Month: November 2014

Avon and Somerset Police calculate an “average” cost for an FOI request which is higher than the maximum

Some interesting observations from Paul Bradshaw on anti-Freedom of Information moans.

Online Journalism Blog

£540 is claimed - but £450 is the maximum

While I’m on the subject of Freedom of Information, here’s an odd story in the recent onslaught of anti-FOI press releases, from Avon and Somerset Police.

The police force is just one of manypublicbodies recently to moan about “bizarre and comical” FOI requests*. They claim that Freedom Of Information cost the body over half a million pounds last year. But can we trust their calculations?

Here’s how they say they arrived at their figure of £514,620:

"The cost of answering requests is calculated on a basis of £30 per hour , with an average time of 18 hours per request." “The cost of answering requests is calculated on a basis of £30 per hour , with an average time of 18 hours per request.”

That’s an average cost of £540.

Now, here’s the guidance on costs from the Information Commissioner:

“The cost limit for complying with a request or a linked series of requests from the same person or group is set at £450 for [non central] public authorities.”

So somehow Avon and Somerset…

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