Section 9 of the FOI Act allows the council to charge a fee for providing information in response to a request. The fee is determined in accordance with the Fees Regulations. The Fee Regulations set out what charges are permissible for information requests. These charges are currently defined as two elements, prescribed costs and disbursements.
Under section 12 of the FOI Act, the Council does not have to comply with a request for information if the cost of compliance exceeds the Appropriate limit, this is the limit for the estimated or calculated prescribed costs. The regulations define an ‘Appropriate Limit’, for local government, this limit is currently £450.
The council must still confirm or deny whether it holds the information requested unless the cost of this alone would exceed the appropriate limit.
The Fees Regulations do not apply where the council is able to charge for the disclosure of information under another statutory provision.