Disclosure Details

Annual Expenditure - 267/12

Dated: 07 Jun 2011

Date of request:   09/03/2012

Date of response:   20/03/2012

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)

Thank you for your email dated 9 March 2012 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked: 

I wondered if I could gather the figures for annual police expenditure for 2011/12.

In response:

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 not held by Northumbria Police.

The total expenditure of 2011/12 will not be know until after the end of the financial year.  However, once collated, the Statement  of Accounts 2011/12 and Summary of Accounts 2011/12 will be published on the Northumbria Police Authority website, therefore we will rely on the following exemption:-

Section 22 Information Intended for future publication

(1) Information is exempt information if -
(a) the information is held by the public authority with a view to its publication, by the authority or any other person, at some future date (whether determined or not),
(b) the information was already held with a view to such publication at the time the request for information was made, and
(c) it is reasonable in all circumstances that the information should be withheld from disclosure until the date referred to in paragraph.

This exemption requires us to apply a Public Interest Test to decide if the information you require should be released ahead of the scheduled report.

Public Interest Test

Factors Favouring Disclosure:-

Accountability, Public Awareness & Debate
Disclosure of information for the 2011/12 period would enable the public to be better informed of such financial information, as this enables more accurate and relevant public comment and debate to take place.

Factors Favouring Non-Disclosure:-

Existing Procedures and Force Efficiency
The exemption engaged in this case specifically requires us to simply look at the public interest in delaying the release of information that will automatically be disclosed in the future.  As it is know that this information will be published at a later date, to gather the information prior to the requirement to do so for the next scheduled publication, in order to answer this request would not be an efficient use of resources and finance as it would divert staff from their core duties and would involve a disproportionate use of resources, particularly at this time of economic concerns.

Balance Test

It is acknowledged that both accountability and public awareness are enhanced by the disclosure of this type of information.  However, this will be achieved through the publication of the intended report.

The Section 21 and, in this case Section 22 exemptions were specifically laid down by parliament to benefit those authorities who proactively publish information.  To constantly produce new and up to date elements of currently published or information intended for future publication in an attempt to satisfy an additional need outside of the annual schedule would render these exemptions less effective and remove the benefits of proactive publication.  For this reason it would be an inappropriate use of resources to carry out further research to satisfy your request.

Decision

Therefore, at this time, for the reasons outlined above, the public interest is met by the scheduled publication of this data. 

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 you should consider this to be a refusal notice under Section 17 of the Act for your request.

However, In order to aid and assist you further, I have provided a link below to the relevant page of the Northumbria Police Authority website where this information will be published:-

http://northumbriapoliceauthority.org.uk/money-matters/

You may be interested to know that Northumbria Police routinely publish information that has been disclosed by Northumbria Police in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 via the Disclosure Log.  The aim of the Disclosure Log is to promote openness and transparency by voluntarily placing information into the public arena.

Whilst it is not possible to publish all responses we will endeavour to publish those where we feel that the information disclosed is in the public interest.  The Disclosure Log will be updated once responses have been sent to the requester.  I have provided the relevant link below:-

http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/index.asp

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.


How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure which can be found at: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.

Downloads

FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-28029