The Freedom of Information Act is about increasing the accountability and transparency in the decisions we make and about the services we provide.
The Act places two main duties upon us:
Requests can be made by email, telephone or verbally, as outlined in the Environmental Information Regulations. We will aim to respond to your request within 20 working days of receiving it.
If we're unable to meet the deadline, we will let you know when we expect to respond to you.
If you have any comments, suggestions or queries about freedom of information at the Brigade please contact:
Some information is already available via our publication scheme, but there may be some information that you might need to pay for.
When you make a request for information, which is currently not already available, we may charge you administrative costs.
We will not charge you where the total cost is less than £10.
Where the cost is more than £10, you will be given a fees notice as quickly as possible, requesting payment of the fee.
The information you have requested will only be provided to you once the full fee is received (if paying by cheque, once the cheque has cleared).
You will also be given advice on whether we can provide the information to you in a way to avoid paying the fee.
We may make a charge for the staff time in responding to your request for information.
We will only charge if we estimate that the staff time will cost more than £450 in total; if it does then we may charge the full staff costs.
This will be based on a calculation of £25 per hour per person.
We reserve the right to refuse to respond to a request for information where the staff costs exceed £450. If we decide to do this you will be informed and we will give you the reason for this decision.
We may refuse to respond to a request for information where the cost of doing so would be disproportionate, or where there is some other means available, to the applicant to access the information.
Where a request is dealt with under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, we will not refuse to respond to the request on the basis of costs.
Most information will be made available by email or post. If you want to receive information in a particular format please outline this when you contact us with your request.
The Freedom of Information Act sets out exemptions that in some circumstances allow us to withhold requested information.
If we decide we want to rely on an exemption, so that we can withhold information you have requested, we will tell you which exemption has been applied and explain the reason why it is applicable.
When we receive a request for information that we do not hold or own, we will help you, as far as reasonable, to transfer your request to the relevant organisation.
If we transfer your request, we'll ask for your permission first.
We hold some information that we may not own or have responsibility for. In this case, where reasonably practical, we will aim to consult the owners of the information before we decide whether or not we are able to disclose the information.
If you're not satisfied with the information provided in response to any request, you can ask us to review our decision or the information provided by writing to David Wyatt, Head of Information Management.
We will assess whether the decision can be reviewed and explain the process to you.
If you are still not happy with the outcome, you have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office.