Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000 gives the public access to information held by public authorities, unless there are good reasons to keep it confidential. It does this in two ways:
- by obliging public authorities to publish certain information about their activities
- by entitling members of the public to request information from public authorities
Our aim is to publish as much as possible on our website so that you can access it quickly without having to make a request.
Before you make a request
Before you send us a request, check whether we already publish the information you are looking for, as information already accessible by other means is exempt from disclosure under the Act.You can check whether we already publish the information you are looking for. Recently submitted Freedom of Information requests can be found here.
Making a request
Please send your request for information to email@example.com
You will need to include:
- Your full name
- A valid contact address (email or postal)
- A clear description of the information you wish to obtain
- Your preference for how you want to receive the information
- Please be as specific as you can about the information you want, including any dates. If we do not have enough information or if we need to clarify your request, we will try to contact you so you may also wish to include a contact telephone number.
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service will only charge requesters for locating, retrieving and extracting information where we estimate it would exceed the appropriate limit (currently set at £450 for public authorities outside of central government under Section 12 of the Act. We may also charge for actual expenses incurred in disclosing the information, such as printing or photocopying, postage or other forms of transmitting the information.
Please note that where a request is dealt with under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, we will not refuse to respond to the request based on costs. Under the Environmental Information Regulations, requests can also be made verbally.
How we handle a request
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, along with all public authorities, has two basic duties under the FOIA; to confirm or deny whether requested information is held and to provide the requester with the information.
We must supply this information within 20 working days, if we cannot do this, we will tell you why.
If we intend to refuse a request for information, it will be under one of the exemptions set out in Part 2 of the Act or where it would exceed the cost limit or if it is a vexatious or repeat request. The FOIA exemptions are designated as either ‘absolute’ or ‘qualified’. Absolute exemptions mean that the information does not have to be released. If the exemption is qualified, public authorities must test whether the public interest outweighs the authority maintaining the exemption. The full list of exemptions can be found here.
Listed below are some of the exemptions that are relevant to Essex County Fire and Rescue Service:
- Section 12: cost limit
- Section 21: information reasonably accessible by other means
- Section 22 and 22a: information intended for future publication and research
- Section 30: investigations and proceedings
- Section 31: law enforcement
- Section 40: personal information
- Section 41: information provided in confidence
Please click here for all incident data. If you still wish to obtain an extract from a fire report* please contact:
Information Governance Team
Essex County Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters
Information owned by another organisation
We hold some information which 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 we are able to disclose the information.
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 will ask for your permission first.
Data Protection Officer
As a public authority (as defined under Section 7 of the Data Protection Act 2018) that process personal data, we are required to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO). The primary role of the DPO is to oversee data protection strategy and ensure that ECFRS processes the personal data of its staff, customers, providers or any other individuals (also referred to as data subjects) in compliance with current data protection legislation.
The contact details for the Data Protection Officer are as follows:
Data Protection Officer, Essex County Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters, Kelvedon Park, Rivenhall Witham, Essex CM8 3HB Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone number 01376576265
Making a complaint
We will always try to help you with queries and requests for information, but if you do have a complaint, please email email@example.com
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights in the public interest. You can find a wealth of information and support on the ICO Freedom of Information Act website.