Help us finalise our Issues Paper
As visitors to this blog are aware, this blog offers a platform for a constant stream of comment from anyone who wishes to help us out in the comments section and/or guest post (by nomination or invitation only at this stage).
However both because some people prefer other methods of communicating and because even some commenters will want the opportunity to send us their considered and consolidated thoughts in an official submission, we have prepared an Issues Paper to introduce people to the issues as we’re seeing them now at the outset of our inquiry, and to help them make formal submissions to us.
Because we are trying to get things done at a fair clip, we are seeking submissions by start of business Monday 24th August. The Issues Paper as it now stands will be a good guide for you if you want to get cracking right now. However we’re also aware that some of you may want to comment on the issues paper itself. As such, we are releasing the issues paper as a Beta for a few days to give you the chance to help us best reflect our terms of reference in this document.
We also welcome your input to refine the discussion questions we have posed. The Issues Paper as it now stands can be found as the first item we’ve posted on the part of this site devoted to consulting on specific documents and draft documents, or you can click through to the Issues Paper directly. We’ve used the WordPress theme CommentPress to mount the Issues Paper to enable you to comment paragraph by paragraph. Please bear with us if and please contact us on the contact email below if you notice any bugs. We will be posting our current draft of the Issues Paper in .doc and .rtf formats very soon.
Feel free to tell us whether you think we’ve done a good job or not and why. But unless you uncover any major problems, because of time constraints, we are not contemplating any major re-writes.
If you think we could improve a section, please suggest how. If we’ve blundered on some matter of fact or interpretation, please tell us where and (even better) how we can fix it. If we’ve left something out that is sufficiently important to go into the paper, please tell us what and how to put it right. But remember two things. Firstly this exercise is not about debating the substantive issues; it’s about identifying and introducing them, and in ensuring we’ve posed the questions the way we should have. And secondly it’s not about mentioning every possible issue or question. Indeed, we have already culled about one quarter of the questions in an earlier draft. The role of the Issues Paper is to be a reasonably concise guide to the issues and prompt for those contemplating making formal submissions.
We intend to post the final Issues Paper by start of business on Thursday 23rd July 2009.
Postscript: I’ve just noticed that the CommentPress format makes it difficult to format ‘boxes’. The Issues Paper has several boxes including for instance a box on “Apps for Democracy”. This is not clear from the formatting on CommentPress, but it is in the documents we intend to publish. If you are in doubt, please check the paper in a paper bound format.