Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Question of the Day

This little question tickled me pink. Not because of the classic "it will copst too much to tell you" response, but the fact it's the Department of Transport failing to answering a question about how much it spends on errr... transport.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department has spent on (a) economy, (b) business and (c) first class flights in each financial year since 2001.

Mr. Hoon: The Department for Transport could provide this information only at disproportionate cost.
It's a bit like the Department of Health saying it can't tell you how much was spent on heart operations. Or the Treasury not knowing what the state of the economy actually is... oh wait. Doh!


Letters From A Tory said...

What a disgraceful dodge. Of course they have this information, you just need the receipts and a calculator, for goodness sake.

Colonel Smedley said...

It's also possible that there has been so much wasteful travel, inefficiently logged and controlled, that it would actually be a waste of money to collate the figures requested. It could be a more revealing answer than it seems at face value.

Mark M said...

Disproportionate to what?

If that's the way the spend of taxpayers money is treated it's no wonder we're in such a hole.

Anonymous said...

I think that some years ago..and I hope I don't wrong him..Ken Clark answered a lot of questions with the Disproportionate Cost slither. When asked how often he answered with that, he decline to answer because of.. you've guessed! .. disproportiaonet cost, Genius!!

Charles Crawford said...

Since the question asked about flights going back to 2001, I can imagine that the chaotic scenes across much of government during this period as Departments have grappled to computerise records and processes would make tracking down this information quite a task.

But it should be quite easy to extract such information for the past (say) three years. Given the amount of travel involved, a pattern would quickly be evident.

New question?