This chapter examines the nature of public policy problems, the concept of ‘policy’ and differing perspectives on the policy-making process found in the literature in order to help understand why consultants were used to review major areas of Australian public policy in the mid-to-late 1980s. The literature on the nature of decision-making in government is diverse, reflecting the different heritage of influential authors across the disciplines of politics, economics and psychology in particular and the social sciences more generally. Strategies for resolving public policy problems are influenced by the perceived nature of such problems. When comparing policy processes as they exist in different nation states one needs to assess the ways in which cultural, demographic, geographic and institutional factors come into play. Understanding of the policy process needs a broad view which analyses policy change within a wider social and community structure.