Essex County Fire & Rescue Service

Transparency Overview

Select Category

Search Site

FOI / 4059 / 2019 - Official Secrets Act


Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I can confirm that Essex County Fire & Rescue Service does hold this information.

Please see below the answer to your request.

Initial Request:

I am writing to respectfully make a request in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. My request is as follows:-

1) Please, can you provide a list of all employee roles who are employed by your authority and are subject to the provisions as set out in the Official Secrets Acts 1911-1989?

This can be provided in any format, however, a spreadsheet detailing each role and a mark as to whether the role requires the role holder to sign a declaration as to their recognition of being bound thus required to comply with the Act(s).

2) Please provide a disclosure of the format used by your authority which requires the signature of any role holder who is subject to provisions as set out in the Official Secrets Acts 1911-1989 such as an "Official Secrets Acts & Confidentiality Declaration"

Final Response:

We can confirm that Essex County Fire & Rescue Service does hold this information; however, the information is exempt from disclosure to you.

The exemption applicable to the information you have requested is:

Section 24 of the Act - National Security

Section 24(1) - information which does not fall within 23(1) is exempt information from 1(1)(b) (the duty to provide the requested information) is required for the purpose of safeguarding national security.

This exemption carries a public interest test, and I have set out below the factors I have considered when applying the exemption:

Factors in favour of disclosure:

The efficiency and effectiveness of the Authority

Transparency when spending public money

Transparency over decision making

Informing public debate

Visibility of protection for citizens

In favour of non-disclosure:

To protect the information of the residents of Essex

To protect our staff and those in our partner agencies

To protect our ability to deliver this service in a confidential and trusting environment

To protect National Security

To enable the detection and prevention of crime

Public Interest Balancing Test

Having considered the above factors, we believe the public interest is in favour of upholding this exemption. Agencies and individuals would be less likely to engage with this Service if they perceive that confidentiality will not be maintained where it is possible to do so because a disclosure of information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is a disclosure to the world at large, by placing this data in the public domain we significantly increase the risk of identification of individuals by others who may hold other related data.

This is our refusal notice in respect of your request.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to apply for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of your original email and should be addressed to: Internal Review, Performance & Data Team, Kelvedon Park, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex CM8 3HB.

Please note that the response and data released to you as part of this request will be published on the Essex County Fire & Rescue Service website. The website address is All requests will be anonymised and no personal information including contact details will be disclosed as part of this process.