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Departments: Freedom of Information

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the total cost has been of appealing against Freedom of Information Act requests submitted to HM Treasury since 1 January 2005, including appeals to the Information Commissioner, broken down by (a) internal costs and (b) external legal costs; (133200)

(2) what the (a) date, (b) value and (c) recipient was of each payment for external legal advice, support or representation in response to the Freedom of Information Act request by The Times newspaper that was released on 30 March 2007;

(3) what estimate he has made of the total amount of staff time spent on the Freedom of Information Act request by The Times newspaper that was released on 30 March 2007, broken down into time spent on (a) internal reviews, (b) contesting the application with the Information Commissioner and (c) appealing against the Information Commissioner's rulings;

(4) what estimate he has made of the total cost to the public purse of opposing the Freedom of Information Act request by The Times newspaper that was released on 30 March 2007, broken down into costs associated with (a) internal reviews, (b) contesting the application with the Information Commissioner and (c) appealing against the Information Commissioner's rulings.

[holding answer 23 April 2007]: The cost of legal counsel in all Treasury cases taken to the Information Commissioner and the Information Tribunal to date is £3,715, of which £2,399 was due to the case referred to. Information on staff time spent on individual cases is not held centrally.