The Freedom of Information Act is about making information available to the public to increase accountability and transparency in the decisions we make and about the services we provide.
The Act places two main duties on us:
- To adopt and maintain a publication scheme
- To deal with individual requests for information
Kent Fire and Rescue Service will demonstrate and deliver, by words and action, commitment to openness and accountability and to servicing the public's general right of access to information held by KFRS.
Making a request for information
We already make a lot of information available, so first check our Frequently Asked Questions page and our publications scheme. Items highlighted with an asterisk (*) in the scheme are those which, by law, we have to publish.
Or send your request in writing by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
In a letter to: Information Officer, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, The Godlands, Straw Mill Hill, Tovil, Maidstone ME15 6XB
Your request must include:
- Your name
- Your address or email address
- A description of the information you wish to obtain
- Any preferences for the format for receiving the information
When we get a request for information, we have to respond promptly within 20 working days. We will consider your request, and let you know if we can provide the information you requested, or explain why we can't. Most information will be made available by email or post. If you want to receive information in a particular way or format, then please contact us.
When information may be withheld
The Freedom of Information Act sets out exemptions which, in some 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 explain the reason why it is applicable.
Charging for information
Some information is already available via our publication scheme, but there may be some information that you might need to pay for. We will aim to give you an idea of the cost as quickly as possible, requesting payment of the fee. The information you have requested will only be provided to you once the full fee is received (and if by cheque, once the cheque has cleared).
We reserve the right to refuse to respond to a request for information where the costs will exceed £450. If we decide to do this you will be informed and we will give you the reason for this decision. Generally speaking we may refuse to respond to a request for information where the cost of doing so would be disproportionate or where there is some other means available to the applicant to access the information. Where we estimate that the limit will be exceeded we are not obliged to comply with the request and will inform the applicant by way of a Refusal Notice.
As part of the duty to provide advice and assistance to applicants, we should consider explaining what, if any, information could be provided within the cost limit and advise the applicant that they should consider narrowing down their request.
We may be willing to provide the information even where the cost exceeds the limit if the applicant is willing to pay the full costs in dealing with the request.
Please note that where a request is dealt with under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, we will not refuse to respond to the request on the basis of costs.
Under the Environmental Information Regulations, requests can also be made verbally.
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 or not 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'll ask for your permission first.
Making a complaint
We will always try to help you with queries and requests for information, but if you do have a complaint, please follow our complaint procedures.