Plans to charge users for access to records at The National Archives

FOI request reference: F0059805
Publication date: December 2019




Request & response 

I would like to see any papers of the Public Record Office or The National Archives on plans to charge users to access the records arising from the Efficiency Study in the 1990s. The papers would date from around 1993-1994 and may be held amongst the collection of papers of Sarah Tyacke, the former Chief Executive.


We can confirm that The National Archives is pleased to be able to allow you access to the Report on the Services and Charges Review (two volumes – document references: ST 121 and ST 122).


We can provide access to these documents upon request, in our invigilation room. Please email to request access providing at least 24 hours’ notice.


We are unable to provide you with all of the information you originally requested because it is covered by the exemption at section 12 of the FOI Act. Section 12 makes provision for public authorities to refuse requests for information where the cost of dealing with them would exceed the appropriate limit, which for central government departments like The National Archives, is set at £600. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending just over three working days determining whether the department holds the information, as well as locating, retrieving and extracting the information. Information that potentially relates to your request is spread amongst various paper registry files that would take a substantial amount of time to identify and extract.