Public expenditure

FOI Number: FOI23153

Where applicable, we publish responses to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This one, Public expenditure, is detailed below.

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Freedom of Information

Published on 18 December 2023

Ref: FOI/23153

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST (FOIA 2000)

West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) has now completed its search for the information requested on 19th November 2023.

Please find below a summary of our findings.

Request

We would like to request the following information with regard to public expenditure in line with relevant legislation.

Can it be confirmed that fleet vehicles used by flexi-officers have been purchased outright rather than on a lease hire or other arrangement?

Reply

I can confirm that a Range Rover has been purchased as a replacement vehicle, in line with the Vehicle Replacement Programme (VRP).

No other vehicles have been purchased to date, although the Service will shortly be purchasing additional vehicles based on the exigencies of the Service.

Request

If the vehicles have been purchased outright, can the total cost be confirmed and details of costs of servicing, adaptation etc.

Reply

This information is exempt under Section 22 of the FOIA 2000.

This information will be available on future publication in our transparency report available on the WMFS website.

Please find a link below to WMFS transparency report.

https://www.wmfs.net/documents/transparency-report/

Request

With regard to vehicles, please confirm that a Range Rover has been purchased or leased for use by a Principal Officer.

Reply

As above

Request

Can you confirm that the Officer using the Range Rover in question has been authorised to travel to London frequently by this method.

Reply

All WMFS vehicles are covered for business and social, domestic and pleasure purposes and based on the exigencies of the Service.

Request

Given the above, please confirm whether WMFS or the WM Fire Authority pay the fuel costs associated with these trips.

Reply

All WMFS vehicles have fuel cards allocated.

Request

Can you confirm that a “Chauffeur”/Driver has been employed and/or assigned to this Officer and vehicle?

Reply

WMFS has not employed/deployed into a “Chauffeur/Driver” role for the vehicle in question.

Request

Upon confirmation of the above, please confirm that WMFS/WM Fire Authority pay the salary of the Chauffeur and associated expenses if overnight stayovers are required.

Reply

N/A

Request

Can you confirm the frequency and cost of WMFS or Fire Authority use of hotels, notably, but not exclusively New Hall Hotel in Walmley and Hotel du Vin Birmingham and all related costs incurred.

Reply

This information is exempt under Section 22 of the FOIA 2000.

This information will be available on future publication in our transparency report available on the WMFS website.

Please find a link below to WMFS transparency report.

https://www.wmfs.net/documents/transparency-report/

See also: Archive Transparency Report for 2022/ – January 2023 Row 248 – New Hall Hotel.

Request

It is believed that the Senior Executive hold frequent “team building” exercises at these venues. Please also provide confirmation of rationale, when many WMFS facilities have purpose-built conference facilities.

Reply

This information is exempt under section 1 of the FOIA 2000. We do hold or process this information/ “rationale”.

Request

Please confirm the cost of the rebranded logo, which company or organisation were commissioned to do this and whether there was any formal tender process followed prior to award of contract.

Reply

This task was conducted ‘in house’; therefore, no company or organisation were commissioned, and no formal tender process was required.

Request

Please confirm costs, or projected costs of formal corporate workwear that has been recently introduced or intended to be introduced within the next year.

Reply

This information is exempt under Section 22 of the FOIA 2000.

This information will be available on future publication in our transparency report available on the WMFS website.

Please find a link below to WMFS transparency report.

https://www.wmfs.net/documents/transparency-report/

The contract for corporate workwear is being awarded through the YPO framework agreement and therefore will not be required to be advertised. We will publish an award notice on ‘Find a Tender Service’, shortly after awarding, as is the requirement in PCR 2015.

https://www.find-tender.service.gov.uk/Search

Request

Please confirm the reasons that there was no substantive appointment made of the public office of Deputy Chief Fire Officer, which is, at present being filled by a “temporary secondment”.

Reply

The Fire Authority Appointments, Standards and Appeal Committee (ASAC) did not appoint to the permanent position of DCFO, and as such, will consider options in this regard. To provide specific reasons why there was no substantive appointment is considered as personal information and would contravene the data protection principals. Therefore, this information is exempt under Section 40 (2) FOIA 2000.

Request

Please confirm the costs of running the process which resulted in nil substantive appointment.

Reply

This Information is exempt under section 1 of the FOIA 2000. We do not hold this information.

Request

Please confirm the number of applicants interviewed for the Chief Fire Officer role in 2023.

Reply

This information is exempt under Section 21 of the FOIA 2000. This information will be available in our publication scheme on WMFS’ website.

https://www.wmfs.net/foi/23151-appointment-process-of-chief-fire-officer/

Request

Please confirm the number of applicants interviewed for the Deputy Chief Fire Officer role in 2023.

Reply

This information is exempt under Section 21 of the FOIA 2000. This information will be available in our publication scheme on WMFS’ website.

https://www.wmfs.net/foi/23151-appointment-process-of-chief-fire-officer/

Request

Please confirm whether any “conflict of interest” was declared in either of the above processes by members, appointed public office holders, employees or contractors to the WMFS/Fire Authority.

Reply

This is a matter of public record from the minutes of the ACFO/DCFO ASA Committee meeting on 19 July 2023 – no declaration of interests were received.

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.

Please note: Due to a migration and ensuring the accessibility of our policies and documents where possible, not all documents referenced in our FOI's are available. If you require a copy of a document referenced in our FOI's which is not linked below or is in a format that is not accessible to you, please email contact@wmfs.net.