Disclosure Details

Retirement and Pensions - 108/12

Dated: 07 Jun 2011

Date of request: 25/01/2012

Date of response: 20/02/2012

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

Thank you for your email dated 25 January 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: 

  1. How many police officers in your force retired in
    a) 2011/12 (to date)
    b) 2010/11
    c) 2009/10

  2. What was the average age of retirement for police officers in your force in
    a) 2011/12 (to date)
    b) 2010/11
    c) 2009/10

  3. How many police officers in your force retired with pensions worth over £50,000 a year in
    a) 2011/12 (to date)
    b) 2010/11
    c) 2009/10

  4. What was your force's total expenditure on pensions in
    a) 2011/12 (to date)
    b) 2010/11
    c) 2009/10

  5. What proportion of pension contributions in your force were made up from employee contributions in
    a) 2011/12 (to date)
    b) 2010/11
    c) 2009/10

Please note in ALL questions I am interested in the pensions of police officers ONLY rather than all staff.

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 both the Finance and HR Departments of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I have decided to disclose the located information to you as follows.

  1. a) 91 (up to 26th January 2012)
    b) 76
    c) 100

  2. a) 51
    b) 51
    c) 53

  3. a) 1
    b) 0
    c) 0

4 & 5 a) The information requested at this part of your request will not be disclosed and by withholding we rely on the following exemption.

Section 22(1) - Information Intended for Future Publication

Section 22 is a class based qualified exemption which means that the public interest needs to be considered and articulated to the applicant.
I have set this out below

Factors favouring disclosure

Accountability
Disclosure would provide updated statistics, demonstrating continued and ongoing awareness and monitoring of such activity.

Public Awareness
The disclosure of such statistics would enhance public knowledge of the subject, by providing current information that may better inform public debate.

Factors favouring non disclosure

To respond to this request, the information would need to be located, retrieved and collated.  To gather the information, prior to the requirement to do so for the intended publication, will involve a disproportionate use of resources, particularly at this time of economic concerns.

All of the work that would need to be undertaken to extract this data ahead of the scheduled publication would have to be done so at the expense of the public purse.  In the current economic climate it would not be in the public interest to release information to the world under FOI which would cause more work and place an additional burden on police resources.

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 Freedom of Information Act legally allows members of the public to request any information held by a public authority and in order to supply requested information, resources are allocated to locate and retrieve it.
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 an intended schedule would render these exemptions less effective and remove the benefits of proactive publication.

There needs to be a real and valid reason which identifies a tangible benefit to the public from disclosure of information.  In this case this information is released annually, therefore the additional cost to organisations to deal with the request at this time would not be in the public interest. 

It is for this reason that the public interest favours maintaining this schedule of publication.

4 & 5 b) & c) As the information you have requested is accessible by other means I have not provided you with a copy of the information and will rely on Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  You should therefore consider this a refusal for your request.

I have provided an explanation to this exemption below.

Section 21 (1) - Information accessible by other means

Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant is exempt information.
This information is freely available and can be found in the published Police Authority Statement of Accounts under the Police Pension Fund Account.

In order to assist you further I have supplied a link to the relevant page below.

http://northumbriapoliceauthority.org.uk/document-library/?category=3&sortby=title&dlpage=2

The proportions requested at point 5 of your request can be calculated by the information provided in the accounts.

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