Technology Demo #1: Interim Fee Estimate Tool

Last updated July 22, 2019

Instructions and more information

Interim Fee Estimate

The file number chosen by the instiution for this request. For example: "2019-01"
A short name used by the institution to refer to this FOI request. For example: "Mayor's emails 2019"
The date the FOI request was originally received by the institution. For example: 2019-01-30
The current wording of the FOI request, e.g., "All emails sent to or from the mayor between Jan 1, 2019 and Dec 31, 2019."
Choose whether FIPPA (the provincial FOI legislation) or MFIPPA (the municipal FOI legislation) applies to your institution.

The institution cannot charge for time spent searching for or preparing records for personal information requests.

Expected fees:
Under $25: Fee estimate not required.
$25-$99.99: Fee estimate may be provided in final decision letter.
$100 or more: The institution may issue an interim access decision with fee estimate using a representative sample of the records and/or the advice of knowledgeable institution staff, and may request a deposit of 50% of the estimated fee before completing the work involved in answering the request.

Use the Search Sample
If you choose the Search Sample Method here, you can base your fee estimate on the work involved for a sample of records, and the Interim Fee Estimate Tool will estimate the full costs of the request.

(Generally recommended if the fee is estimated to be $100 or more, typically greater than 3 hours of search time)

Fee Estimate Calculation

How large is the search sample estimated to be compared to the set of all records responsive to the request?

Search time

Consider what places need to be searched (e.g., legal department, enforcement branch, etc.) and what actions/processes are required to conduct the search and types of files searched (e.g., searching e-mail, other electronic files, paper files, off-site file lists, etc.)
If the records contain the personal information of the requestor, then the institution cannot charge a fee for manually searching these records.

Preparation time

Note: Average time to sever is 2 minutes per page. The institution cannot charge a fee for preparing a record for disclosure containing the requestor's personal information.

Computer Programming




Digital Media


Other costs

The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario has found that “other costs” refers to general administrative costs similar in nature to those listed in paragraphs (a) through (d) of sections 57/45 of FIPPA/MFIPPA, but not specifically mentioned [Order MO-1380]. In Order MO-1421, an institution was authorized to charge for the costs of having a third party retrieve boxes containing responsive records from a record storage facility and shipping them to the institution’s office, as well as the costs of shipping them back to the storage facility.
Provide a description of any "other costs" here.

Waiver amount

If the institution intends to provide a full or partial fee waiver, it may set out the amount of the waiver here. This will lower the amount of the resulting fee estimate (and any fee deposit amount claimed).

Fee Estimate

Search time:
0 hours @ $30 per hour =
Preparation time:
0 hours @ $30 per hour =
Programming time:
0 hours @ $60 per hour =
0 pages @ 20 cents per page =
Media (CD/USB):
0 @ $10 per item =
Other costs:
Waiver amount:
Total estimated fee:
Fee deposit amount (50%):

Fee Estimate Information:

Description and Location of Records
A description of the responsive records to which access is being granted or withheld.
It is recommended to describe the location(s) of the records as support for the fee estimate.
Where applicable, describe the program area(s) involved in conducting the search.
These notes are optional but can be used to provide additional support the fee estimate.
Applicable Exemptions
Interim fee estimates are expected to be accompanied by an interim access decision where the requestor is informed of which exemptions and exclusions the institution believes are likely to apply.
Which exemptions may apply? (In the absence of any cited exemptions, it is reasonable for a requester to infer that the records will be released in their entirety upon payment of the required fee.)

Estimated Degree of Disclosure
This forms part of the interim access decision where the requestor is informed of approximately how many of the responsive documents (or what %) the institution expects to disclose.
The degree of disclosure (e.g., 10, 50 or 95 percent) of total records, or the estimated number of records or pages (or parts of pages) to which access will be granted:




Estimated Severance
This forms part of the interim access decision, where the requestor is informed of the expected level of severance/redactions from the disclosed documents.
The expected degree of severing for parts of records:

Third-Party Consultations
This forms part of the interim access decision, where the requestor is informed of whether the institution expects that third-party consultations will be required.
Are third-party consultations likely to be required?

Draft Interim Fee Estimate Letter:
Once all of the information in the form above has been filled in, press the "Generate Template Letter" button below to prepare a draft interim fee estimate and interim access decision letter. The draft letter can then be cut-and-pasted into a word processor (such as MS Word) to be finalized for disclosure to the requestor.