Can I be charged for an FOI request I made by email?

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Assuming the information is not referred to in publication scheme

Provided you request falls below the cost limit:

  • the public authority cannot charge for staff time
  • the public authority cannot charge use of contractors or specialist staff

The authority can only charge a fee to recover the costs of:

  • contacting you to inform them that the information is held;
  • communicating the information to you (eg photocopying, printing and postage); and
  • putting the information into the format you specified

If you have indicated that you would like the information to be supplied by email then should not be any photocopying, printing or postage charges, so it is unlikely that you will have to pay anything at all.

References