The ROUNDABOUT Committee

ROUNDABOUT is the Laundry codename for Spontaneous Possession Incidents (SPI) - cases in which a person or persons are possessed by exonomic entities apart from those which are clearly involved in a larger exonomic exposure event. The ROUNDABOUT committee manages a Category Working File that receives all the news items, report extracts and PIRs that fall1 within its remit. These are parceled out to committee members at a fortnightly committee meeting for further examination, and the ones the committee feel warrant further investigation are sent to the Field Operation Department's Tasking Desk for assignment.

As is common with most of these standing committee Category Working Files, the items that are swept onto ROUNDABOUT's platter are sent around to each committee member in a daily distribution (AKA "distro") for review and comment. The committee's staff collate the comments and prepare the Working File Action Report for submission to FOD/TD, with items that the committee highlighted for special action submitted first under separate cover.

There are about fifteen members of the ROUNDABOUT committee (each of whom designate alternate "readers" so they don't have to plough through the daily distro), and the committee as a whole meets only rarely. The daily distro and WFAR are handled by the committee's standing staff.2

Codename Archive

ROUNDABOUT – category working file for otherwise uncategorized Spontaneous Possession Incidents (SPI). The CWF is managed by a committee whose duty is to categorize and distribute proper investigation of any PIR that gets initially-categorized as an SPI – IE, it’s their job to assign causes and shunt the PIR/InRep to the correct working group. This means that ROUNDABOUT meetings are mostly about dumping vague and outdated “question mark” reports onto whichever department failed to send a representative to that fortnight’s committee meeting. The loser in this game of musical chairs has to then spend staffing hours and budget addressing them, replying by endorsement (which generates more make-work for the ROUNDABOUT committee) and either forwarding the files to another department for action or comment, filing a completion report on them or abandoning the files like writing off a bad debt.
Any low-Status officer working a case that even peripherally involves a case of spontaneous possession should expect to receive a spate of “potentially related” InReps with which they’ll have to deal. This usually means replying by endorsement to demonstrate that they aren’t attached to the case in question and returning the reports to ROUNDABOUT. After a case file’s been closed, the ROUNDABOUT fallout can last for weeks, or even longer if your case actually did involve a ROUNDABOUT InRep.

ROUNDABOUT is authorized one and one-half FTEs as dedicated staff, although a budget squabble between Arcana Analysis and the DRIS Monitoring Group over who should pay for the fractional employee has limited the committee’s permanent staff to Adam Hove, who’s been shuffling SPI PIRs for a rotating cast of ROUNDABOUT committee members for nearly fifteen years. Adam is a low-Status support officer with only as much Bureaucracy as he needs to complete his immediate tasks. Like so many people who end up in the Laundry, he’s never emerged from “the mushroom farm”. He’s just keeping his head down and pushing on towards his retirement, which is still another fifteen years away. He’s not cleared for NIGHTMARE GREEN, though learning that the world will be ending soon won’t really come as any sort of surprise to him. He’s been handling ROUNDABOUT paperwork for years – basically, he’s the only person in the organisation who sees every report regarding spontaneous possession. This makes him, unknowingly, a lynch-pin analyst – but the organisation’s been utilizing him as a zero-level mook for a decade and a half.

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