The Ninth Day of Christmas – Procurement in a High-Security Environment

Dear M

As you know, I have recently taken up the position of Procurement Director for the Agency. My security clearance was already at a reasonable level from my previously work with the Military, but I am now going through the very highest security check and hope to have that in place shortly.

In the meantime, I am struggling with an item that a member of the special ops team has asked me to source. I know the requisitioner only as “Emma”, although I have no doubt that isn’t her real name. I wondered whether as Head of Division you might shed some further light on the matter.

Emma has asked us to procure “nine ladies dancing”.

When I asked her to be more specific, she mentioned “covert operations”, mumbled something about honeypots (I think it was), but would not go any further. She suggested I might like to “use my imagination”, but I don’t think that really is a satisfactory approach to a purchasing requisition.

Clearly, the definition of “Ladies” is unclear and “dancing” really could cover a multitude of capabilities. Country? Ballet? Ballroom? Pole?  I am unsure how to proceed - we could supply Emma with anything from young ladies with experience in Peter Stringfellow's employment, to my mother’s sequence dancing class (average age 75). So some hint as to the purpose of these ladies would be extraordinarily useful.

I am assuming that this purchase will have a security exemption from the EU Procurement Regulations; otherwise I fear the timescales will not be met, but it would be good to have that confirmed also.

Best wishes


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