February 2014


Request for the following information for each of these corporate services functions; Payroll, HR, Finance & Accounting, Procurement.

• FTE headcount.
• Annual budget for each function.
• Breakdown of annual costs e.g. by software, staff, services etc.
• Is any part of this service function provided by an external supplier? If so please name.
• What type of services do these suppliers provide?
• Is any part of this service function shared with other public sector organisations? If so please indicate what is shared and with whom.

This is a list of key processes/services that are included within these functions:

• Payroll services
• Pensions administration

• Employee programmes and services
• Recruitment administration 
• Workforce planning and performance monitoring
• Statutory reporting and checks
• Training and development

Finance & Accounting
• Financial record keeping and reporting
• Accounts payable and receivable
• Travel and expenses
• Internal audits
• Project accounting
• Financial support and advice
• Debt management and recovery
• Processing of credit and debit card payments

• Purchasing and low value procurement
• Processes and administration
• Spend analysis
• Supplier financial assessments




This request as it stands cannot be progressed under the terms of the FOI Act as it would exceed the applicable cost limit.

Section 12 of the Act 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.

We estimate that it will take us in excess of this to identify the appropriate information, and locate, retrieve and extract it in response to this request.  Therefore it will not be processed further.  Guidance on this can be found at:


If you are able to refine your request and specify what it is you are looking for we may be able to help.  In order to assist we suggest you consult the guidance produced by the Information Commissioner which provides pointers on this issue including streamlining your request so that it covers the core information which is of most importance to you.

Please note that splitting the requests into separate and distinct requests for each of the corporate service functions will not necessarily avoid engaging the cost limit either.  This is because substantially similar requests or requests which have an overarching theme or common thread running thought them, can be aggregated and refused under the cost limit provision if received within 60 consecutive working days.


Furthermore, some of the information which forms part of your request is also considered exempt under section 21 of the FOI Act as it is already in the public domain and reasonable accessible by other means.

Headcount information is published in our Annual Reports:


Our website contains details of our funding and this includes the ICT budget.  This is broken down into various subsections, hardware, software, staff costs etc.:


ICT contract information can be found as follows:

Items spends of +£10,000

Tenders and contracts

Some of the details you have requested can be found on the transparency pages of our website. To assist I have included the links that are relevant to this request: