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uk consumer focused consultations December 3, 2009

Posted by Bradley in : consultation , trackback

piggy bank

I’m working on a paper on consultation at the moment. The paper really focuses on consultation in the context of transnational standard-setting, but I’m also looking at consultation in the domestic context as well. My initial starting point was that there is much more coherence in the structure and uses of consultation domestically than transnationally (and this may in fact be so in the US under the APA) but variations in consultation practice in the UK seem to shake this up a bit.

This week the UK’s BIS has published two new consultations: one on provision of financial services via post offices and the other on the role and powers of the Consumer Advocate. The post office consultation has a dedicated web page, which has a cute picture of a piggy bank (above), and a short video, and states:

We want to hear about the financial services you would like to see at your local Post Office

The other consultation doesn’t have cute pictures. The consumer advocate consultation document has a white cover, and the other one has a nice picture of a friendly looking post office worker. Both consultation periods opened yesterday, but the consumer advocate consultation runs to March 5th whereas the post office consultation closes on February 24th. The responsible ministers are different: Kevin Brennan for the consumer advocate and Peter Mandelson for the post office. So the variations could be due to the differences in the people involved, or could reflect an assessment that the post office consultation is more salient given the impending election.

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