I've heard colleagues in my office say things like "I want you to hold the pen on this" or "I'll hold the pen on this".
My sense is that it means being the primary person responsible. I wanted to know if this is a common English language phrase and if it means what I think it means. I have googled this but was unable to find anything on it.
Well, I'm in the Singapore office of an American company. The folks I've heard this from are Indian, Malay, and Scottish. Some googling told me that the State Department uses this phrase to mean that while you may be writing something, the intellectual property and the views belong to the state department. By holding the pen, you're merely a drafter. This is quite a different meaning from the one the folks in my unit seem to use it in.