£675

Thats the maximim cost you can call upon within the freedom of information act (FOI) to try and discover if the state apparaticks are involved in the dirty. What a joke.

– : – : – : – : – : – : – : – : – : – : – : – : – : – : – : – : – : – : – : – : – : – : – : – : – : – :

“Here you are Lou, the latest FOI’s”

‘Thanks “bombski” ‘.

Everytime Lou said his nickname, it brought back memories of the briefing they had on the eve of July 7th, when Wozack (his real surname) was handed the assignment to oversee the bomb team on one of the carraiges. As he was of Polish parents, Lou quipped “be careful bombski, they’ve given you a can of worms. Make sure it’s placed securely and out of everyones sight.”

Just two days after, they were reassigned and by stationed together in the office that handles MET FOI’s.

Lou thought to himself ‘The poor sod probably thinks it was coincidence. Hah! Well, he’s kept his nose clean since so no need to call anything in yet. Now there’s a thought – what if Wozack is actually watching me? Both of us watching each other? He does tend to ask some silly questions some times. Hummm. Enough of this, I’ve got these bloody FOI’s to sort out. Right, what do we have here? Hmmm…’.

He inhaled slowly and let out a sigh, narrowing his lips as he began his work.

Lou stamped each request with a scanner sensitive incremental number stamp and rapidly sorted them into nine piles. He then fed each FOI from one pile into the scanner finally  selecting a category as to how that pile should be treated. On this occasion, from a drop down menu the he clicked ‘Reject: – reasons of national security’

He then stated on the second pile. Something on the FOI caught his eye. It was enquirying about the organisation called Common Purpose. Lou had at times overheard many of his colleagues mention this group as if it was some kind of fitness club but never gave it much thought.

Having scanned the second pile, this time he clicked ‘Accept: – send for processing’ and placed each FOI in his out tray.

A few days later, he had a call from his department chief.

“Lou, we’re sending back a number of FOI’s back to you. A number of us don’t feel some of them are treated correctly at the initial stage of processing. We’ll return them in blue and they’ll be with you later today. Any questions”

Lou didn’t add anything.

The minutes ticked the morning away and just before lunch a blue folder containing a small number of FOI’s was put on his desk by Wozack.

“Cheers bombski” he said sighing again.

He opened the folder and immediately inside was a cover note. Under the note were eleven FOI’s. The cover note stated “These and future FOI’s relating to  Common Purpose should be classified as ‘Reject: – Cost of processing FOI would exceed £675. Please file for reference”

Lou photocopied the letter and pinned it up on the already crowded noticeboard alongside similiar special notices detailing how certain FOI’s should be handled. Putting the original copy in the workstation file, he sighed once more and retrieved the previous FOI’s for reclassification, only then finishing for lunch when Wozack approached him and said ‘I’m also running a bit late this lunchtime. Whaddya say for a quick lunch and beer at the local.’

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/metropolitan_police_common_purpo

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