Functions of Advisory Council:
The main task of an Advisory Council, as the very name suggests, is giving counsel to the government on matters pertaining to the public and establishing public relations. In the words of Dr Gladden “The main idea behind the Advisory Councils is to obtain the views and cooperation of particular interests which are closely allied to the objectives of public relations”. According to A. Leiserson “The functions of the Advisory Councils can be kept into two categories- internal and external.
(a) Internal Functions- These consist of-
- Advising on decisions of policy.
- Scrutinizing and criticizing polices and procedures.
(b) External Functions- These consist of-
- Interpreting the work of the concerned agency to the public.
- Giving sponsorship and prestige.
- Raising money, influencing appropriations, securing amendements.
- Interpreting the community to the Staff.
The important functions of Advisory Councils can be explained as follows-
(1) Advising- The main function of an Advisory Council is to advise the government. It serves as a liaison agency between the public, the government and the officials for the formulation of policy. The Advisory Councils serve as communicating channels between the government and the public. For the formulation of the right policy, it is essential, on the one hand, that the officials may understand the point of view of the people who are to be affected by it, and on the other hand, the people should know the aims and purposes of the official activities.
(2) Assistance in the Preparation of Budget- Secondly, the Advisory Councils render very valuable service in the preparation of the budget. The Advisory Councils can help the Chief Executive by giving their advice as to what sum of money be allocated to various items or heads or areas. For example, the National Development Council of India helps the government to formulate plans and resources.
(3) Coordination Functions- An Advisory Council serves as a perfect coordinator. Each Advisory Council coordinates the activities of the various services working in the same field. One of the best examples of the coordination work of an Advisory Council is furnished by the work done by the Railway Users Consultative Council.
(4) Adjudication Functions- The Advisory Councils help the Chief Executive in settling legal disparities between services. Since these councils are composed of public men and officials, these provide greater opportunities for working without any disfavour or favour for different services. Their work and practice bring harmony among different services because the councils render a valuable service in resolving their disputes impartially and amicably.
Thus, the Advisory Councils perform an important role in the running of public administration through the performance of the above discussed four major functions. The government can utilize these councils for maintaining a continuous and effective communication channel between the administration and the people. These can help the interest groups to protect their interests as claims or demands. Their functions are advisory and recommendatory, yet behind them, these have the force of public opinion and support.