The histories of the PAS all begin with pilot schemes that commenced "in September 1997", but no firm date is quoted, so 1st September is a conventional one. The online PAS database contains no records of finds at all for those early months and years (the earliest records accessible seem to be from 3rd August 1999).
How much is this all costing the public to get a modicum of information about some of their heritage artefact collectors are taking from them, day by day, week by week, year after year? Kate Clark's reviw of the Scheme (2010, p. 11) tabulates the expenditure up to 2008/9:
Firm figures after that are hard to come by. The PAS for some reason do not seem to consider it a fact they should be highlighting in their annual reports (the reports which say where that money went). In 2009-10 there was an allocation of £1.3 million, which reportedly rose to over £1.4 million in 2010-11. Funding seems to have been maintained at about £1.3 million each year (2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14) making an additional £5,200,000. The manner of funding the Scheme changed after the Review, but the role of 'local partners' remained important. Let's say they contributed the same amount each year, 60 000 p.a. That adds another £240,000 to the pot. That is a total of £15,005,000.
The Welsh PAS following the phased withdrawal of the British Museum funding passes to AC-NMW, Cadw and CyMAL will fund it from 2015-16 when the British Museum funding ends.