As one tool in the armoury of government to solve policy problems, enacting legislation can be costly, politically driven and lengthy to implement. Specialists within government who are responsible for the processes behind legislative reform need to determine if and when legislation is the right tool to solve a policy problem. This means that problem identification is the first step, and must be taken before thinking about how prescriptive the legislation should be and how it will reflect the needs and desires of relevant stakeholders.
With enough time and resources, engagement can be a hugely effective tool to employ. How we are engaging is changing and it is interesting to see how online and cross channel approaches can be successful. Formulating advice and presenting information fairly is essential when considering what approach legislation should take. The pursuit lies in achieving “true” engagement, where stakeholders are genuinely involved in the consultation process.
Ideally, legislative reform is done on a proactive basis, and as above, involves true understanding and consultation. However, the reality can often be different, and change often comes about from political and media pressure. The political backdrop for legislative reform is an ongoing requirement, and there are consequences and ramifications of using legislation in a knee-jerk political situation. So with this said, what are the strategies and approaches legislation specialists can take in such situations to still try and achieve the right outcomes?
With all of these challenges considered, the New Approaches to Legislative Reform conference will be the first government forum for legal and policy specialists to gather together and share solutions and best practices. Don’t miss your opportunity to network across state and federal departments and agencies involved in legislative reform.