The operative word is implied.
Care to explain it in details? I partly understand it by giving an example to my self: Some merchants in China claim, not publically, that the famous handbags they sell are 100% desinged by the original designer, yet they sell them at much, much lower prices. How are they able to sell them at such lower prices and still make big money? The secret is, some insiders say, that their handbags are produced by the same factory in China and indeed are designed by the same hand; the workers of the factory produced more than fair share - that is, if the company who owns the renowned brand of the handbags consigned the factory to produce 10,000 bags, then the workers might secretly produce 11,000 bags. With 10,000 bags being delivered to the company, the workers have 1,000 left and bring them to black market claiming 100% original.
But I am not sure whether "operative" in your reply has the same meaning.