Freedom of Information (FOI)

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 is about making information held by public authorities available to everyone, to increase accountability and transparency in the decisions we make and about the services we provide.

The Act places two main duties on us:   

What information do we hold?

Our Publication and Retention Scheme organises all the service’s information into 13 classes and includes what information we hold within the key functions performed and undertaken by us.

The scheme confirms how long we keep information before it is deleted, as well as identifying which of the classes meet the definition of containing any personal data.

It also identifies what information may be requested under a ‘Freedom of Information Request’ or a ‘Subject Access Request’ and the types of information that will be withheld because they are sensitive (e.g. Channel Tunnel related).

Making a request for information

We already make a lot of information available on our website, so please check this and our Publication and Retention Scheme prior to contacting us.

So that we can help you, please provide the following information in your request:

  • your name
  • your address or email address  
  • a description of the information you wish to obtain  

When we receive a general request for information, we aim to respond within 20 working days.

How to make a request 

By email  

Please email:

By post

Please send in a letter to: Information Officer, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, The Godlands, Straw Mill Hill, Tovil, Maidstone ME15 6XB.

(If you are contacting us by post, we recommend sending this by recorded delivery, and please keep a copy of the request.)

Types of information request

There are three main types of information request: a Freedom of Information Request, a general request for information, and a Subject Access Request. A description of each type is set out below.

Freedom of Information Request 

A Freedom of Information Request is a specific type of request for information that is held by a public authority in the UK.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides access to any recorded information held by a public authority, and this can include printed documents, computer files, letters, emails, photographs, and sound or video recordings.

Our Publication and Retention Scheme identifies what information may be requested under a Freedom of Information request so check this before making a request.

The Act does not allow access to personal data and a ‘Subject Access Request’ should be made instead (for information about this, please see the section below).

For a request to be considered as valid it must be made in writing, include your name and address or email address and a description of the information you wish to obtain.

When we receive a Freedom of Information Request, in line with the legal requirement, we will acknowledge the request and aim to respond within 20 working days counting from the next working day after the request has been received.

We will consider your request, and let you know if we can provide the information you asked for, or if we can't provide it, explain why not.

Subject Access Request

You have the right to ask for access to your personal information. This is known as a Subject Access Request (SAR) and making one allows you to get a copy of the personal information we hold about you.

Making a Subject Access Request is a legal right under Article 15 of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR).

We will acknowledge your request, and we will endeavour to respond to your SAR within one calendar month. In practice this will be 20 working days starting from the day the request is received.

If it is not possible to complete the request within 20 working days, we will keep you up to date with progress. All requests will be processed within a maximum period of three months.

A free online service is available on the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) , to help you write your request.

General request for information

This is a broader term that can include any request we receive not specifically made as a freedom of information request. Examples of this include requests made by partner agencies (e.g. police, or local authorities), or requests for fire reports from those who have had a fire in their property.

When we receive a general request for information, although it is not a legal requirement, to ensure good customer service, we will aim to respond to you within 20 working days.


When information may be withheld

The Freedom of Information Act sets out a series of exemptions which, in some circumstances, allow us to withhold requested information. If we feel it is appropriate and proportionate to apply an exemption in order to withhold information you have requested under the Freedom of Information Act, we will tell you which exemption has been applied and explain the reason why it is applicable.

Charging for information

In general terms, KFRS does not charge people to request information. Charges may be incurred where requests are frequent or deemed excessive.

Information owned by another organisation

If third party information that we hold forms part of a request, we may need to consult the originators of that information around any sensitivities, to make a decision on releasing this.

When we receive a request for information that we do not hold or own, we will identify the appropriate agency and let you know so you can redirect your request.

The role of the Data Protection officer

As a public authority (as defined under Section 7 of the Data Protection Act 2018 who processes personal data, the UK GDPR introduces a requirement for us to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO).

The primary role of the DPO is to oversee data protection strategy and ensure that KFRS processes the personal data of its employees, customers, providers or any other individuals (also referred to as data subjects) in compliance with the requirements of the UK GDPR.

The contact details for the Data Protection Officer are as follows:

Data Protection Officer, Kent Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, The Godlands, Tovil, Maidstone ME15 6XB


Telephone: 01622 69 21 21


FOI and Subject Access Request quarterly statistics

In 2018, the Cabinet Office published a revised Code of Practice for Freedom of Information Requests. The Code of Practice provides guidance for public authorities on best practice in meeting their responsibilities under Part I (right of access to information) of the Freedom of Information Act. Under Part 8.4 (Publication Schemes) of the Freedom of Information Act, the requirement is for this to be reported every three months and the reporting periods are as follows:

Q1: April to June - Q2: July to September - Q3: October to December - Q4: January to March

For more information and details of the requests received by KFRS please see our Freedom of Information (FOI) and Subject Access Request (SAR) quarterly statistics page.

See our FOI and SAR quarterly statistics

How to request an internal review for your FOI request

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your Freedom of Information Request (FOI), you may ask for an internal review by email to, or in a letter to Information Officer, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, The Godlands, Straw Mill Hill, Tovil, Maidstone ME15 6XB

Internal review requests must be made in writing within 40 working days of you receiving the initial response from KFRS to your FOI request. We are not obliged to provide an internal review if it is requested after more than 40 working days.

When you request an internal review, you will be sent an acknowledgement of your request, and you will receive a written response via email containing the outcome of the review within 20 working days (counting from the next working day after the request was made).

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

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 procedure.