Civil servants are an important, yet often overlooked, part of the policy process. Once legislation is passed, it is up to the appropriate department to carry it out.
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 official you’re looking for
The best way to find out whom 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” at www.gc.ca. 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 whom 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 to do 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’re interested in.
- Getting started
- Developing an Advocacy Strategy
- Advocacy "How-tos"
- How to form relationships with policy makers
- How to write a letter to an MP
- How to call your MP
- How to meet with your MP
- How to write a petition
- How to do a demonstration
- How to write a one-page brief
- How to organize a public meeting
- How to work with the media
- How to write a press release
- How to meet with civil servants
- Additional Resources
Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) and our work of faith, justice and politics: