Tuesday, September 28, 2004

FOI Information for Local Government

IDEA, the Improvement and Development Agency, has created an FOI resource on the IDEA knowledge website, registration required


Inlcudes some useful case studies,

but contains a poorly qualified statement on costs: "the cost of meeting a single request could be anywhere between £1400 - £4000 depending upon the complexity of the request based on evidence obtained from USA and Canada" no mention of the research carried out for the draft bill that stated: "For the lowest assumption the average marginal cost across Government of answering a written Parliamentary Question has been taken, which is £62 (Treasury figure). It seems reasonable therefore to take this figure as the minimum cost option for this calculation.....For the highest cost assumption the highest average reported cost of replying to a Code request has been taken, which is £350 (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)." Although these figures were based around central gov, the £1400-£4000 seems necessarily high to me present an unfair image of the costs of FOI to local authorities. The data I've found from from Canada indicates an average cost per completed request of $1,148.00
(about £500)

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