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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Government maintain secrecy - shock!

This morning's Western Mail reports that the UK Government’s Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has threatened to cut off all discussions about the possible transfer of powers over energy policy, unless complete secrecy is maintained.

Officials in the Assembly's Environment Department explain: “BERR has made it very clear from the outset that as energy is a sensitive sector and the development of policy in connection with the transfer functions in that sector would necessitate wider consideration of the wider policy in that sector, they would consider it detrimental to the sector in its future development if information were released about policy development before that policy formulation was complete.

“It was evident from early meetings, in respect of the transfer of functions, that they considered that if any information was going to be released prior to the completion of development of the policy, they would be extremely reluctant to disclose information to the Welsh Assembly Government or to enter into discussions with the Welsh Assembly Government."

It added: “The disclosure of information in this context appears highly likely to damage the relationship with BERR in the light of the concerns which they have expressed from a very early stage, in discussions about the transfer of functions, and may result in the breakdown of the relationship, thus compromising the effectiveness of the devolution settlement and the formulation of policy in relation to its future direction, insofar as that policy falls within the ambit of BERR’s responsibilities. Negotiations with BERR over potential transfer of functions are clearly sensitive.”

So, in other words, if the Welsh Government tries to conduct this negotiation in public then it could create a highly disruptive atmosphere, lead to misunderstandings, outside interference and a breakdown in trust. In other news the Pope has announced that he is a Catholic, whilst bears have started their daily pilgrimage to the woods.
It's got to the point that if Brits were allowed to vote on the Lisbon Treaty that the results would be a government secret. Shouldn't members of his own "step in or something"?

Gordon Brown - "proof that there is a hell".
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