Because We Say So
Dear Government Office. I need copies of certain documents. Attached is a completed form and the requisite fee.
Dear Requestor: We are keeping the fee, but are unable to process your request because we need the reference number. Please fill out this other form (containing the same information in the first form) in order to get the reference number. This must be submitted with an additional fee.
Dear Government Office: Attached is the second form (containing the same information as the first form) that you need in order to provide me with the reference number for that first form. Also enclosed is the additional fee.
Dear Requestor: Please fill out the first form this time including the reference number from the second form and re-submti your request in the first form with submission of an additional fee.
Dear Government Office: The first and second forms submitted (each with fees included) contained the same information, so I am unclear as to why you needed two separate forms in the first place. It seems that you could have saved both you, me and the taxpayer time and money by simply looking at the first form and finding the reference number since it contained the exact same information included in the second form. I have already paid you two fees: one to get the requested documents, and another to get the reference number. Is there some reason that I must now pay again to get the same documents requested in the first form?
Dear Requestor: Because we are the government. We cannot function without multiple forms each containing the same information submitted multiple times with multiple fees. How else do we think we can pay for our bloated bureaucracy?
Dear Government Office: This makes no sense.
Dear Requestor: It doesn't need to make sense. We are the government and we say so.