This is the seventh and final guide in our series of Good Decision-Making Guides for Public Bodies. Throughout these Guides we have highlighted what is best practice in decision-making and have offered simple and practical tips to reduce the risk of challenge to your decisions.
In this final Guide, we provide a list of the bare essentials for making a decision. You can use this list as a starting point for making decisions and can adapt it to suit your organisation's decision-making process.
We hope you found this series useful. If you have any questions on any aspect of your organisation's decision-making procedures.
DECISION-MAKING: THE BARE ESSENTIALS
This checklist provides a starting point for making decisions. Adapt it as necessary.
|Have you examined the source of your decision-making power to ascertain what you can and cannot do?|
|Have you considered the various steps in the decision-making process and planned how to act in a way that is procedurally fair at every stage?|
|Do you need to hold an oral hearing? If so, will you permit legal representation, the calling of witnesses, and cross-examination?|
|Can you delegate the power to make the decision?|
|Is the decision one that can be delegated?|
|Is the proposed delegatee someone of the appropriate level and seniority?|
|Have you considered whether any circumstances might give rise to a perception of bias?|
|Does the person who will be affected by the decision know the case against him/her?|
|Have you provided him/her with all the relevant material?|
|Have you given him/her a reasonable opportunity to make his/her case?|
|Have you afforded all sides the same rights?|
|USING POLICIES OR GUIDELINES|
|Does your organisation have a policy/guideline on the issue in question?|
|Is the person who will be affected by your decision aware of the policy/guideline?|
|Have you directed your mind to the facts of the case and considered it on its merits?|
|MAKING YOUR DECISION|
|Do you have all the information you need? Have you properly assessed this information?|
|Are the facts on which you propose to base your decision accurate and up to date?|
|Is your decision reasonable? Have you applied logical and rational principles?|
|Is your decision proportionate?|
|Have you complied with any specific legal or procedural requirements?|
|Have you given reasons for your final decision? Do the reasons refer to the facts of the case and any policy/guideline you relied on?|
|Are the reasons clear and intelligible?|
|Have you maintained a written record
This article contains a general summary of developments and is not a complete or definitive statement of the law. Specific legal advice should be obtained where appropriate.