What a Publication Scheme is and why it has been developed
One of the aims of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (which is referred to as FOIA in the rest of this document) is to ensure that public authorities are clear and proactive about the information they will make available to people. To achieve this they must produce a Publication Scheme setting out the following:
The classes of information they publish or intend to publish.
The manner in which the information will be published.
Whether the information is available free of charge or if a payment is required.
Our Publication Scheme complies with these requirements. Everything contained within it is either available for you to read, to download from our website using the links in this document, or is available in traditional document form.
Not all information that we hold is available to the public; for example, information about national security or court records.
The person responsible for maintenance of this scheme is the Information and Corporate Communications Manager.
The Publication Scheme guides you to information which we currently publish or will publish in the future.
The following detailed information is available, and is divided into seven categories as follows:
Will I have to pay for the Information?
A single copy of any information included in this Publication Scheme will be provided free of charge.
Can't find what you are looking for?
If you cannot find what you are looking for, it might be because the type of information you require will need to be retrieved from our files, or, that it is exempt or contains personal data which is covered by the Data Protection Act 1998.
How to apply for information not included in the Publication Scheme
You are able to ask the Authority for information which is not already published elsewhere nor exempt under the FOIA.
Under the FOIA you will have the right to ask for information to be provided in a particular way and we will try to meet your needs. You will be able to ask for assistance if you have any difficulty in making an application.
We will help you as much as possible but we are not required to look for the information unless you have requested it in writing (Including email or fax). The request must:
Be clear and understandable with enough detail to help us locate the information
State your name and address so that we can respond directly to you
Identify the form in which you want to receive the information
This will ensure that your application is dealt with as quickly as possible. Some documents may include exempt information so you will only be provided with the information which is not exempt. You only have a right to information and not necessarily to documents.
However, in some instances the information you require may take a little longer to retrieve or cost more to copy, so you may be charged to cover administration costs. If a fee is required, you will be informed about how much you will have to pay and who the payment should be made to. We will only provide you with the information upon receipt of the payment.
Any fee charged will be calculated by looking at the costs directly and reasonably incurred for locating the information and providing it to you. If a fee is to be charged, you will be sent a 'fees notice' which you will have to pay within three months of your request. You will not receive the information requested until you have paid the fees notice.
If the estimated cost of providing the information is above the appropriate limit set by the Government, then we will not be under a duty to provide it. However, the Combined Fire Authority will inform you if the limit will be exceeded and we will try to let you know what can be provided within the limit.
Despite not being obliged to provide information which exceeds the limit, the Fire Authority will still be under a duty to advise and assist.
In order to protect the Combined Fire Authority there will be rules which govern multiple applications for information which are clearly trying to avoid the financial limits set by the Government. However, at all times, we will try to help you as much as possible to get the information you want.
Finally, you do not have to tell us why you want the information.