The cost of FOI requests revealed

JISC InfoNet research uncovers the costs to universities of fulfilling Freedom of Information requests.

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Thirty six FOI requests received by seven academic institutions in January 2012 were tracked.  The average time taken to deal with a request was just over five hours, costing approximately £99 each (or £121 when employment overheads were considered).

A recent Ministry of Justice report exploring the time/costs of fulfilling FOI requests in UK government departments reached similar conclusions with requests taking an average of five hour 21 minutes in non-central government departments or six hours 10 minutes in central government.

The JISC research underlines the importance of a good records management system and staff engagement as critical to ensuring efficient FOI handling.

JISC plans to continue and expand the research later in 2012.

More information from JISC.