Online community engagement policy
The policy reaffirms the Queensland Government's commitment to using new and emerging information and communication technologies (ICT) to improve community outcomes and increase the community's participation in government decision making.
Online community engagement refers to any form of community engagement with members of the public that occurs through the online channel.
The policy applies to all departments conducting major policy consultation exercises. Policy consultations are those community engagement activities where there is a genuine opportunity for citizens to contribute to the development, implementation, evaluation or review of public policy or legislation.
The following are outside the scope of this policy:
- consultation exercises being run internal to government, or where the input of the general public will not be sought
- statistical market research
- the selection and management of social media (refer to the social media principles).
Public participation in government decision making is a vital component in a strong representative democracy. The Queensland Government supports the use of online community engagement as an integral part of the development, implementation and evaluation of its policies, programs and services. Online engagement activities should not be considered to be reaching and capturing the views of all sectors of the community or to catering to all people's preferences for engagement.
The online channel is the preferred method for community access to government services and offers many benefits in terms of its reach and ease of access for people who may otherwise not participate in government decision making.
Through the application of this policy, the following benefits can be expected:
- reduced barriers to entry for the use of online consultation by government agencies
- increased levels of participation by the community in government consultation
- more informed consideration of major public policy by the Queensland Government based on the opinions and perspectives of the broader community
- increased transparency of the public policy consultation processes of the Queensland Government.
Policy requirement 1:
Agencies must use the Get Involved Online Consultation Toolkit for every major public policy consultation exercise
The Get Involved Online Consultation Toolkit provides a mechanism for the community to participate in the public policy consultation exercises of the Queensland Government and must be used as part of agencies' online community engagement process for major public policy consultation exercises..
In line with Smart Service Queensland's service delivery mandate, agencies are required to use these tools to complement their community engagement activities or prepare a supporting business case and gain an exception to this policy using the normal QGEA exception process (QGCIO portal registration required to access).
Offline community engagement techniques must complement those used online to cater for a diverse range of engagement needs and preferences.
The policy comes into effect from the date of approval. The policy requirements are supported by best practice guidance in the Online community engagement guideline.
Issue and review
This QGEA policy is published within the QGEA and is administered by the ICT Policy and Coordination Office. It was developed in collaboration with the Queensland Government agencies by Smart Service Queensland and endorsed by the Queensland Government Chief Information Officer on 22 December 2010.
This QGEA policy will be reviewed on a biennial basis. The next review date is December 2012.
Online community engagement policy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence. To attribute this material, cite the Queensland Department of Public Works.