Access to Information


Government legislation has been introduced to make public sector organisations more open and accountable to the public.

What legislation currently exists?

In brief, there are three key pieces of legislation that have been put in place to both protect information and make it available when appropriate.

These consist of:

  • The General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 which protects personal information processed by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority and allows people to have access to their own information and request that changes be made to it.
  • The Freedom of Information Act 2000, which broadens people's access to information that is held by public authorities, for example reports, minutes of meetings, etc.
  • The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 which gives the public increased access to environmental information held by public authorities, for example reports, readings, research findings, etc.

What does Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority do when we receive a request for information?

When we have decided which legislation your request for information comes under - i.e., Data Protection, Freedom of Information or Environmental Information - your request will be dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the legislation.

There will be differences in how requests for information are dealt with. For example, the time limit to deal with a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is 20 working days, while under the General Data Protection Regulation, the time limit is one month.