Information that may be withheld
The Freedom of Information Act sets out exemptions which, in certain 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 the reason why it is applicable.
Examples of why requests might be refused include, but are not limited to:
- Personal information that is covered by the Data Protection Act, or which if released may pose a risk of identifying an individual.
- Information that is already in the public domain and is easily accessible by other means, eg via our own website or a government site.
- Protecting the service and wider society against crime should information regarding, for example, how we operate and protect our systems fall into the hands of those with malicious intent.
- Unreasonable or vexatious requests where we would have to spend a disproportionate amount of resources to meet them.
Instances where the processing of a request would be in excess of the 18 hours set for local authorities (which equates to staff costs of £450) processing time as set out in the Act.
- Information that is in draft form
When it is not clear if information should be released, we are expected to apply the public interest test. This says that our decision to release or restrict data should depend on whether its release is beneficial to the public or not. This involves weighing up all the circumstances, the exclusion of the duty to confirm or deny existence of the document, against the public interest in disclosing the holding of the information. Visit the Information Commissioner’s website for further guidance.
We will challenge any request that is deemed vexatious through abusive or aggressive language, frequent or overlapping requests on the same or a similar subject, unfounded accusations and where an individual may be using a pseudonym.
Information Communication Technology (ICT) Manager Contact Details
Our ICT department operate a single point of contact policy, and callers are directed to the ICT Service Desk via our Reception at our Headquarters, tel 0121 380 6067. Calls are directed to the ICT specialist with responsibility for the specific service. Suppliers making sales enquiries should visit our Procurement section to make contact with the team directly.
Information owned by another organisation
Some of the information we hold might not be owned by us or be our responsibility. In these cases, where reasonably practical, we’ll aim to consult the owners of the information before we decide whether or not we are able to disclose it.
If you’re not satisfied with the information that has been provided in response to a request, you can ask us to review our decision or the information provided, by writing to:
West Midlands Fire Service
99 Vauxhall Road
We will assess whether the decision can be reviewed and explain the processes involved. If, once our internal processes have been exhausted, you’re still not happy with the outcome, you have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.