The Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations Act 1992 create a general right of access to recorded information held by public authorities - with effect from 1 January 2005.
The "right" is subject to certain conditions and exemptions. The intention of the Acts, however, is to provide transparency in the conduct of public affairs and these conditions/exemptions are therefore limited. Furthermore, the Acts place a statutory duty on public authorities to provide advice and assistance to applicants.
This Section details the process for dealing with a request for information, and has been compiled with reference to the Lord Chancellor's Code of Practice on Section 45 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (November 2002). Although the Code does not have statutory force, authorities are expected to abide by the Code unless there are good reasons, capable of being justified to the Information Commissioner, why it would be inappropriate to do so.
In the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act, we will attempt to deal with each enquiry in the "Normal Course of Business" where possible.
Contact details for applicants making requests for information or assistance:
The Freedom of Information Co-ordinator
Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service
1 Seymour Street