Having had a meeting today with civil servants at the "new" Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (i.e. the DTI with a bit chopped off and a bit stuck on), it is clear that their position on all issues is now that they (or their consultants) can predict the outcome of future developments with such precision that no uncertainty or dispute need be entertained (nor, logically, need free markets be utilised). It seems to me that a good test of this position (and an original objective of this blog) would be to see how accurate their past assumptions had been. I therefore went to the DBERR website (the DTI site no longer being accessible) to have a look at their old reports and consultations.
It seems that they are less than keen for people to review their past performance. Their archive holds only a motley collection of seven consultations - four from 2003, and one each from 2005, 2006 and 2007. This is a tiny fraction of the DTI's output. I wonder why these particular consultations merited preservation for public access? Are they the ones they got right (to within a tolerable level of error)?
For the other consultations by the DTI (and other departments, presumably), we are advised to find hard copy at the British Library (not enormously accessible to the majority of the population). Their website is to be your guide, but the search-term "DTI reports" yields very little, and nothing relevant online. Following a few link trails didn't do any better. Let me know if you have any more joy.
The slate has been wiped clean, records expunged, the history books tippexed. It's almost as though Uncle Gordo didn't want people to look back at how New Labour had performed over the past ten years. A bit like Uncle Joe and the NKVD.
Incidentally, in data-processing circles, DBERR is a commonly-used symbol for a data-access error. Someone in government has a geeky sense of humour.