Just a quick note this.
I have not had sufficient time to review the full policy document, however I am aware – and from my cursory reading support – that criticisms have been made regarding it.
Personally, I was surprised that a document supposedly developed for public consultation stated quite blatantly on the front cover that the policy was to come into effect on December 1st (the ‘consultation’ document being issued in October).
To me that sent the wrong message regarding consultation. It gave the impression that no matter what, the policy is coming into effect on December 1st, and the ‘consultation’ was merely a formality. It wasn’t a proper consultation, but an exercise in a fait accompli.
For a true public consultation a second policy document, incorporating the consultative feedback, would have been required before the policy came into effect. At best the document could have stated approximate timelines, not a concrete date within which it was pretty much impossible to ensure adequate feedback, rewriting and subsequent issuing of the final version.
Granted, you’re not going to get a document that everyone agrees with, but if you’re going to issue something for public consultation, it should be done properly.