Consultation - why we do it and how we use it

Updated: 18 Nov 2018
A consultation is a procedure which enables the public and relevant organisations to help to develop housing strategies and solve problems. The idea is to involve everyone who is affected by the issue and who wants to help find the best solution. Sometimes a consultation will not address a specific problem, but will simply want feedback and opinions on a topic.

Current consultations

Consultation Closing date Documents
Consultation on our draft Community Involvement Strategy 2018-2023
We are commencing a 12 week consultation process for the draft Community Involvement Strategy 2018-2023. The purpose of this consultation is to give you the opportunity to have your voice heard.‎
Throughout the life of the strategy we aim to Promote Community Involvement across all our communities and Enable our communities to challenge, influence and shape our housing service.
We need to hear your voice as your opinions; views and comments are valued and will help us shape the direction of travel for our Community Involvement Strategy over the next 5 years.
If you would like to express your views on the draft Community Involvement Strategy 2018-2023 please contact Naoimh McArdle-McFall, Community Involvement Officer, in writing at the below address:
Naoimh McArdle McFall
Community Involvement Officer
Community Cohesion Unit
2nd Floor
2 Adelaide Street
Belfast
BT2 8PB
Or via email: Naoimh.McArdleMcFall@nihe.gov.uk
18th October 2018
Consultation on our draft Corporate Plan 2017/18 -2020/21
Consultation on our draft Corporate Plan 2017/18 -2020/21 has been extended to Monday 27 August 2018.
The Plan is supported by one year business plans and you will find the 2017/18 business plan on the consultation link on our website.  The  2018/19 business plan will be included on our website once all approvals have been received.       
The Plan articulates our vision, priorities and outcomes over the period and includes ways that we will measure success in delivering our four outcomes.  We hope this easy to read format signposts you quickly to the information that you need.  
Please let us know what changes or additions you feel are required to our priorities, we really do appreciate the time you take to give us feedback.
Your comments should be emailed to janet.thomas@nihe.gov.uk
If you would like more information please contact Janet Thomas, our Assistant Director (A), Corporate Strategy and Planning on 028 9598 2554.
27 August 2018
We advise of any new consultations through our Twitter account or Facebook page so you may want to follow them.

Codes of practice on government consultation

The code of practice applies to all UK public consultations by government departments and agencies, including consultations on EU directives.
Though the code does not have legal force, and cannot prevail over statutory or other mandatory external requirements (e.g. under European Community Law), it should otherwise generally be regarded as binding unless Ministers conclude that exceptional circumstances require a departure.
The code contains six criteria. They should be reproduced in all consultation documents. There should be an explanation of any departure from the criteria and confirmation that they have otherwise been followed.
We adhere to the Code of Practice in all our consultations.

The procedure

When consultation is needed a consultation document is created by the appropriate department. This outlines the topics for discussion and invites views from individuals and groups. Some consultations are aimed at councils or other government bodies. Non-governmental organisations such as charities or community groups may also be asked to take part. The public are always free to contribute to consultations.
Consultations usually last around 3 months, though in some cases they can be open for as little as 6-8 weeks. Consultation periods are generally longer where councils are involved, in order to allow time for the consultation to be added to the relevant agenda.
Once the consultation has been completed, the information is used to create a policy document.
If we feel that a consultation is particularly important to householders we will write to you about it, for example if it deals with your neighbourhood. Some consultations are aimed more at organisations, dealing with topics like homelessness or rural housing. However, we welcome all input.