Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Question of the Day

This one from yesterday in Parlaiment made me chuckle.
John Mann: To ask the Leader of the House how many current hon. Members have redesignated their main home for the purposes of the additional costs allowance on three or more occasions.

Chris Bryant: It is not possible to provide this information without going through each individual Member's paper records as the information as requested is not held electronically and nomination forms, indicating where a main and second home are located, were only required from 2003 onwards.

The answer could therefore be provided only at disproportionate cost.
I'm surprised Chris Bryant didn't just say "call the Daily Telegraph"


Morus said...

When did he ask this Dizzy? If it's at all recently, there's a good chance that Bryant has unwittingly misled the House.

We know the DT got the info on a disk (ie an electronic copy) - and did that not contain the addresses? If held electronically, this is a three hour job at most.

The disproportionate cost answer always riles me. I understand there are frivolous questions that Government shouldn't spend silly money answering, but if the cost is both disproportionate and yet not that high in the absolute sense, why not have an FoI directorate, where you could pay for the cheap-but-disproportionate answers?

dizzy said...

Was yesterday. Have edited post to reflect that.

Alex said...

The disproportionate cost is the £few-hundred-thousand K it would cost to buy the disks from the DT.

Morus said...

Alex - LOL!