Ministry of Justice ?
I just can't get used to seeing that in print (so to speak). It's just so frighteningly Orwellian.
W/R/T the actual story, if FOI requests are expensive, boo hoo. My heart bleeds.
Four remedies :
1) Stop being so damn secretive in the first place, if the info was routinely made readily available it wouldn't cost so much to track down.
2) Keep proper records, see above.
3) Sort your bloody admin processes out so that they actually work efficiently, massive cost savings all around. Handy hint for public orgs, stop hiring monkeys to be 'administrators' and get some properly trained employees. They'll cost more, sure, but they'll be more efficient, q.v previous. The three GCSE crowd will end up back on the dole, sure, temporarily inflating unemployment figures, but then they'll all get snapped up by Mickey D's and GAP which is where they belong in the first place.
4) Tax me more. If a proper, functioning, accountable democracy is more expensive than what we've got now, then so be it. But be damn sure you try the first three proposals first.
A heavily qualified, but hearty "yay" for the consultation result though.