Fire Safety reports

News at last! It’s only taken 18 months, but I had a call from an investigator at the Information Commissioner’s Office last week to say that the prohibition on disclosure that blocked the release of fire inspection reports (section 21 of the Fire Precautions Act 1971) was repealed by the new Fire Safety law that came into force 1 October 2006.

London Fire and Emergency Authority are now re-processing my request and they seem willing to release the data. Their main concern is whether the law provides retrospective acccess to data held before 1 October. Obviously I argue that it does, but they are currenty consulting their lawyers. Any lawyers out there who would care to comment on this please do so!

Background on my request can be read at:

2 Responses to “Fire Safety reports”

  1. Nick Evans says:

    Section 21 made it a criminal offence to reveal information that had been obtained when taking entry under the Fire Precautions Act. As section 21 has been repealed, it is now no longer an offence to reveal that information. There are no savings for information that was obtained before the repeal, so it’s fairly clear that the offence no longer applies to any revelation.

    However, it could fairly be argued that a duty of confidentiality applies to information that was obtained while s.21 applied. If so, this would trigger the exemption under s. 41 of the FoI act. Even if s. 41 does apply, this is better than the previous position because the confidentiality exemption contains a public interest test.

  2. xxxxx says:

    We are concerned about public safety at Lewis bonfire night.

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