Consultation on a consultation

Bureaucrats’ love of bureaucracy never ceases to surprise me. Another example comes by way of the recent Government climbdown on emasculating the freedom of information law.

Not able to bring themselves to admit the whole exercise was a massive time-waster, the Government has instead initiated a consultation on their previous consultation. Apparentely, they didn’t like the answers they got the first time round, so they are trying again (London Mayor Ken Livingstone did the same thing with his push to expand the congestion charge westwards).

On March 29th, the Department for Constitutional Affairs published a supplementary consultation paper on the draft fees regulations inviting views on the principle of amending the existing regulations. Many of us had complained that the consultation questions were so narrowly drawn and based on such false premises and flawed data that it invalidated the whole exercise. So while the climbdown is welcome, this new delay means we can now add to the Government’s waste of taxpayer money another £10,000 or so along with many more hours of expensive civil servants’ time.

This is the price of secrecy: inefficient and incompetent government.

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