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Parliamentary Counsel

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Importance of good communications

The principal and essential requirement for an efficient partnership between Counsel and a departmental team is good communications. This involves the acceptance of reciprocal requirements both the department and for Counsel.

Requirements from the department

Here is what the department need to do—

Requirements from Counsel in OPC

Here is what Counsel in OPC need to do—

Requirements from both the department and Counsel

It is important that Counsel and the department keep each other informed, at the earliest opportunity, of any matter affecting the planning and deadlines for a legislative project, including—

Sometimes Counsel is the first to hear about something, and often it is the department who hear first. So there needs to be a system for the OPC team and the departmental team to keep each other informed.


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  1. An attempt to draft for a policy that is uncertain is likely to produce a draft that is unclear.
  2. It is only appropriate to volunteer an explanation of drafting decisions (for which Counsel needs to accept responsibility) where it is necessary to do so to check that the instructions have been properly understood or, more rarely, where there are other reasons why an explanation would help the department to do their part of the job on the Bill.

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