The fee should be no more than 10% of the total cost involved in researching the request. The cost should cover searching, copying and disbursement costs In such cases the charge will be calculated, the applicant advised and approval to proceed obtained.
If the cost amounts to more than £450.00, the request can be refused. This amount is based on a calculation of £25 per hour per person therefore this means that the appropriate limit will be exceeded if it would require more than 18 hours work.
Where the request could be considered exempt on cost grounds, NIFRS
will consider providing an indication of what information could be
provided within the cost ceiling.
Applicants are not allowed to make several requests for “bits and pieces”
of information in order to escape the £450.00 limit rule.
The applicant must be told the charge in writing and advised that the request cannot be actioned until the fee is paid and that the 20 day response time is now suspended until receipt of this fee. The request will lapse if not paid within three months.
Once the detailed request and the fee have been received, the search for information can begin.