XXXX-rated bureaucracy

Faceless anonymity in the bastions of bureaucracy is a clear indicator that government is no longer working for the people. The refusal of public servants to be named and to hide behind unanswered generic switchboard numbers or, even worse costly 0870 telephone extensions, reveals a government afraid and out of touch with its citizens.

In the UK, the private citizen is subjected to invasive snooping by the state, while public officials use ‘privacy’ as an excuse to avoid accountability.

A prime example of this lunacy comes from the Department for Transport’s freedom of information disclosure log (but they are by no means the only guilty party):

Download the pdf and you’ll see that the FOI request was answered (unhelpfully) by:

Team Leader – Access & Operations
Rail & National Networks Group
Department for Transport
3/34 Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street
Direct Line: 020 7944 xxxx

And it’s not a one-off. Here’s another example from:

Freedom of Information Coordinator
Rail Procurement

I have never seen such rubbish. What sort of leadership training are these people going on where they think it acceptable to hide their name and direct number from the public in whose name they are working and by whose taxes they are paid?

3 Responses to “XXXX-rated bureaucracy”

  1. What was wrong with the first one? It seemed pretty full to me.

  2. Peter HOAR says:

    Perhaps the team leader/coordinator positions are currently “vacant” ? Or perhaps no such position/appointment actually exists and it’s industry code for “to be picked up by the next available lucky dogsbody” ? They could be kisses (On second thoughts – reading todays Times front page – – “Rail firm’s legal threat to silence passenger watchdog” – perhaps not !) Peter xxxx HOAR

  3. Well hang on says:

    The people who received the responses directly will have got the actual names and phone numbers though. Why should minor civil servants have their names plastered all over the internet, when it would be a much more effective use of time and effort to give out a switchboard number?

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