Standard costs used in the calculation of fees for requests
Where we can provide information electronically, there won't usually be a charge. If we need to provide a lot of information in hard copy, there may be a charge to cover printing and postage costs but we will tell you if this is the case.
We use the following costs as a baseline to assess the default fee chargeable under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
|Staff time||£25.00 per hour|
|Photocopying Costs||10p per copy|
|Printing Costs||10p per copy|
|Postage Costs||1st class at cost or original estimate, whichever is lesser|
|Other items such as relevant translation||At cost or original estimate, whichever is lesser|
Our charging regime
Once the standard fee has been calculated, our procedure for charging the person making the request is as follows.
|Fee as calculated||Our charging procedure|
|Fee is less than £5.00||No charge will be made|
|Cost of fee between £5.00 and £450.00||If the cost to service a request is estimated at between £5.00 and £450.00 (approximately 17 staff hours plus £25 disbursements) then a charge for non-staff costs as above will be made|
|Cost of fee is over £450.00||If the cost to service a request is estimated to cost in excess of £450.00 (more than 17 staff hours plus £25 disbursements) then the full cost, including staff time at the above rate, will need to be charged|
|Aggregation of Requests||If two or more requests are received within 60 consecutive working days, for the same or similar information either from the same person or different persons who appear to be acting as part of a campaign, then the charges will be aggregated. Once the cost exceeds £450.00 then the full costs, including staff time, will need to be charged|
|Mixed Requests||If a request is received in which the information is covered by more than one access to information regime then, for the purposes of calculating fees, it is necessary to separate out the constituent parts of the request to determine what fee may be charged. The above charging regime is applicable to the FOI element.|
Where the fee is calculated at over £450.00
Section 16(1) requires us to provide advice and assistance, “so far as it would be reasonable to expect the authority to do so, to persons who propose to make, or have made, requests for information”.
- Stage 1. If the request is particularly wide-ranging, and therefore likely to be expensive to answer, we must discuss this with the applicant to see if the question could be refined to a more manageable level to bring it below the £450 limit.
- Stage 2. If after providing advice and assistance, as required under Section 16, the request is still over the appropriate limit we can either turn the request down or answer the request and charge a fee;
- Or where we decide to provide the information and charge a fee, and do not have other powers to do so, we can charge on the basis of the costs outlined above, as well as the cost of informing the applicant whether the information is held and communicating the information to the applicant.