Licensing cost for all software either purchased or rented

FOI request reference: F0042028
Publication date: May 2015


I’d like to ask the licensing cost for all software (including Microsoft) which you purchase and rent.




Dear [name retracted],

Thank you for your recent email of clarification, confirming that you are seeking the following information from The National Archives:

‘I’d like to ask the licensing cost for all software (including Microsoft) which you purchase and rent.’

Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). I can confirm that The National Archives holds information relevant to your request. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with this information. We are unable to provide you with this information because it is covered by the exemption at section 12 of the FOIA. This allows public authorities to refuse to answer requests for information if the cost of complying would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’. For further information about why this exemption has been applied and how we have reached this conclusion, please see the explanatory Annex at the end of this letter.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of any part of your request or the decision which has been reached, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests must be submitted within two months of the date of this response and should be addressed to:

Quality Manager
Public Services Development Unit
The National Archives

Please mark your complaint clearly. You have the right to ask the Information Commissioner (ICO) to investigate any aspect of your complaint. However, please note that the ICO is likely to expect internal complaints procedures to have been exhausted before beginning his investigation.

Yours sincerely,
Poppy Groves
FOI Request Manager
Freedom of Information Centre
Information Management and Practice Department
The National Archives

Explanatory Annex

Exemptions applied

Section 12

Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) 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 your request because it is so wide ranging.
This information is not held centrally and would need to be collated from a range of business areas within the organization. Colleagues from the relevant business areas have estimated that it would take one member of staff in excess of three working days to collate the information

However, you may wish to consider refining your request; for example, narrowing the scope of, or providing further details about, the period over which you would like us to search. If you are able to do this then we may be able to confirm whether we hold any information relevant to your request.

Further guidance

We are unable to guarantee that any refined requests would fall within the cost limit, but can offer further advice and assistance as required.