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Freedom of Information Publication Scheme

This page brings together publications relating to the structure of the Library, its organisation, and what we do.

  1. Who we are and what we do
  2. What we spend and  how we spend it
  3. What are our priorities and how are we doing
  4. How we make decisions
  5. Our policies and procedures
  6. Lists and registers
  7. The services we offer

2. What We Spend and How We Spend It

Funding Agreement and Other Income

Our current management funding agreement with DCMS.

In addition to Grant in Aid, the Library also generates income from individual and corporate donations, charitable activities, and investment. Further details can be found in our Annual Reports.


Financial Statements, Budgets and Variance Reports

A summary of our 2014-15 financial budget and spending.

A summary of our 2015-16 financial budget and spending.


Information on Contracts and Expenditure

Full details of all contracts of a value over £10,000 entered into by the British Library from January 2011 (or July 2010 for IT contracts).

All supplier payments for individual invoices exceeding £25,000 and paid after 1 April 2010. This information will be updated monthly on or before the 15th working day of the following month.

All Government Procurement Card expenditure over £500 for calendar years 2012, 2013 and 2014. This information will be published annually during the month of January.

Percentage of invoices paid within 5 days / 30 days as required by the Public Contract Regulations 2015. This information will be published quarterly.


Forward Plans for Purchasing Exhibits and the Forward Exhibitions Programme

The Library allocates its acquisition budget partly by subject and partly by format. Work has commenced to review and revise the balance across subject and format taking into account content development through UK legal deposit, voluntary deposit and donation; subject priorities and coherence within each discipline; pricing; usage and demand; content available elsewhere and life-cycle costs. The implementation of these changes to our acquisitions budget will continue to be incremental and will take several years to achieve.

In 2013/14 the Library budgeted £15.1m for acquisitions.

In 2014/15 the Library budgeted £14.8m for acquisitions.

In 2015/16 the Library budgeted £13.1m for acquisitions.

Full details of the Library's upcoming Exhibitions programme can be found on our website.


Capital Programme

Details of our capital spending is included in the financial summaries found under the Financial Statements, Budgets and Variance reports section above.


Spending Reviews

Our Spending Review letters from DCMS covering the period 2011-2016:

  • 2012, covering financial years 2011/12-2014/15
  • 2013, covering financial years 2015/16
  • 2014, covering financial years 2014/15-2015/16


Grants and Donations

Details of grants and donations over £100,000 received by the Library since 2012. 

If you'd like to make a donation to The Library, there are several ways you can do this:

Adopt a Book

Become a Patron

Become a Friend of the British Library

Leave a Legacy

Financial Audit Reports

The Library's financial controls are audited on a regular basis. Most recently our treasury, cash flow management, and general ledger processes were audited by RSM Tenon in 2013. In all cases the conclusion was that:

Taking account of the issues identified, the Board can take substantial assurance that the controls upon which the organisation relies to manage this area are suitably designed, consistently applied, and effective.


Staff and Board Members' Allowances and Expenses

Expenses that can be claimed by staff are detailed in the Library's Staff Expenses Policy.

Board members are reimbursed for reasonable travelling expenses and accommodation only, on the following basis:

Travel Expenses - Travel expenses may not exceed the cost of a standard rail fare or bus fare from your normal place of residence (or from the place of landing in the United Kingdom if you are coming from abroad) to the British Library site visited.  Special priced tickets should be used where possible in preference to the standard return fare.  Expenses incurred in travel to this country from abroad are recoverable from the British Library for standard fares. 

Accommodation Allowance - If you live within reasonable distance of the Library site visited you will be expected to travel there and back on the same day.  If you do not live within reasonable travelling distance, an overnight allowance will be paid.  Receipts must be provided.  If you stay overnight with a relative or friend you will only be entitled to half of the overnight allowance.

 Details of actual expenses claimed by board members and senior staff during financial years 2011/12, 2012/13, and 2013/14.


Pay and Grading Structures

The Library's current pay scales.

Also available are the old pay scales from 2014 and 2013.

An online visualisation of our organisation structure can be viewed on the website. Associated datasets related to senior staff and junior staff salaries.


Procurement and Tendering Procedures

Information about our procurement and tendering process can be found on our dedicated e-tendering website.

Past tender documents (as opposed to live opportunities), as well as documents relating to other types of tender (e.g. single tender, framework agreements), can be found on the Business Link website.


Financial Statements for Projects and Events

Financial details of our major projects during the last financial year.

The Library does not at this time track detailed budget and expenditure for individual events. 


Internal Financial Regulations

The Library's internal Financial Code.

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