The obligatory public consultation process
Sir, – The tell-tale sign of non-action in Government is to have a review of strategy, with an obligatory public consultation process. The National Transport Authority launched a public consultation process on rail strategy at the end of 2016. Closing dates for submissions was January 18th. Six months later there is no sign of a report emerging from the NTA, there are no milestones or interim reports on the NTA website, and if you ask the NTA when it is going to be published, it won’t tell you.
Minister for Transport Shane Ross’s department also launched a public consultation on its greenway strategy in May of this year, and submissions for this process closed on July 14th. There is no guarantee that this review will ever see the light of day.
What needs to be done whenever a new strategy based on public consultation is going to happen is for publication dates to be published at the same time. We need a Minister to say that we are going to have a public consultation, the closing date for submissions is this date and the report will be published three months later. Putting deadlines on projects is common practice in every walk of life. It seems this is not the case in Government, where strategising and consulting is merely used as an excuse for non-action. The prevailing attitude is one of “we don’t want to do anything but would like to write a long report on what might be done”. “Kicking the can” is another term. – Yours, etc,