3.1 Considerations to be made
Decision-makers need take into account all relevant considerations. The decision-maker cannot merely ‘rubber-stamp’ the advice or recommendation they receive from elsewhere.
Relevant considerations include:
- making sure that information and the facts relied on are accurate and up-to-date
- if the information needed to make the decision is missing, the decision-maker must make sure they obtain it from those they should be consulting
- following any guidance or points of reference in place within the public body which relate to the way the decision has to be made (i.e. internal processes)
- where representations have been made regarding the decision, they should, where appropriate, be taken into account
- consultations should take place as required
- if there is missing information, every effort should be made to obtain it
- whether the decision affects an individual’s human rights.
Factors incorporating the decision-making process are important and the decision-maker must be able to demonstrate that they have properly considered all relevant factors following due process. A decision-maker should be able to provide evidence of how the decision was made, on what grounds and what factors were taken into consideration.
Any consideration of irrelevant factors, failure to consider all relevant factors or failure to follow due process will provide a basis on which challenges can be made (or provide a basis for a request for clarification before a challenge is made).