Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Further documents on fees

I have some further documents relating to the Fees working group from May:

Annex C.doc
Final Paper by the Fees Working Group.doc

More explictly confirms the information from the other documents I have, though these positions could have changed since May:

"The Fees Working Group recommends that the Fees Regulations to be made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 provide for a variable hourly rate charging scheme but set a maximum hourly rate for all public authorities.

The Group considers that authorities should be able to set their own level of subsidy but that a minimum of 1 hour free should be provided for in the Regulations.

The Group proposes that the appropriate limit for bodies outside central government and agencies should be twenty times the hourly rate established under charging schemes and that it should be set at £600 for central government and agencies.

The Group considered that all activities pertaining to the disclosure of the information could be charged for with the exception of consideration against the exemptions

The Group recommends that EIR charges are made on a similar basis to those for FOI."

Presumably final documents have been passed to Ministers for a final decision before the SI is laid in October, clearly there will not be much time for comment if a draft is published and then laid in Parliament. My main criticism would be that we would have benefited from the Scottish Consultation approach (see Scottish Exec website)

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