SOAD9111: A Common Error was Being Open-Ended or Vague –

Internal Code: 1IIBC Often social workers work within government (state or federal) as public servants on the development of policies that have significant impact on society.

As a public servant the primary way of informing government decision makers (Ministers or Chief Executives) is through briefing notes.

A briefing note, also known as a Ministerial Briefing, is a short document prepared by a public servant that keeps the decision maker informed about issues that they are responsible for.

In most cases the turn-around time (from request to submission) for a briefing note is less than 12 hours. Topic choice ; Gender and sextuality TITLE

  • is like a HEADLINE – introducing the Minister to the issue and getting her/his attention quickly
  • A common error was being open-ended or vague

PURPOSE ? Every point in the purpose section needs to be related to the recommendations ? is like the sub-heading – gives a very high level summary of the issue and what you are writing the briefing about and what you want the Minister to do (ie consider the policy issue /or make a decision about, or act on, the issue in the way you are going to advise in the briefing).

? You should be direct – key phrases include “To brief the Minister about” ; or “To provide the Minister with options for” or “To seek the Minister’s approval for/consideration of …” SUMMARY The Minister needs only the most important facts supporting your proposal and recommendation. Summary information must expand upon the purpose.

However in doing this, include only a summary of the key issues – the background is for supporting detail/ explanation. A common error was providing too much detail in the summary. The detail supporting the summary belongs in the background.

BACKGROUND Background should clarify, not repeat information in the summary, and providing more detailed evidence of the policy issue.

Two reasons why some background points do not adequately support the summary are: 1. The background point should have been included in the summary to begin with, but wasn’t. 2. The background point is not directly relevant to the summary point, and should not have been included at all.

A common error was including important pieces of summary information in the background information and/or the recommendations section ADVICE FROM OTHERS

  • Only list people/organisations – and their advice should only be included because it is linked to either key evidence or a preferred option for action.
  • Common errors:

No Comment.