Friday, 17 September 2010

Government responds to English GRO certificate fee increases

A recent e-petition has now been answered down south by the UK Government concerning the rise in fee charges for English and Welsh certificates to £9.25:

Thank you for your e-petition on costs for certificates from the General Register Office (GRO).

The fee changes you refer to were introduced from 6 April this year following a comprehensive review of existing fees which took place during 2009. The Government has an obligation to ensure that the income from GRO fees recovers the cost of providing the service, and the review concluded that the increases (the first since 2003) were now necessary to recover those costs.

The changes introduced in April were also aimed at simplifying the previous fee structure, reducing the number of types of fees from 8 down to 2. Although the cost of the cheapest certificate – those ordered online with an index reference number – rose from £7 to £9.25, some of the previous fees were reduced, for example for those ordering by telephone or post without an index reference number.

We recognise the important role played by genealogists and appreciate that they will be disappointed by the recent fee increases but the recent fee changes will help to maintain the efficiency and quality of service to customers, and both the processes involved in this and the fee structure itself will be subject to future review.

The petition also refers to certificates being sent by email to reduce costs. Under current legislation GRO may only provide copies of entries by means of a paper certified copy.

The original petition is at

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