ERG materials – clarification of request

Request

Please provide all documention that you have, which relates either directly or indirectly to the European Research Group (ERG). Please include anything relating to the group as a whole or pertaining to its individuals members, donors, staff, etc.

On 14 May 2020 I wrote requesting clarification

I am currently reviewing all open FOI requests and have noticed that you have yet to hear from us regarding your email of 05 March 2020.

Unfortunately I need to ask for clarification. You asked:

Please provide all documention that you have, which relates either directly or indirectly to the European Research Group (ERG). Please include anything relating to the group as a whole or pertaining to its individuals members, donors, staff, etc.

I am afraid that your request in its current form, is very broad and is likely to result in a Refusal Notice on grounds of the time it will take for us to process. We have responded to several requests on the ERG in the past, the responses to which can be found in our Disclosure Log.

In the search box, enter the term European Research Group to see the responses by year. If the information you are looking for is not here, please narrow down your request, e.g. by asking about a particular group of people: donors, staff, and by including a date range.

No further action will be taken on your request until we hear from you.

You responded on 14 May 2020:

Please note that my request and the terminology used in it was as advised by one of your colleagues. Failure to supply all information your organisation holds on the ERG will result in an immediate referral to the Information Commissioner's Office. I will already be highlighting your Department's failure to adhere to the legislated timescale to respond to an FOI request.

Please ensure the requested information is sent to me, without further delay.


Response

I can confirm that we hold information relevant to your request, but unfortunately, because you were unable to narrow it down, the information is subject to a Refusal Notice under section 12(1) of FOIA. This exemption applies because we estimate that the cost of complying with your request would exceed the appropriate limit as laid down in The Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. For IPSA this amount is £450 or 18 hours.

In calculating whether the appropriate limit has been reached, an organisation can take into account the cost of

  1. Determining whether it holds the information,

  2. Locating the information, or a document which may contain the information,

  3. Retrieving the information, or a document which may contain the information, and

  4. Extracting the information from a document containing it.

The European Research Group has been in existence for 9 years and over that time 64 different MPs have had subscriptions. We estimate to provide information for MPs alone would take a total of 1,825.65 hours or 76 days. This total does not include the time it would take to search for telephone recordings.

As the estimated number of hours exceeds 18, your request is refused.

Ref:
RFI-202003-4
Disclosure:
June 9, 2020
Categories:
GENERAL EXPENSES ENQUIRY
Exemptions Applied: