Making Policy: A Guide to How the Federal Government Works
The purpose of this guide is to provide you with an up-to-date overview – and inside perspective – of how the federal government works, with particular reference to the policy and decision-making process, and suggestions for how to you can contribute to it. Our perspective is based on forty years of work as a policy and strategy consultant to departments, central agencies and external stakeholders, plus continuous monitoring, and contributions from you, the reader.
This edition incorporates the changes made by the Government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau since coming into office in November 2015.
Policy and decision-making processes happen in an environment that is as much a dynamic marketplace as a planned system. It has rules and expectations for roles and process, but these can be abbreviated or altered by the Government to suit the task at hand. It is always in the throes of important changes – particularly in priorities, funding and responsibilities – and usually without much public notice.
Only a few people are in the room when Cabinet Ministers consider and decide on the proposals brought to the table by their colleagues. Many with that experience leave the government and make their living by trading that knowledge carefully.
Available in English or French.