FOI Man looks at when a public authority is allowed to charge for FOI requests, and how such charges must be calculated.
Hampshire County Council’s lobbying for FOI charges has been roundly put down by the Communities Secretary. Charges are probably too blunt a tool, but we still need to debate how better to manage requests.
Finding information to answer an FOI request is a very human process prone to error. FOI Officers and their colleagues can only make “all reasonable efforts”.
A £10 charge might help manage FOI requests at a time of cuts. But would it significantly reduce openness?