individuals with an interest in the area of consultation, and they are also posted under the current consultations section of this website, enabling a wider audience to access the paper and submit their responses. The Government has an email alert system for consultations (SEConsult). It allows individuals and organisations to register and receive a weekly email containing details of new consultations (including web links) and those about to end.
Copies of non-confidential responses to consultations are normally published in the Publications section of the Scottish Government website.
The views and suggestions detailed in consultation responses are analysed and used as part of the decision-making process. Depending on the nature of the consultation exercise, the responses received may:
- indicate the need for further policy development or review
- inform the development of a particular policy
- help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals
- be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented
Within the consultation section of the Scottish Government website there is a full list of all closed consultations and a listing of forthcoming consultations. The 'closed' section will, in the future, provide details about the outcome of consultations and have links to any reports produced from the consultation exercise.
If you have any queries about the consultation process please contact:
Good Practice Guidance for Scottish Government staff