In 2020, each Ministers’ mandate letter laid out the expectation that all elected representatives ‘build thoughtful and sustained relationships through public and stakeholder engagement plans that connect with people to incorporate their perspectives early in the policy development process. These plans must include measurable outcomes and ensure active dialogue and ongoing outreach in your ministry’s actions and priorities’.
In order to achieve this goal and before getting started, it is important to know there are 5 REQUIREMENTS for BC government public engagement:
- Before beginning any type of public engagement, Ministry staff must inform their Ministry Government Communications (GCPE) Director and the Director of Citizen Engagement at Government Digital Experience (GDX) about their desire or need to conduct public engagement. This is written into Core Policy, Section 22.3 and applies to all methods of public engagement, whether it is online or faceto-face, or both. The intent of this policy is to ensure there is central co-ordination of all public engagement activities, use of corporately approved tools and a consistent and government branded citizen experience.
- Ministries must alert the GCPE Communications shop and Citizen Engagement Team about a public engagement at least 6 – 8 weeks prior to launch to allow for adequate planning time. Engagements coming forward with shorter time frames, such as a week or two weeks, will not proceed. Exceptions may be made by ADMs, in rare cases.
- Public engagement in the B.C. government must be done using corporately approved and managed software, tools and technology and contractors. Exceptions or pilot projects must first be approved by GCPE and GDX, prior to going out to tender, and prior to Ministries having any conversations with vendors or contractors about purchasing or licensing.
- All B.C. government public engagement opportunities must be posted on govTogetherBC – B.C.’s central hub for all public engagement activities.
- You must hire from the Citizen Engagement Request for Standard Arrangement for Public Engagement Services list if you are seeking a company to do public engagement on behalf of the province.