Obiter is frequently chided for keeping documents on paper in this digital age. But occasionally it’s worth it. Paper documents may fade, but at least they aren’t prone to losing whole sentences while sitting in the bowels of a computer somewhere.
Take Solicitors Regulation Authority press releases. Especially the one dated 14 January 2016. It announced the unveiling of ‘a programme of work to better understand how the legal service market serves asylum seekers’. The first step was the publication of a report on the quality of legal support for asylum seekers. (Headline finding: there is some dodgy practice out there, especially when it comes to clarity about costs.)
Now, Obiter’s paper copy of the release notes at the bottom that the report ‘was co-funded by Unbound Philanthropy and the Legal Ombudsman’. But when we downloaded the same document, still dated 14 January, from the SRA’s website this week, the bottom line just read: ‘The report was co-funded by the Legal Ombudsman.’
This was obviously a computer glitch as there is no possible reason to be shy of declaring support from Unbound Philanthropy, a worthy foundation set up by a Hawaiian investment banker with a mission statement of ‘working to move the needle on issues of immigration, integration, and the wellbeing of receiving communities in both the short- and long-term’.
Among its beneficiaries are the International Rescue Committee, headed by one David Miliband, which lists Unbound as a ‘$1 million +’ donor.
Alas the SRA doesn’t qualify for that kind of dosh. According to Unbound’s website, it gave the regulator £40,000 in 2014/15. Unless of course that too was an electronic glitch?