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Saturday, August 03, 2013

Dr Hawke's prescription on charges

Sean Parnell in The Australian this morning includes in his report of Hawke highlights that the recommended charge for processing a request that takes between 5-10 hours will be a flat fee of $50.

That's what the discussion in the report suggests. However the relevant recommendation on charges, the basis for my summary pointing to something different, reads (emphasis added):
Recommendation 22(a)
The Review recommends that a flat rate processing charge should apply to all processing activities, including search, retrieval, decision-making, redaction and electronic processing. No charge should be payable for the first five hours of processing time. Processing time that exceeds five hours but is ten hours or less should be charged at $50 per hour. The charge for each hour of processing time after the first ten hours should be $30 per hour. 
The flat $50 to cover up to 10 hours would be in line with Professor McMillan's recommendation in his FOI Charges Review March 2012.

Just a typo in 22(a)?

Or maybe not. Dr Hawke doesn't mention a maximum charge, something specified in the McMillan review as $950, the combined effect of the flat $50 for the first ten hours , and $30 per hour for the 30 hours thereafter before the proposed 40 hour cut off point is reached. On the other hand the no typo result would be $50 per hour for hours 6-10, plus $30 for each hour up to the cap - all up $1200.

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