Summer fun – the public affairs to-do list

Posted by: on Aug 7, 2018 | No Comments

Parliament may have risen for the summer but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t important tasks still to consider.

Whilst there are holidays to look forward to, the public affairs to-do list over the summer always seems to increase in size. There is some doubtless welcome thinking space when politicians are not around but politics as a whole does not stop. The pace may change but things are still happening.

Here are some of the things that should be on the to-do list:

  1. Final announcements – as always there is a huge swath of announcements made by Government before Parliament rose. Everything from Brexit White Papers through to the new planning policy framework, and the go-ahead for fracking. This list of announcements should be checked for relevant materials. It is all too easy to miss something when there is that much information. There are likely to be a whole host of responses required to announcements, consultations etc.
  2. Select Committees – some have announced inquiries with dates for written submissions early in September, so papers still need to be written and signed-off. Preparations for oral sessions should also be made as the notice for hearings may be pretty short once Parliament comes back. Some Committees also released reports before Parliament rose as well and these may need to be responded to.
  3. Brexit – given that there are only around 3 months left of the negotiating process, this is an area of policy that will arguably increase in speed. Not only are two White Papers now circulating but the PM appears to have announced that the DEXEU department isn’t actually in charge of the negotiations but her Europe Unit is.
  4. Silly season – the summer can be full of media stories some serious, some less so. However, none of them can be treated lightly. They still all require full attention with the reputational implications considered.
  5. Party conferences – getting all the final arrangements and double checking that everything is done is essential over the summer. Waiting until September will be too late. Leaving anything to the last minute increases the chances of something going wrong.
  6. Networking – especially during one of the best summers we seem to have had, advantage should be taken of the slightly slower pace to get some good networking done. Yes, people may be away of holiday but for those who are still around, they have a little more ‘flexibility’ in the diaries! Take advantage of it!
  7. What about you? It is quite possible that you could have announcements to make that have political implications but Ministers and their advisers could well be away. In such cases, other Ministers cover responsibilities so that government can continue to operate. So you need to think about the logistics of government as well as your own arrangements in such circumstances.
  8. Blogging (and other writing) – in theory, those of us who post regularly could use the summer to stockpile some posts or at least map out some ideas…

So there is plenty still to do despite the sunshine!

Leave a Reply