Tag Archives: freedom of information request

There’s no such thing as a . . .

22 Feb

CHIEF reporter Big Bernard is shuffling papers rather seriously as he prepares for afternoon conference. Everyone files into the Editor’s office and sits down. The Editor looks around and everyone looks back.

Editor: “Bernard. You got a splash for us?”

Big Bernard: “Boss. I have a splash for you. And it’s a good one. And it’s just this moment come together.”

Editor: “Let’s hear it then.”

Big Bernard: “In a nutshell, we’ve learned through a Freedom of Information request that the chairman of the local health authority has run up an expenses bill of £5,000 in restaurant costs over the past year – £600 of that blown on one night for him and his mates in a posh restaurant just before Christmas.”

Editor: “Whoa . . . How do we stand with this – legally?”

Big Bernard: “It’s all in the public domain. But it’s our Freedom of Information request so we have it all to ourselves. It’s exclusive.”

Editor: “Go on then.”

Big Bernard: “The £600 was spent in one night at The Pink Trees Hotel, which is somewhere between York and Leeds. We’ve got a picture of it, so we could use that on the front page.”

Editor: “And this was just before Christmas, you say?”

Big Bernard: “Correct.”

Editor: “Do the expenses say who else was at the meal?”

Big Bernard: “No. Why?”

Editor: “Because I think I might have been there.”

Moment’s silence.

Big Bernard: “Wow. It’s a plush spot. What did you have?”

Editor: “Can’t remember. But it was good. And I think someone paid my taxi home.”

Big Bernard: “Oh. Where does that leave us?”

Editor: “Dunno. Shall we go away and think about it and reconvene in half an hour?”