Response sent: June 2011

Request:

1.      What public services do you, or your agencies and contractors, currently provide online?

2.      What public services do you, or your agencies and contractors, plan to put online and what is the status of these plans?

3.      Do you have a strategy to switch the delivery of public services from higher cost channels such as face to face meetings or counter services, call centre and correspondence/form submission to lower cost online delivery? If so, can a copy of this strategy be provided?

4.      For each of the public services you, or your agencies and contractors, currently deliver online, what are the take-up levels and how do these compare to the original business case? How much is delivered through the online channel versus alternative channels for the same public service?

5.      For each of the public services you, or your agencies and contractors, currently deliver online what are the costs per transaction?

6.      What public services do you, or your agencies and contractors, currently deliver without an online delivery channel that could be provided online if a business case could justify it?

Outcome:

Unsuccessful

Response:

The National Archives is unable to answer this request without further clarification.  Under section 1(3) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a public authority need not comply with a request unless any further information reasonably required to locate the information is supplied. If a request is too broad or general in nature, then public authorities have a duty to provide advice and assistance to the applicant in order to focus the request.

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 The National Archives is set at £600. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 3.5 working days in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

The National Archives estimate that it will take in excess of 3.5 working days to determine appropriate material and locate, retrieve and extract the information in reference to this request. Therefore, the request will not be processed further.

The National Archives provides many services online including (but not exclusively) educational tools and services for school, a searchable catalogue, downloadable documents, a document ordering service and a legislation database.  We also work with many organisations on a contract basis for the provision of access to records held by us such as Ancestry and Find My Past.

Many of our services can be accessed via our website at nationalarchives.gov.uk, as such you may wish to examine our site in order to refine your request to a specific area of our work.