Official Information Request Charges
In determining these charges we have taken account of the Ministry of Justice and Office of the Ombudsman charging guidelines.
Official information request charges
Staff time (in excess of two hours)
$38 per half hour or part thereof
Black and white copying
- A4 per sheet (the first 20 copies free)
- A3 per sheet
For any other cost, the amount incurred in responding to the request. For example specialty copying (maps etc.), including provision of electronic media storage devices, will be done at cost.
Requests requiring specialist experts, not on salary, to research and process the request
How official information charges are determined
In instances where a charge is to be applied, we will notify you as soon as possible. You will be provided with an estimate of the cost of the work involved in providing the response, whether a deposit is required and asked to confirm in writing that you agree to pay. You will only be charged for the actual work involved and the final charge will not exceed the estimate.
What can be charged for:
- search and retrieval, collation, research, editing and redacting;
- scanning or copying;
- reasonably required peer review in order to ensure that the above tasks have been carried out correctly;
- formatting information in a way sought by the requester;
- supervising access (where the information at issue is made available for inspection); and
- reproducing film, video or audio recordings.
- paper (for photocopying); and
- discs or other electronic storage devices that information is provided on (these will be provided at cost but we cannot accept a device provided by the requester as this poses a risk to Council’s ICT systems).
Other actual and direct costs:
- retrieval of information from off-site.
We will not charge for the following:
- work required to decide whether to grant the request in whole or part, including reading and reviewing, consultation, peer review and seeking legal advice to decide on withholding or releasing the response;
- work required to decide whether to charge and if so, how much;
- searching for or retrieving information that is not where it should be;
- formatting information in a way preferred by the agency but not sought by the requester;
- costs not directly related to supplying the information including general overheads and costs of establishing and maintaining systems and storage facilities;
- involvement by the chief executive or elected members;
- costs of liaising with an Ombudsman;
- liaison with a third party (e.g. informant);
- costs associated with transferring a request to another organisation; and
- costs of refining the request with the requester.
- Where repeated requests from the same source are made in respect of a common subject over intervals of up to eight weeks, requests after the first should be aggregated for charging purposes.
- A deposit may be required where the charge is likely to exceed $76. In instances where a deposit is requested, work on the request may be suspended pending receipt of the deposit.
- Charges may be waived or modified at the discretion of the chief executive or a group manager. This will generally be in a situation where there is an agreed public interest in the disclosure of the requested information or where payment may cause financial hardship to the requestor, and therefore the charge may become an unreasonable deterrent to seeking information.
Updated 3 July 2018