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Feeble excuses department

Anyone who peruses Hansard will be used to this piece of boilerplate text:

"The Information requested can be provided only at disproportionate cost".

Whisper it low, but I think that sometimes it is used as a way of avoiding giving an answer.

Anyway, I nominate this as the most egregiously dishonourable use of 'disproportionate cost':

Robert Neill: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many copies of PR Week are purchased for the Prime Minister’s Office each week; and at what cost.

Phil Hope: The Prime Minister’s Office forms an integral part of the Cabinet Office. The Information requested can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Two e-mails or two phone calls would have teased out an answer.


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Anonymous View from the Solent said... 8:27 am

It's always puzzled me that the question 'To ask the ...... what would be the cost of providing the requested information, and how was that cost estimated?' is never asked.  

Blogger Blue Eyes said... 9:05 am

If I was writing a set of rules to ensure that the executive could be held to account by the legislature I might insist that questions were answered promptly and in full.

Will we ever have a set of rules?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 9:14 am

I think that the rules of engagement should be public and transparent. Then again, I'd like Brown to resign too....  

Blogger Blue Eyes said... 9:21 am

Yes, I think we are probably both whistling in the wind.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 9:28 am

Shades of a line from The Sopranos:

'....You can avoid sentencing on these charges if you will testify that in fact, you were not the boss of north jersey, that in fact, your nephew Anthony Soprano was and is....'

'I want to [blank] Angie Dickinson, see who gets lucky first'.

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