Transparency is another defining characteristic of good consultations. Participants generally felt that consultations are more transparent today than in the past. Transparency is imoprtant for keeping up to date with government thinking, as well as for maintaining trust in the process.
I know the European Parliament was very good about trying to be as open and published as many drafts as they could on the way. [...] Now, nearly every version goes online as soon as those discussions are happening for every adjusted proposal. In a way, it’s super transparent.’ [SH15]
Transparency about consultation processes and outcomes is valued by participants, but understanding submissions and how they are accounted for is also really important.
[Transparency] is particularly important for industry organisations, because there is, perhaps, a feeling that industry is somehow getting an unfair sway in the consultation process. But if you look at the figures that have just been published, last week, from the Department of International Trade, on the trade negotiations, they have broken down, very clearly, the differences between industry responses, individual responses, and then group, organised responses from coercive interests. That is really helpful, because people can start seeing where these things are actually coming from. [SH9]
I think it also helps if consultation responses are then put up on the internet so that people can see each other's replies and not just a summary. [SH6]