In The Men from the Ministry, whenever the General Assistance Department have accidentally created the impression that Britain has a new super-ship or a space rocket, the plan to hide their non-existence hinges on the assumption that the everyone working in the government are so lazy and incompetent that they'll never admit that they've never heard about them out of fear of accidentally missing the information of their development.
Lamb: There are hundreds of people who'd know if a rocket had been fired, and as soon as they know they'll know they don't know.
Hamilton-Jones: Ah, but will they dare admit it? You didn't, I didn't, the First Lord of the Admiralty didn't. We were all afraid it was in some dispatch that we hadn't read. So we pretended we did know.