The rising cost of FREEDOM of INFORMATION requests in Flintshire
The number of Freedom of Information requests submitted to Flintshire County Council (FCC) has risen by over 300% since 2006
Figures released by FCC in response to an F.O.I request earlier this month show a huge rise in requests from 197 in 2006 to 804 in 2013.
One influential study by University College London (UCL) suggests the average F.O.I request takes around 7.5 hours to process.
From a cost perspective the UCL study suggests the average cost per request is in the region of £293.00.
Based on this study the 804 requests would equal a massive 6030 hours of processing time by staff in 2013 thats 251 days, this would equate to £235,572 in processing costs for 2013.
The table below is taken from the study which has been used by many media outlets as well Government to benchmark time and money attributed to processing F.O.I requests.
A council spokesperson said:
“To determine the costs of processing FOI requests would be a major undertaking in itself, as any number of officers may be involved in responding to these requests. While the FOIA has set an 18 hour ‘appropriate limit’ for local authorities (for each request) only some of the activities involved in preparing a response can be taken into account when estimating whether that limit would be exceeded”