ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2006-06 > 1149847953
From: Steve <>
Subject: Re: [Ess] Re Access to registers
Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2006 11:12:33 +0100
References: <000d01c68a60$892562a0$36560252@COOPER> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <034501c68a7f$7a090910$0202a8c0@Vaio> <4487E39F.email@example.com> <00db01c68b35$ac705b90$0202a8c0@Vaio>
"the GRO 'aims to ensure neither a profit nor a loss.' "
Having experience with other agencies, I would want to have a careful
look at their accounts to ensure that there was no input from central
government before commenting on this in any detail, as at least 2 full
cost recovery agencies that I am aware of are not allowed to charge the
full cost of their product as this would be politically "inappropriate"
"Certificates orders in person from the GRO (which is how most
certificates are obtained)"
I thought one of their recent news letters was boasting that they now do
over 60% of their certificates from on-line applications?
"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."
I may have been unclear in my phrasing with that. What I thought I said
was hand written envelopes for certificates. The most recent one was for
a certificate ordered on-line from Wolverhampton. I've not purchased an
Essex certificate recently as I keep promising myself a trip to ERO, but
it hasn't happened yet. As far as I am aware all register offices have
to supply copies of "their" certificates. In my experience, some are
more efficient than others at doing this. EG Stockton-on-Tees lets you
ask if they have a particular record on-line and then allows you to
order over the phone paying by credit or debit card. Other offices
insist on a written application with cheque and self addressed envelope.
As to the relevance of jobs, well I know that , according to the ICAEW,
it takes the most efficient companies about £2 per item to process
cheques from receipt, to bank. The book-keeping required adds to this.
So I still think that £7/certificate, ordered locally or centrally, is
good value for money.
> 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.
>> 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...
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