This charging policy provides clarification of roles and responsibilities and ensures a consistent and transparent approach to charging across all business areas - reducing the reputational risk to the Organisation of an inconsistent approach with third parties.
There are a number of current initiatives which impact on this policy. These include
- FOI (Right to Data)
- ONS Partnership Policy
- Requests for Unpublished Data
- ONS Public Task Definition
- Open Government Licencing Scheme (OGL)
The role of the Business Development and Support Team (BDST) within Commercial Services Division (CSD) is to support business areas in their income-related activities - including advice and guidance on charging, supporting bids for new work, exploring income opportunities, and putting in place a supporting contractual framework with standard templates.
However before we can take this agenda forward we need to ensure that the agreements we currently have are charged for in a consistent manner, have appropriate terms and conditions to support them and are in line with the current Charging Rates. Commercial Services Division provide a programme of awareness and an account management structure.
- Policy Statement - details of what is within scope of this Policy and what is outside of scope
- Principles which we will operate within
- Contractual Framework
- Free and Chargeable Services
- User Guidance
- Modifications to the policy
- Staff with specific needs
- Failure to comply
What’s within scope:
- Support and guidance to Business Areas to ensure a consistent approach to charging
- Support to Business Areas in developing contractual documentation
- Marketing ONS Portfolio of Assets to generate additional income
- Value Added Data Services
- Support for the 2011 Census
Support to Business Areas who bid for work
What’s outside of scope:
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The Organisation operates within the following general principles
- To protect and develop the Organisation Intellectual Property Rights ( IPR);
- To ensure that the Organisation make the most effective and efficient use of public assets;
- To generate an income when a chargeable activity is undertaken;
- To operate within legal constraints, including competition law, by not participating in any anti-competitive behaviour; and
- Not subsidising commercial activities from public funds.
The Organisation is committed to operating in a fair, open and transparent way. We encourage the use and re-use of the Organisations data and will provide a range of template documentation to support the use and re-use of the Organisations Data that focus on how our customers wish to use our data.
Where appropriate charges will be levied in accordance with the foloowing guidance.
The Data will be provided to the Customer free of charge.
We will use a template e-mail with a link to the information on the Publications Hub and a link to the OGL on the National Archives Website. This also details the responsibilities of the users when they are re-using the information. Where the information can not be provided from the web it will be provided on an appropriate media. Charges may be levied for the administration, compilation on to the media and secure distribution of the information to the customer.
Value Added Services
The Data will be provided to the Customer free of charge.
We will use a Data Access Agreement of appropriate complexity to support the provision of the value added services to the customer. The Data will be provided under the OGL. Whilst we cannot charge for the Data, we can charge for the value added services provision in line with current Charging Rates.
Requests for unpublished Data
The ONS publication scheme informs our users what information we have available. It includes details on how to access published and unpublished data as well as publications and underlying datasets.
Appropriate contractual documentation will be prepared to support any successful bids for work.
Competed services are priced on an individual basis, dependent upon the nature of the service and the requirements of the customer. This Policy will apply equally to public sector and private sector customers, in cases where the contract is awarded through competitive tender.
The Organisations Charging Policy is in line with all current government Policies and Regulations.
Noting that the provision of all Data is free of charge and will remain so under the OGL only value added services can therefore be charged for.
Any request for more than just the provision of data shall be considered as Value Added. There are 3 broad types of service requests that the Organisation receive: ad-hoc statistical enquires, complex enquiries and competed for services.
In order to ensure equality of access and transparency across private and public sectors, all external customers, including other government departments, would be charged for information requests of the nature described above. There may exist a number of exceptions where agreements are in place to provide specific or regular datasets, as part of the public task, without charge. However, it should be noted that requests for other data not included in an exempted agreement should be charged accordingly.
Ad-hoc statistical enquiries
A no charge policy will apply to enquiries from the public and organisations (including the media) that take less than 30 minutes for an individual member of staff to complete. Note that many enquiries will be directed to the Organisation website / publications or answered directly by phone or email.
The cost for administering such a request is small and this service forms part of the Organisations vision of widening statistical access and informing the national debate.
Data and information distributed via the Organisation website or in publications is free to access and re-use, is subject to crown copyright and is made available under the Open Government Licence scheme (OGL).
If an external request for data cannot be answered within 30 minutes or is not available by referring to existing published sources or online at www.ons.gov.uk; then the charging policy will apply.
In costing any work, the time spent dealing with the initial enquiry will be excluded but, as a guide, should take no longer than 30 minutes.
The services might include:
1. Bespoke tabulations & data manipulation
2. Researching information at the Organisation or from some other sources
3. Producing tailored statistical publications
4. Comparing the Organisation and international statistics
More complex enquiries
If the request is more complex in nature, takes longer than a day to complete and/or involves the services of multiple members of staff then the Business Area must recover costs based on the full economic cost (FEC) model.
The Organisation competes in the open market to provide a variety of services to public and private sector organisations. Charges related to individual bids for work should be made in accordance with this Charging Policy.
There are no exceptions to this policy.
It is recognised that changing issues and circumstances may require future revision to this policy. A formal review will be undertaken every 12 months from the anniversary of the creation of this policy. However, the policy may be modified as appropriate from time to time as agreed by the Policy Owner, IPC and if appropriate in consultation with the DTUS.
Staff with specific needs/requirements in relation to this policy will be given consideration on a case by case basis.
Failure to comply with the Income and Charging Policy will result in disciplinary action in line with Organisation’s Discipline Policy.
Staff making a complaint in relation to the application of this policy should refer to the Organisation’s grievance procedures.