Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Dealing with government departments is always interesting. They really are lovely, helpful people but their job sometimes prevents them from speaking freely so I am gradually building a collection of what they say and what they mean. Here are some recent examples...

"We're over subscribed and it would not like you to go to the trouble of preparing an application." Means, "We have already spent the money even though the submission deadline is weeks away."

"Um...yes, that is rather obscure. In the past we have usually posted a separate official grant application. That's a very valid enquiry  I'll ring you back."  Means, "@#$%^&! Can't Tenders post standard information?! Now EVERYONE will be ringing up for the forms!"  (note: they are currently amending the website)

"Could you please send your enquiry to the official email address so that you have an answer in writing." means "If I answer that and I get it wrong I'll be in trouble." (Grant guidelines are sometimes deliberately obscure in order to give the grant clerks the flexibility to squeeze through applications which deserve funding but don't quite fit the criteria.)

And my favourite, "I'm afraid I can't disclose that but when the minister announces it next month there won't be any nasty surprises"  means "You got the grant!"

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