1. How many members of staff are granted “facility” time for Trade Union activities?
2. For each member of staff in question 1 please list:
A) the union they represent,
B) the per centage of their working week that is given to facilities time,
C) each person’s annual salary,
D) each person’s job title.
3. Please detail what arrangements are made for trade union representatives ie how many offices they have, whether they have had computer equipment supplied to them and how much this has cost.
4. Please list which unions are represented in your workforce and the number of staff in each union.
5. Please state the total number of people on your payroll.
Please see attached – while it has been possible to provide most of the data you requested an individual’s membership of a trade union is deemed to be personal data.
The Freedom of Information Act is designed to place information into the public domain. This means that, once access to information is granted to one person under the Act, it is then considered public information and must be communicated to any individual should a request be received.
Therefore West Midlands Police will neither confirm nor deny that we hold any information regarding an individual by virtue of Section 40 (5) of the Freedom of Information Act. This is because confirmation that the information does or does not exist with respect to an individual would breach the individual’s rights under the Data Protection Act. Release of information under the FOI Act is release to the world without restriction, whereas other disclosures can be made to specific people for specific purposes. Release of data through the Data Protection Act is subject to legal restrictions and an inherent assumption of confidentiality which does not apply to data released through the FOI Act.
Section 40 (5) is an absolute and class based exemption if to confirm or deny that the information exists would breach the third party’s data protection rights. In this case to confirm or deny the existence of personal information would not constitute fair processing of the data and therefore would breach the first of the principles within the Data Protection Act 1998. As this exemption is class based I am not required to identify the harm in disclosure and in this instance I believe that the right to privacy outweighs any public interest in release.