Dear Mr Walton,
This is all covered by the ACAO (now ALGAO) booklet on policies for access and charging (ACAO 1993). Local authorities are allowed to charge for information under the 1972 and 1985 Local Government Acts. Local authorities are not allowed to charge a profit but a reasonable recovery of costs. Local authorities do not normally charge students or educational projects as the LAs are also education authorities with a statutory duty to support this kind of activity - indeed they often give money to students, so to take it away again would be foolish. On the other hand, LAs are not required to subsidise consultants or contractors working commercially. We all reserve the right to waive fees given special circumstances.
>>> [log in to unmask] 08/03/2006 13:13:57 >>>
Interesting debate. From a once involved archaeologist the policies
seem rather diverse and puzzling. I think several questions need to be
asked about charging / charging policies.
1) What is the aim of charging ie. is it cost-recovery OR revenue
2) How is the charge calculated ie. from a physical resource and/or
intelectual price for the information.
3) What is the argument for differential charging -
I don't see the reason behind charging 'consultant' and not charging
others - surely time and effort is the same no matter where the enquiry
is from? What would stop me as a 'consultant' simply claiming that I
am doing it for private research?
Date sent: Wed, 8 Mar 2006 12:44:37 -0000
Send reply to: Issues related to Historic Environment Records <[log in to unmask]>
From: "Nicholson, Andrew" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: How commercial are consultants?
To: [log in to unmask]
> We always enquire what the information is wanted for, and the context of the
> Consultants are usually aware that we charge, as are commercial
> organisations that we deal with, including units, consultants, utilities
> companies etc, and we expect them to factor the cost of the SMR search into
> their own estimates/fees.
> We charge £40 per hour, with a £40 minimum charge.
> If the context of the enquiry indicates that it is for educational purposes,
> then we may well waive the charge.
> Although the NMRS is freely accessible via Canmore [which does have caveats
> but which seem to be constantly ignored by some sectors who think they can
> get all that they need for free], it is not the same dataset as that held by
> the local authority, so we still expect enquiries to come to us.
> Andrew Nicholson
> SMR Officer
> Planning and Environment (Archaeology)
> Dumfries and Galloway Council
> Tel: 01387 260154
> Fax: 01387 260149
> mailto:[log in to unmask]
> Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be
> disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of Information
> (Scotland) Act 2002.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Issues related to Historic Environment Records
> > [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Birte Brugmann
> > Sent: 08 March 2006 12:26
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: How commercial are consultants?
> > Hi,
> > I've followed the thread about charging and wonder where the
> > line is drawn
> > between commercial and non-commercial. As a part-time
> > university employee, I
> > do archaeology non-commercially, and as a part-time archaeological
> > consultant, I do the same commercially? In both cases, I earn
> > my living as
> > an archaeologist. As a consultant, do I only get charged if I
> > do work for a
> > commercial contractor? Or also if I do work for a trust or a charity?
> > Thanks,
> > Birte
Project Jupiter, ext 3316
This E-mail and any attachments may contain information that is confidential or privileged, and is intended solely for the use of the named recipient. If you are not the intended recipient, please be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution or any action taken is prohibited and may be unlawful.
Any opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily the view of the Council.
North Yorkshire County Council.