recommendations. It typically appears single-­‐spaced on

MINISTERIAL BRIEFING PAPER (FOR A DECISION) SUBJECT: The subject should not exceed two lines EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This should be a brief summary (approx. 150 words) of the purpose of the brief and its recommendations. It typically appears single-­‐spaced on the cover of a brief or position paper (but because you are not preparing a real brief, it can just be the first part of your major paper). STATEMENT OF ISSUE(S)/PROBLEM(S) The issue statement sets out what has happened, is happening or will happen to trigger the need for the memo. It should not exceed three or four lines. It typically concludes with a question beginning with words such as: ‘What role can …’, ‘’Should … ‘; ‘How should the Department respond to ….’; ‘Who should take responsibility …’; ‘What action is required to …’; or ‘When should ….’ BACKGROUND Include only the essential facts that the minister ‘needs to know’ to understand the context of the problem/issue at hand. Assume that your role is to filter through the reams of information on behalf of a very busy and sleep-­‐deprived person. Be clear, precise and succinct. PRE-­‐EXISTING POLICIES/ACTIVITY This summarises what has been done (by others and the Department of Health) about the problem so far. Depending on your topic, some of this might already have been presented in the ‘Background’ section. The objective of this section is to inform the reader of options that have already been pursued, if any. CONSIDERATIONS This section delineates the possible courses of action or inaction that you believe could be taken. Please provide the Minister with at least three potential courses of action; some of them may be unrealistic in your opinion but please pose them as options nonetheless. • What is being proposed: what are the options available to the government? • Why are you recommending these options? • What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? For clarity, you may present the advantages and disadvantages of each of the options in bullet points or outline format. RECOMMENDATION After listing the advantages and disadvantages of the different options (above), you need to make a clear recommendation of one, or more, of these options, with a justification of this decision: • Outline the evidence for, and implications of, your recommended option(s) and any alternatives (give succinct analysis/arguments). SOURCES CONSULTED This is essentially an annotated bibliography in the event that the reader has the interest or time to read up on a specific issue. Please provide a one to three sentence description and evaluation of each source listed in this section.

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