External Consultants 2008-2010
1. I would like to know how much South Yorkshire police force has spent on external consultants in each of the last three full calendar years - 2008-2010?
2. If possible, I would also like to know the breakdown of the costs by company or individual in each of the three years.
In accordance with 1 (1) (a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I can advise you that South Yorkshire Police holds the information you request.
Your request for information has been considered and I am not obliged to supply the information you have requested. Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires South Yorkshire Police, when refusing to provide such information (because the information is exempt) to provide you the applicant with a notice which:
(a) states that fact;
(b) specifies the exemption in question and;
(c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.
The following exemption applies to the disclosure of the information:
Section 12 – Exemption where cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit
The Force Corporate Finance Department was approached for assistance with your request. A search of the 2010/11 electronically held journals was carried out using the following codes:
Professional Services – Premises
Other Professional Services
Health & Safety Professional
This located 1656 records, however the information you seek may also be recorded under other codes such as Asset Valuations or Miscellaneous. As the electronic records do not contain the detail of your request (most have just a supplier’s name), the data retrieved would have to be cross-referenced with original invoice documents in order to provide a full response. For this one year alone, the process outlined would exceed the Appropriate Limit.
The Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 provide that the cost limit for non central government public authorities is £450. This must be calculated at the rate of £25 per hour, providing an effective time limit of 18 hours.
Guidance from the Information Commissioner to public authorities is that where one part of a request is reasonably estimated to exceed the appropriate limit then the authority is not obliged to consider or comply with the remainder of the request up to the point at which the appropriate limit has been reached. This guidance is contained within the penultimate paragraph of page 4 of the guidance which can be found at: -
If you feel your endeavours can be achieved within the appropriate limit by refining your request, South Yorkshire Police would be more than happy to consider any further request.