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Archiver > ESSEX-UK > 2006-06 > 1149796604

From: "Colleen" <>
Subject: Re Access to registers
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2006 20:56:44 +0100
References: <000d01c68a60$892562a0$36560252@COOPER> <> <034501c68a7f$7a090910$0202a8c0@Vaio> <>

Just had a look at the GRO's website, Steve, and we're both wrong on this.
The GRO states that certificate fees are set at a level 'whereby the full
cost of providing the service is recovered from income', the GRO 'aims to
ensure neither a profit nor a loss.' So your costing of £70 per certificate
is way out - and my view is still that the GRO actually do better than they
admit on these certificates.'

Also, the GRO are obliged by statute to hold & protect these records and to
make them accessible to the public, so would have storage, building, staff &
conservation costs even if they didn't sell one certificate. As Dave Dobbin
rightly says, these records are quickly accessible, digitised ones.
Certificates orders in person from the GRO (which is how most certificates
are obtained) require an addressed envelope with the application form, so
there's not as much work in posting orders as you believe.

I'm puzzled by your reference to having obtained hand written BMD
certificates - those this topic relates to - from the County Records offices
as I wasn't aware these offices supplied these. Have the Essex Records
Office had a policy change? If so, I'd be interested to hear from you how to
order these from there.

Don't see the relevence of your job or mine to this topic, a company
accountant or an MD can be as big a dodo as anyone - as we've just proved


----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve" <>

>I very much doubt that production and posting can be performed at the rate
>of 1 per minute, per member of staff. Especially not at the county records
>offices where the envelopes I have received have often been hand
>written...breaks, like going to the loo, getting a cup of coffee/tea,
>answering the phone, answering emails..cost of storage...cost of the paper,
>light/heat, temperature/humidity control etc, etc, etc.
> As an experienced company accountant, I can not see how the GRO and county
> register offices can cover direct costs on the production of certificates
> at GBP7 per certificate, let alone make a contribution to the running
> costs of the buildings in use.
> I suspect that if this were being done by a commercial enterprise we would
> be looking at nearer GBP70 per certificate.
> Steve
> Colleen wrote:
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Diane wynne" <>
>>> On 07/06/06, jackycooper.clav78 <> wrote:
>>>> I got quite hopeful a while back, having heard that reform was being
>>>> proposed about >access to registers - but I guess getting an
>>>> extortionate £8 (with regular increases) from family historians for
>>>> every certificate is too tempting for the
>>> General Register >Office to give up.
>>> So you want the tax payers to foot the bill for your hobby?! Someone
>>> has to process the request, find the certificate, copy it and then
>>> post it - time and postage cost money.
>>> I'm getting really fed up with people carping on about the costs
>>> incurred in order to follow a hobby. I'd rather the GRO charged a lot
>>> more and used the money to increase the government pension retired
>>> people are expected to live on.
>> I agree with Jacky that the charge for certificates is quite
>> extortionate, how many requests can be processed in an hour, 60 or more,
>> given the bulk nature of the GRO's production of these and that its all
>> computerised now? That's about £400 per hour per staff member working on
>> certificate production. I agree with Diane that the taxpayer should not
>> foot the bill, but it seems to me that the GRO makes a mint on this. I do
>> sympathise with your view re the pension, Diane, however to increase the
>> certificate charge might be counter productive and bring less revenue
>> into the GRO/State so there could be even less for pensions - or maybe
>> not since the new rules will mean many of us will not live to draw a
>> pension...
>> Colleen
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