Records Management

Freedom of information charging information

This page describes how the University calculates the fee for answering requests under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Cost implications of freedom of information requests

There is no charge for receiving information in response to freedom of information requests where the calculated cost of responding is less than approximately one day’s work.

Why have I been asked to pay a fee?

Requests with a calculated cost of between £100 and £600 incur a fee. The level of the fee is set by legislation. The fee is 10% of the cost over £100, i.e. a maximum of £50.

Where a fee is applicable, we will have written to you providing details of the costs involved and asking you to pay the fee before we process your request.

I have been told that my request is too costly to answer

The University is not required to respond to freedom of information requests where the calculated cost of responding is over £600. Where this is the case we will have written to you to help you reformulate your request so that it can be answered within the cost threshold.

How did you calculate the cost of answering my request?

We must always provide the information you request in the most cost-effective way for you. When calculating the cost the University is only permitted to include specified activities and the cost of staff time is capped. The actual cost to the University is usually much higher.

When calculating the cost to the University we are permitted to include:

  • Staff time spent locating, retrieving and providing the information, including pension and National Insurance costs, but excluding overheads (to a maximum of £15 per hour).
  • Reasonable managerial or supervisory costs, including pension and National Insurance costs, but excluding overheads.
  • Direct outlays, such as postage, paper, CDs or other media on which the information is provided (but not more than cost price).

We are not permitted to include the cost of:

  • Time spent establishing whether or not the University holds the requested information.
  • Time spent considering exemptions.
  • Supplying information in a particular format because you have a disability.

If you have been asked to pay a fee, you will have received a fee notice detailing the tasks involved in responding to your request and the cost to the University of each task.