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All official answers must be committal not noncommittal

Comment 9th July 2010

This applies to every answer given by a government minister or office, civil servant, MP, councillor etc, other public office or commission of any nature, or business answering an enquiry about problems with its product, inclduing lawyers.

Everything stated in every answer given in an official capacity, i.e. as part of these folks' jobs, must be definite about all facts involved. if total factual certainty does not exist, the extent to which it does must be stated definitely. The words "unfortuately", "regrettably", and all synonyms used similarly, should be banned. Phrases like "you feel" or "you consider", that take the committal factuality out of a sentence, should be banned, and provision made for any new such phrase that bureaucrats are seen to coin and use, to be banned too upon its existence being demonstrated.

If the recipient of the answer perceives that any statement in it is noncommittal, s/he will be entitled to write back stating and explaining how that is, and to demand, as an enforceable right, a reply where the writer of the statement has to show, word by word, that it is watertightly committal and definite.

Why does this matter?

The present custom that all answers tend to be noncommittal is deliberately intended, by its perpetrators, to frustrate accountability and public access to fair play. It keeps the solving of problems unaccountable and in officals' hands instead of being publicly inclusive.

As such, for elected politicians' answers to their constituents to tend usually to be noncommittal frustrates the spirit of democracy and the whole point of them being representatives. It frustrates the factual record too. It is cynical.

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