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Large, complex and/or controversial projects need to engage a range of stakeholders to ensure success. However, one group of stakeholders has a higher than normal impact on these types of projects: government stakeholders.

In this post, we review the different types of government stakeholders and how to engage with them to maximise the success of your project or endeavour.

Why are Government Important Stakeholders?

Government is an important stakeholder because it controls, among other things, the regulatory framework which defines how enterprises are able operate, which is critical to long term success.

The areas government stakeholders control include;

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  • Legal frameworks – what is legal to do in a jurisdiction and what is not

  • Environmental regulations – how you are allowed to operate

  • Health and safety: including food preparation and storage, creating safe work environments, etc

  • Residential and industrial planning regulations – both local and state governments.

  • Access to public funding

  • Labour laws: hiring, firing, rates of pay, etc.

  • Taxation policy and implementation 

  • Education and the supply of appropriately educated staff

  • Insurance: mandatory insurance requirements to operate an enterprise

Who are Government Stakeholders?

There are two main types of government stakeholders: elected representatives and non-elected officials.

Elected Government Stakeholders

Depending on your jurisdiction elected officials include members of parliament, local government councillors, Mayors and State Premiers. Elected officials typically have responsibility for broader policy directions and can be important for projects which are controversial, require changes in the business environment or public support. 

For example: 

  • Major construction projects
  • Social and environmental enterprises which require public funding 

Engaging with elected officials can be a complex, long and time-consuming process. They operate quite differently to many other stakeholder groups and you may need to hire specialist consultants, generally termed lobbyists, to help you most effectively engage with them. 

In addition, there are often strict laws for political lobbyists and what you can do when engaging with politicians so you will need to make yourself aware of the laws that apply to you.

Lastly, remember that you may need to include the political party structure, not just the elected official, in your stakeholder engagement process.

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Non-Elected Government Stakeholders

For smaller and less controversial projects you will mostly need to engage with non-elected officials who implement the elected official’s policy agenda into the day to day operations of the government.

This group is just as important as elected government stakeholders because they create the detailed rules and regulations under which your project must operate.

The most common non-elected government stakeholders you should consider in your stakeholder engagement process include

  • Health authorities

  • Legal authorities

  • Police

  • Planning – at both a state and local level

  • Fire and affiliated groups

  • Taxation authorities

  • Health and work safety agencies

  • Border and immigration control

Depending on your exact project or enterprise of course there are a very large number of specialist government agencies which to might need to engage.

Engaging with Government Stakeholders

Just like the other stakeholder in your project, you must incorporate Government stakeholders in your stakeholder engagement framework

For smaller, or more straightforward businesses or projects engagement with government stakeholders might be quite simple – applying for the appropriate license or business approvals through standard channels.

However, large, more complex, and/or more controversial projects will require active engagement with the relevant government stakeholders. 

Email is often the default approach for communication and can be very effective, but typically two-way communication is also needed to engage fully with stakeholders.

You should consider creating and managing a range events that allow interactive engagement with stakeholders:

  • One on one meetings

  • Round table discussions 

  • Public forums

Email Campaigns

SMS Communcations

Email Newsletters

Improve your Stakeholder Communication with Automation Software

Building bridges and understanding how to communicate with stakeholders is an invaluable skill and is important to the overall project success. If you would like more information on how to improve your communication with stakeholders then feel free to get in touch with Swift Digital.

Swift Digital works with a number of public and private sector companies – including Government organisations, Universities and Utility companies– to improve their communications and stakeholder management.

Do you need help communicating with stakeholders? Or want to improve your stakeholder management process.  Here at Swift Digital, we provide email automation services that can help facilitate your stakeholder communications and help to improve your stakeholder relationships.

To find out how your business can get the best out of Swift Digital’s platform, contact our team today on 02 9929 7001.

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Government Stakeholders FAQ

Who are stakeholders in local government?

Stakeholders in local government are normally considered to be the residents of the local government area but can also include residents associations, sports clubs and community associations, such as Scouts and Community Gardens groups, who use the grounds and facilities in the local government area.


Can the government be a stakeholder?

Absolutely, governments can and are stakeholders in a range of activities and projects. Governments to deliver services to citizens and any organisation that is part of delivering those services should consider the government to be a proxy stakeholder for the citizens themselves.


Does the government have stakeholders?

Yes – a government’s ultimate stakeholders are its voters and citizens. However, there are a range of intermediate stakeholders that governments will seek to engage and are also important including political parties and action groups of all shapes and sizes.

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