Friday, March 28, 2008

The DWP appear to be rather workshy

Marvellous evidence of civil service laziness and the convenience of hiding behind the "disproportionate cost" line from the Department of Work and Pensions. They have been asked, much like DCMS were, along with other departments, how many Wikipedia entires had been created or amended from their central pool. The DWP's answer was,
The Department of Work and Pensions does not have a policy of regularly monitoring updates made to Wikipedia from DWP IP addresses. Therefore the Department would not as a matter of course determine Wikipedia entries that have been created or amended. The cost of obtaining and analysing such data could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
What a pile of crap huh? DCMS used the WikiScanner to compile their response. Is the DWP seriously trying to suggest that it will cost them more than £700 to type in a URL, list a range of IPs, hit submit and save the results?


Letters From A Tory said...

At the speed they work, it may well cost that much.

Anonymous said...

Interesting wikiscanner link, thanks. I reckon it cost me all of £00.00p to use it.

Anonymous said...

So not only is the DWP incompetent, it's also staffed by liars.

Two points about this sentence:

"The cost of obtaining and analysing such data could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

1: It makes no sense. This, in my experience, is typical of DWP communications. It's almost as if their letters are written in the manner of the game "Cheddar Gorge" from I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.

2: It (more or less, given its nonsensical form) follows the pattern seen in several FoI rejections: "such data could be obtained only at disproportionate cost". We can now assume that this is Whitehall for "We're not telling, so ner."

ukbix said...

May be worth you putting in FOI request for the same data, but point out to the tool, and give an example of how to use it, and how low cost it would be.

Would be interesting to see if they comply with the info request, or make a fresh reason why they cannot supply the info.