FOI & PQ Team
41 Homer Road
3 March 2014
Dear Mr Clinton
Thank you for your e-mail of 3 February, in which you ask: ‘Could you please confirm the following information; from inception to current year:
(1) Number of asylum seekers expatriated via chartered flight?
(2) Number of children currently in detention?’
Your query has been handled as a request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.
Under section 12 of the Act, the Home Office is not obliged to comply with an
information request where to do so would exceed the cost limit.
We have estimated that the cost of meeting your request would exceed the cost limit
of £600 specified in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate
Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. We are therefore unable to comply with it.
There have been 28,283* removals on 798* charter flights since the programme
began in 2001. The additional detailed information requested is not captured in our
current reports. We have estimated that to gather and collate the information you
have requested would exceed the £600 cost threshold.
The figures provided are sourced from a Home Office management information system which is not quality assured under
National Statistics protocols and is subject to change due to internal data quality checking. Figures provided from this source do
not constitute part of National Statistics and should be treated as provisional.
The £600 limit is based on work being carried out at a rate of £25 per hour, which
equates to 24 hours of work per request. The cost of locating, retrieving and
extracting information and preparing the response can be included in the costs for
these purposes. The costs do not include considering whether any information is
exempt from disclosure, overheads such as heating or lighting, or items such as
photocopying or postage.
If you refine your request, so that it is more likely to fall under the cost limit, we will
consider it again.
Please note that if you simply break your request down into a series of similar smaller
requests, we might still decline to answer it if the total cost exceeds £600.
In regards to question 2, we believe that the information you have requested is
already reasonably accessible to you.
The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics on the number of children
detained in the United Kingdom for immigration purposes, within Immigration
The data on children in detention are readily available from table dt 12 q of the
detention tables: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/259962
in the latest release, Immigration Statistics: July –
September 2013, from the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/home-office/series/immigration-
Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act exempts the Home Office from having
to provide you with this information, because it is already reasonably accessible.
If you are dissatisfied with this response you may request an independent internal
review of our handling of your request by submitting a complaint within two months to
the address below, quoting reference 30574. If you ask for an internal review, it would
be helpful if you could say why you are dissatisfied with the response.
Information Access Team
Ground Floor, Seacole Building
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF
As part of any internal review the Department's handling of your information request
will be reassessed by staff who were not involved in providing you with this response.
If you remain dissatisfied after this internal review, you would have a right of
complaint to the Information Commissioner as established by section 50 of the
Freedom of Information Act.
Immigration Enforcement FOI & PQ Team