CPJ's Advocacy Toolkit / Table of Contents
Civil servants are an important part of the policy process. They play a key role in preparing options beforehand. Once legislation is passed, it is up to the appropriate department to implement these changes.
There are several reasons to contact a civil servant. The department may delay the implementation of important legislation. You may also have concerns about the way in which the legislation is implemented. In these cases, it may be helpful to contact a civil servant who can put the legislation into action in the desired way.
Finding the right contact
The best way to find out who to contact is by looking at an organizational chart for the government department. This chart can be found at most departmental websites, which are under “Departments and Agencies.” Study the chart and try to identify the person who will most likely be carrying the file you are interested in. If the organizational chart does not include names, you can find the given person’s name through the Government Employee Directory.
If you are still unsure of who to contact, call the Minister’s office to find out who carries the file.
Setting up a meeting
The key to securing, and successfully carrying out, a meeting with a civil servant is doing your homework.
Find out as much as you can about what that person’s responsibility is regarding your issue. Time your request according to when the official will be dealing with the particular file you are interested in.