Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2000

“An Act to make provision for the disclosure of information held by public authorities or by persons providing services for them and to amend the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Public Records Act 1958; and for connected purposes”

Environmental Information Regulations

Certain information is available under the Environmental Information Regulations. These regulations support the Freedom of Information Act and provide and expand the right of access in respect of environmental information.

The Information Commissioner

  • 1984 – Data Protection Registrar
  • 1998 – Data Protection Commissioner
  • 2000 – Information Commissioner
  • Approval Role
  • Enforcement Role

The Publication Scheme

Under Freedom of Information legislation we are required to provide a Publication Scheme. As of the 1 January 2009 the Information Commissioner required all Public Authorities to adopt a Model Publication Scheme. The Model Publication Scheme has been adopted and can be accessed by using the links on the website under about us.

The Publication Scheme is a document listing, in the form of a series of classes, all the information which we make available to the public or which we intend to make available in the near future. Classes are broad subjects under which publications are grouped, to make them easier to find.

Re-Use of Public Sector Information

Most documents supplied in response to a Freedom of Information request will be subject to copyright protection. You are free to use these documents for your own information. However, any other re-use, for example commercial publication, will require the permission of the copyright holder. If you wish to re-use other materials, you will need to obtain permission from the person or organisation that produced them.

Access

Most of our information is available on our website.

Please note that in the interest of National Security Cleveland Fire Brigade no longer provides the following vehicle fleet data:

  • Vehicle registration number plates
  • Vehicle call signs

Right of Access

  • What? – Anything
  • Who? – Anybody
  • Where from? – Anywhere
  • Why? – None of your business

Access Request

  • In writing
  • Name & Address
  • How information required
  • Describe Information Requested
  • Advice & Assistance

Response to Request

  • Confirm or Deny information held
  • Communicate information
  • Exemptions
  • Fees
  • Time limit

Exemptions

4 Exemptions

  1. Absolute
  2. Qualified
  3. Public Interest Test
  4. Two stages

Public Interest Test

  • Does the Public Interest in maintaining the exemption outweigh the duty to disclose?
  • If there is a balance, disclose
  • What are the factors involved?
  • What is relevant?
  • What is not relevant?

7 Absolute Exemptions

  1. Information accessible by other means;
  2. National security;
  3. Court records;
  4. Parliamentary privilege;
  5. Personal information – about the applicant;
  6. Information provided in confidence;
  7. Prohibition on disclosure

15 Qualified Exemptions

  1. Future publication;
  2. National security;
  3. Defence or armed forces;
  4. International relations;
  5. Relations within the UK
  6. The economy of the UK;
  7. Investigations/proceedings;
  8. Law enforcement;
  9. Effective conduct of public affairs;
  10. Communications with Her Majesty
  11. Health & safety;
  12. Environmental information;
  13. Personal information – about third party;
  14. Legal professional privilege;
  15. Commercial interests

Fees / Time Limit

Fees

  • Prescribed Costs
  • Disbursements
  • Appropriate Limit (no charge is made if the time spent, is less then 18.5 hours)
  • Allowed maximum £450

Time Limit

  • 20 working days
  • Clock stopped between issue of a Fees Notice and fee being paid
  • Clock may be stopped to enable the Public Interest to be assessed

If Information Not Supplied

  • Applicant can use the Internal Complaints Procedure
  • Applicant can complain directly to the Information Commissioner
  • Commissioner can issue Information Notice, Decision Notice or Enforcement Notice

Summary

  • FOIA assumes information will be disclosed
  • Must publish information as described in its Publication Scheme
  • Must help people to submit requests where necessary
  • Information must be retained only as long as necessary – and must be disposed of properly
  • Must ensure that data is accessible to respond to access requests promptly

How to request information

1. Write to -

Freedom of Information Officer
Cleveland Fire Brigade HQ
Endeavour House
Stockton Road
Hartlepool
TS25 5TB

Quoting your Name and Full Address or email for reply.

2. Email info@clevelandfire.gov.uk

Further Information