DfE FOI Slipperiness: When an ‘apology’ became a ‘press release’

Laura McInerney

In a recent letter, Michael Gove claimed the DfE were not to blame for King’s Science Academy escaping police investigation for alleged fraud until Newsnight revealed the case. Gove’s thorough timeline (p.5-8) explains how the DfE had reported all relevant details to Action Fraud – a central police agency – back in April. Unfortunately, the report was mislabeled as ‘information’ rather than a ‘crime’ and this meant the police were not alerted to start investigation. After Newsnight, Action Fraud contacted the DfE, apologised for this ‘administrative error’ and passed it to West Yorkshire Police.

In the letter Michael Gove says “the apology was confirmed in writing”. I was intrigued by this, and wondered if it might explain how the mistake happened. Unknown to most people, in my previous life as a management consultant I did a stint working with Merseyside Police. On improving crime reporting. So I put in…

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