The idea that Parliament in general and the Government in particular does not record its activities and the work it carries out is proven as a clear lie by the fact that Hansard records debates and questions and answers such as these two shown here. The company which I work for is a small business which nevertheless relies on us recording how long we work on each job and what meetings have taken place so that we have some level of accountability and can trace our decision making, both in terms of if something went wrong or if illness or holidays leads to a gap in our understanding. It also ensures we can avoid working on jobs that are unprofitable. Nearly every profession does the same. Some like ours are a bit variant because we don’t generally charge an hourly rate for our designs and tender submissions, others like Solicitors or Architects record their work on a very formulaic basis because they do charge clients on an hourly basis in almost every case. However if we need to bill people for our work we can quickly pull together a reasonably accurate set of records to show how we did the work for them. Of course pulling that information together can take some time and in complicated situations it could take a whole day so we only do it when we have to. However our daily charges are £300 for a days work, so the cost is proportionate if we are working on jobs that may cost the client £50,000 or more. The last time I checked it costs the nation about £170 for every written question and then the answer to be given in Parliament. So these two have cost our nation around about £340 so far. If the same questions were asked frequently enough the disproportionate cost of gathering the information being requested would surely be less than the cost of junior Ministers like Nursrat and her colleague Liz Sugg arguing that they cannot provide the data to MPs like David Hanson and Luke Pollard and Peers like Steve Bassam whose questions I blogged about last weekend.
It is surely time for the Department for Transport to start collating the data over Seaborne and Chris Graylings activities on the 4th and 5th March so that the Department stops appearing to be full of lies or completely incompetent.