Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
- How much money was spent in 2018 and in 2017 on hire vehicles for the police force?
- How many vehicles were hired in 2018 and in 2017 ?
- What were the vehicles used for if known?
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Finance Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police however cannot be disclosed for the following reasons.
The information is not held centrally and to determine a response to point 3 would entail all invoices being retrieved from the Finance Department and then back tracked to the department requesting the vehicle and then to the officer/member of staff to enquire what the vehicle had been used for. In the financial years 2016 – 2019 there have been in excess of 1700 vehicles hired. Even at a conservative estimate of 10 minutes per record, which we have considered as reasonable, we have estimated that to extract this information would take over 283 hours, therefore Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act would apply. This section does not oblige a public authority to comply with a request for information if the authority estimated that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit of 18 hours, equating to £450.00
You should consider this to be a refusal notice under Section 17 of the Act for your request.
As part of your request would exceed the prescribed limit, as defined by the Act, there is no requirement for Northumbria Police to provide a response to the remaining parts of your request. However, in order to provide you with some assistance, under Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, an initial assessment of the information that may be provided within the time constraints would be question 1 & 2 down to financial year (as this is how such information is held) .
If this would be useful, you may wish to refine and resubmit your request accordingly.