Division of General Counsel, Governance and Compliance


FoI logoThe following guidance explains how the University will charge fees in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.

The Act makes provision for the charging of fees and expenses related to Freedom of Information requests and refers to what is called the 'appropriate limit'. This limit is determined by the Secretary of State. For the University sector, the appropriate limit is set at GBP 450. When estimating the cost of complying with a written request for information the University will take into account the staff time, charged at a rate of GBP 25 per hour, involved in the following activities:

  • Determining whether the information is held.
  • Locating the information or a document which may contain the information.
  • Retrieving the information, or a document that may contain the information.
  • Extracting the relevant information from a document containing it.

Costs estimated to be below the appropriate limit

Where the cost of complying with a written request for information is estimated to be below GBP 450, the University will only charge for the expenses involved in reproducing the information, postage and other forms of transmitting the information. We do not and cannot take account of staff time involved in requests which fall under the appropriate limit.

Costs estimated to be above the appropriate limit

Where the cost of complying with a written request for information is estimated to be above GBP 450, the University is not obliged to respond to a written request for information. In such cases the University will contact you to discuss whether you would prefer to modify the request to reduce the cost. The University will generally not provide information in response to a request when this will cost more than GBP 450. If, exceptionally, we do decide to comply with such a request we will charge you for both fees and expenses which includes the cost of staff time in retrieving and collating the information, charged at GBP 25 per hour, as well as the costs of informing you whether the University holds the information and the costs of replicating and communicating the information to you. This may be liable to VAT at the normal rates. You will be issued with a fees notice which you must pay within a period of three months before the University will comply with your request.

Multiple requests

If the University receives two or more related requests within a period of 60 consecutive working days either from a single individual or from two or more individuals who appear to be acting in concert or in pursuance of a campaign, the costs of complying with the requests will be aggregated. If the estimated costs of complying with the requests are added together and the total is found to be in excess of GBP 450, the University will not be obliged to comply with any of the requests.

Personal and environmental information

Where a request for information is a mixed request (i.e. it contains a request for personal information and/or environmental information as well as general information) the request will be separated out into its constituent parts. The charge for providing personal information to the subject of that information under the terms of the Data Protection Act will be GBP 10. Charges for environmental information will be made under the terms of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.