Can you be charged for access to official information?

An agency may charge for the supply of official information, but not the time it takes to consider whether to release or withhold the requested information.

The charge must be "reasonable" and regard may be had to the cost of the labour and materials involved in making the information available. The charge should not exceed the prescribed amount (where amount is prescribed). 4650 The Ministry of Justice has published charging guidelines for official information requests. 

Where an agency decides to charge for the provision of official information it should advise the requester of the estimated amount of the charge, how the charge has been calculated, whether all or part payment is required in advance, and of the right to seek a review by the Ombudsman of the estimated charge. 3753



  2. Section 15(2) Official Information Act 1982 and Section 13 Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987

Last updated at 6:18PM on January 17, 2018