Information access - charges and fees

Part of: Information access

FOI charges

This depends on a number of factors including the volume and complexity of material requested.

Responses to enquiries that cost HSENI less than £450 to process will be provided free of charge, although there may be a small charge for disbursements.  

HSENI has a right to refuse a request if the cost of locating and retrieving the information exceed £450.  

We will not refuse a request for environmental information on the grounds of cost alone; however we have the right to charge a reasonable amount to cover processing costs. In all cases, we will notify you of any estimated costs before proceeding with the request.

What happens if the information I want is not available?

HSENI cannot provide information that does not exist, but we have a duty to assist you. We will contact you with what relevant information we do hold, or may offer to transfer your request to another public authority that might help.

Can I have any information at all?

The FOI Act allows you access to almost all information that a public body holds. But some information cannot be revealed to the public, like information about national security, law enforcement or personal information about others.

Publication Scheme charges

HSENI intends to place most of its information in the Publication Scheme on our website, and make it available free of charge (although the user will have to meet any charges by their Internet service provider, personal printing costs and so on). Equally, most information requests made to HSENI will be processed without charge. However, there may be some publications for which you will need to pay.

If you do not have access to the Internet, we can post you a single printout of documents held in the Publication Scheme without charge. However, if you ask for multiple copies, or for archived copies of documents which are no longer available on the website, you may have to pay a charge to cover costs to HSENI (for example searching for the material, photocopying, postage, etc.).

Charging schedule

Where we do charge, the current rates are:

  • A5 copies: £0.10
  • A4 copies: £0.10
  • A3 copies: £0.10
  • A2 copies: £2.00
  • A1 copies: £5.00
  • A0 copies: £5.00
  • maps: £5.00
  • staff time: £25 per hour (in line with the FOI)
  • any relevant postal charges

We will let you know at the time of your request if you need to pay a charge. If you do have to pay a charge, this will be clearly shown against the individual documents concerned.  

You must pay any charge before we can send the documents to you.