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21040 – Whistleblowers

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Ref: FOI/21040 

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST 

 I am writing to confirm that the West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information you requested further to your freedom of information request. 

Please find below a summary of our findings. 

Request 

  1. How many reports did you receive fromwhistleblowersin 2019 and in 2020? 

Reply 

The last report that was presented to the Audit Committee noted that there have been no allegations of whistle blowing reported through the Whistle Blowing Policy (S0 2/20) 

Request 

  1. How many people do you have in your organisation that are trained/permitted to take reports fromwhistleblowers?

Reply 

The Strategic Enabler – People has overall responsibility for the maintenance and operation of this policy. This officer maintains a record of concerns raised and the outcomes (but in a form which does not endanger the complainant’s confidentiality) and will report as necessary to the Service and Fire Authority.  

In total there are 13 SET members who are permitted to take reports from Whistle Blowers and they are then supported by the PSS Business Partners who are also trained in line with the policy. 

Request 

  1. What training have the people in question number 2 received in whistleblowing?

Reply 

The policy is very informative and provides clear guidance and is clear on the sign posting to the Strategic Enabler of People. I can also confirm that the Whistle Blowing policy goes through a formal 3-year review through JCC which includes managers, Trade Unions and PSS Business Partners. 

Request 

  1. What cost, if any, was there for this training?

Reply 

N/A 

Request 

  1. Which organisation delivered each course?

Reply 

N/A 

Request 

  1. What is the name of the person that arranged this training and what is their email address?

Reply 

Further detail about individual incidents is classed as personal data and therefore attracts a Section 40(2) exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Disclosure of the information may cause damage and distress to the individuals involved so would therefore be unfair to disclose it and contravene principles of the Data Protection Act 2018. 

Request 

  1. What methods do you have for whistleblowers to contact a person that is authorised to take their report and what are the specific details of these, i.e., email addresses, telephone numbers etc? 

Reply 

If the matter relates to any fraudulent or corrupt activity, concerns should be raised in accordance with procedures detailed in the 0122 Anti-Fraud Corruption and Bribery Policy. 

 If the complainant wishes to raise or discuss any issues which might fall into the above category then the complainant should contact a member of Strategic Enabling Team (SET), the Treasurer or the Clerk to the Fire Authority, who will be required by WMFS to treat the matter in confidence. 

 Where possible, the complainant should raise their complaint in writing setting out the background and history of the concern giving names, dates and places where possible and the reason why the complainant is particularly concerned about the situation. If the complainant does not feel able to put the concern in writing, then the complainant can discuss the concerns verbally with a member of the SET, or the Treasurer/ 151 Officer or the Clerk to the Fire Authority. 

The complainant may invite a member of the trade union representative body or a work colleague to be present during any meetings or interviews in connection with the concerns raised. 

Where a concern relates to a Brigade Manager or SET Manager, then either the Strategic Enabler People (as Responsible Officer), or Deputy Chief Fire Officer or Chief Fire Officer, as appropriate, should be contacted in the first instance. Satinder Sahota as the Monitoring Officer role for the Fire Authority. The Monitoring Officer may be contacted via email Satinder.sahota@wmfs.net. 

The Treasurer to the Fire Authority may be contacted on 0121 380 6919. The Clerk to the Fire Authority may contacted on 0121 380 6678. Address for the Treasurer and the Clerk to the Fire Authority is: West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW. 

Concerns expressed anonymously are much less powerful, but will be considered at the discretion of the Strategic Enabler – People. 

Request 

  1. What are the email addresses for the people authorised to receivewhistleblowerreports? 

Reply 

WMFS Chief Fire Officer – phil.loach@wmfs.net 

WMFS Deputy Chief Fire Officer – Wayne.brown@wmfs.net 

WMFS Strategic Enabling Team members – _StrategicEnablingTeam@wmfs.net 

WMFS Treasurer – Mike.Griffiths@wmfs.net 

WMFS Clerk to the Authority – Karen.Gowreesunker@wmfs.net 

The Authority’s Monitoring Officer – Satinder.sahota@wmfs.net 

Request 

  1. How manywhistleblowershave left the organisation within 12 months of making a report? 

Reply 

None 

Request

  1. How manywhistleblowershave made an allegation of ‘detriment’ against your organisation? 

Reply 

None 

If you have any queries about this Freedom of Information request, please contact us. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications. 

For service complaints, issues or comments regarding this request please contact The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW 

Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following link: https://ico.org.uk/ or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF. 

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