Tuesday, 3 July 2012

What Freedom of Information REALLY Costs (Spoiler, a Lot Less Than JoCo Claims)

I've occasionally touched on JoCo's often verging on the hysterical claims on how much the council spends on processing Freedom of Information requests. He generally claims it's about £500k/yr and then goes off into a whinge about 'how many services' you could fund with that.

However, someone recently submitted a FoI request asking for detaiils of calculations that had been carried out to ascertain costs of responding to requests. According to the response, the total costs, i.e. the Information Governance Unit's own costs plus the time spent by the person in the information holding department, was £32,161 for the period Sep 11 - Feb 12.

Funnily enough, the IGU's costs include an average half hour for 'reputation impact assessment' (NCCLols translation service; 10 mins of 'ohshitohshitohshitohshit' followed by20 min phone call to Legal about how it can be covered up).

In other words, FoI costs slightly over 20%* about 13% of what Collins has been claiming.

Footnote; NCC has now sorted out a decent disclosure log of FoI responses which runs from September 2011. It also has a search facility. This is a Good Thing.

(H/T Joseph C)

*Momentarily forgot how to do sums.

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