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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 1 December 2014 to Question 215721, if she will place in the Library the calculation which found that the cost of providing the information requested in that Question was disproportionate.
A sizeable number of files would need to be reviewed to answer this question. DFID’s database shows over 500 files for the department which dealt with the Overseas Territories for file period 1995/97 alone. It costs £1.50 to access each file. The costs associated with archive research covering the period 1994 to 2004 would therefore be considerable. In addition to financial costs there would also be substantial associated staff costs with carrying out this archive research.
On the basis of the disproportionate cost threshold for written questions, it was assessed that this information could not be collated without incurring disproportionate cost.