Public Participation in Government Decision-Making: A Better Practice Guide

Public Participation in Government Decision-Making: A Better Practice Guide Adobe PDF (5 MB)

Better practice guide cover

Public participation is a critical input to government decision-making and to developing effective strategies, programs and projects. Failing to adequately engage the public risks alienating the community and creating negative impacts through poorly informed and implemented decisions.

VAGO has developed this better practice guide in order to:

  • provide a high-level framework for agencies across the public sector
    to use when deciding how best to involve the public in government decision-making and implementation
  • clearly set out the principles and elements that VAGO will use in future to audit the efficiency and effectiveness of public participation exercises.

The process of developing this guide involved extensive research and consultation. The consultation involved a range of organisations representing different public participation perspectives and experiences, including large government departments, small agencies, local government, community representative organisations and advocacy groups. It also included the public release of an exposure draft for comment. The feedback and observations received helped to shape the final version of this guide.  

Publishing this guide is the first step in VAGO’s iterative approach to highlighting better practice public participation in government decision‑making.

The principles and elements included in this guide will assist in framing a number of performance audits over coming years that will include a focus on whether agencies are efficiently and effectively engaging the public to inform government decision-making and implementation.

The examples of both good practice and areas where improvement is required will be used to update this better practice guide in future to ensure that the guidance remains as current and useful to agencies as possible.



Last updated on 10/02/2016