Charges for Search, Retrieval & Copying of Records

Charges for Search, Retrieval and Copying of Records:

The FOI Act has three types of charges:

  • those relating to the search and retrieval involved in a request
  • those relating to copying records at the prescribed rates, and
  • those relating to the appeal processes.

There are a number of considerations with fees, their application, deposits, when they do not apply and the impact that they have on the timing of responses.

Type of ChargeStandard Charge
Search and retrieval of records €20 per hour
Photocopying 4 cent per sheet
CD-ROM containing copy of documents €10
Radiograph (X-ray) containing copy documents €6

Charges for Personal Information

No charges apply in respect of Requests for Personal Information, unless there is a large volume of records to be released and copying charges may apply.

Charges for Non Personal Information

Charges are payable in respect the time spent in Search & Retrieval as follows:

The search and retrieval fee is based on estimation of the time spent by the University in locating and gathering the records for the decision making process, it includes:

  1. determining if we hold the records
  2. locating the records which are within the scope of the request
  3. retrieving such records
  4. extracting the information and/or records from the files, document, electronic or other information sourced containing both it and other material not relevant to the request
  5. preparing a Schedule of Records specifying the records for possible release

 

There are upper and lower limits in terms of the actual payment which an FOI request is subject to. The appropriate minimum amount of €101, if the actual search and retrieval of the records is below this level then the requester will not be charged. Where the actual costs of the search and retrieval are above €500, the appropriate maximum amount then the requester cannot be charged any more than this unless the request was above the upper ceiling limit of €700 and TU Dublin has agreed to proceed with this request.

Minimum and Maximum Fees and Charges

If fees and charges do not exceed €101 (5 hours work) no charge is imposed.  If they exceed €101 (over 5 hours work) and are below €500 they are payable and the University can request a minimum deposit of 20% which must be paid before the University begins the search and retrieval process. The full cost must be paid before the release of the records.

Should the estimated search and retrieval costs exceed €700 the University must seek a reduction in the scope of the request from the Requester. If the requester is unwilling to refine the request, the University may decline to process the request in line with Section 15 of the FOI Act 2014, or the University can decide to process the request and the Requester must incur the full cost of the search and retrieval. The full amount as advised is payable and the records will not be released until full payment is made. A minimum deposit of 20% of the appropriate maximum amount will be payable upon the agreement of the refinement and acceptance of the request. Once a deposit has been received by the University the processing of the FOI request will begin. Records will not be made available to the Requester until full payment has been received by the University.

Reduced Fees and Waivers

Section 27(6) states where the information sought is of particular assistance to the understanding of an issue of national importance costs may be waived.

Summary

  • No fee applies where the cost of search and retrieval and copying is up to and including €100.
  • The maximum fee which can be charged is €500 unless the request was considered in relation to the upper ceiling limit (€700) and it was agreed with the Requester that it would be processed.
  • When the estimation of the search and retrieval and copying exceeds €700 the requester should be contacted and the request must be refined or there is agreement to process and the full cost will be applied.