A resident asks Bradford Council for advice on possible contractors for a collapsing highway wall. She's told that "standing orders" don't permit such advice.
The resident asks - via a Freedom of Information request - for the list of approved contractors (which, if you know where to look, are on the Council website) and an explanation. Result is the list and in answer to this question:
"Details of the relevent Standing Order and/or Council Policy that prevents officers from divulging this list of approved contractors to private individuals"
the local resident received this answer:
"The Council does not have a Standing Order or written policy."
The officer concerned simply made up a policy position on the spot. And it was an unhelpful one - quelle surprise!