Government consultations are sounding exercises on the possibility of a government policy or a change in policy.

They can be formal or informal, inviting views from interested groups and individuals, and may take the form of a series of open questions put to the consultee.

In some cases, the consultees for changes in the law or regulation are set out by Act of Parliament.

The Government may publish a response to the consultation or it may use the information collected to develop, modify or terminate a policy.