1993 memorandum elucidating

Problems addressed in memos might include employee tardiness or absence, customer dissatisfaction, improperly followed procedures, or office etiquette problems such as improper use of cell phones during meetings.Sometimes companies issue memos to make requests of employees.”Next to a political nose, and a logical brain, the most important skill of the good treasury [person] resides in [their] fine drafting hand.The concise, coherent and penetrating note is the final expression of all other talents.” In many Westminster / Whitehall governance settings, policy analysts are expected to analyze the issue and write the briefing note from a neutral public service perspective.It might also mention benefits that will result from taking the actions, potential problems if the request is not fulfilled, or specific help that will be provided to complete the request.For example, the operations department of a company might ask employees to follow a clean-up schedule for the break room refrigerator.The origins of the term “briefing” lie in legal “briefs” and the derivative “military briefings”.The primary purpose of a briefing note “for decision” is to support decision making – to “help (or sometimes influence) a decision-maker to make a better decision in a particular problem situation than he might otherwise have made without the analysis”.

There is no universal standard for a briefing note, but it is generally understood to be a concise, coherent summary of a public policy problem with a clearly articulated logic for following a recommended course of action.For example, workers in the quality assurance department of an industrial equipment manufacturer might like to know how well the product is performing for clients who purchased the equipment for the first time.Likewise, the HR department of a company might use a memo to provide employees with the results of a company-wide survey.However, the briefing note “for decision” must contain a recommendation, acknowledging that “to say anything of importance in public policy requires value judgments, which must be explained and justified”.The business memorandum, or memo, is used primarily as a formal, physical means of efficient communication from a department oto staff members -- it is almost always for internal communication and only rarely sent to clients or the public.

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