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From chapter 11 of the Cabinet Office Manual


11.1 Official information is information created and commissioned in the course of official government business. It includes information created or received by ministers in a ministerial capacity. Official information can be in any format, and includes correspondence and memoranda, guidance, emails, datasets and databases, websites, official blogs and wikis, and film and sound recordings. Other formats that emerge will also be covered.

[Emphasis on the last two sentences!]

Is the purpose of using personal accounts to develop policy free from public view, or is it more particularly to develop policy free from interference by the civil servants in the minister's own department?

"The forces of conservatism" could wreak havoc with the development of any original policy, especially in its early stages.

The trouble is, of course, that such "off balance sheet vehicles" usually end up being abused even when they were set up with good intentions in the first place.

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