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Posted by Gary Martin on June 08, 2006

In Reply to: "Top-slicing"? posted by Olya on June 07, 2006

: What is the meaning and the origin of "top-slicing"?
: It was used in reference to the creation of Serious Organised Crime Agency: "Britain, along with Belgium and Germany, has about the most decentralised system in the EU and so this represents a top-slicing of the policing function"

: The dictionary ( explains "top slicing" as "mining of thick orebodies in a series of stopes from top to bottom, the roof being caved with its timbers as each stope is exhausted".
: But it doesn't make the metaphorical usage clearer for me.

Top slicing is also a financial/accounting term. It is commonly used in the UK; I don't know about elsewhere.

It refers to the removal of part of a budget so that it can be used to fund some centralised service.

I used to work in a University IT department. Some universities give each faculty an IT budget and they use that to fund their own local service. Some, like the one I worked in, 'top-slice', i.e. they take the percentage spent on IT from the total university budget and use it to fund a centralised service.