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Freedom of Information Act documents








Freedom of Information Act 2000


Documents published under this scheme:



Sentence Review Commissioners


Introduction Paragraph 1

Freedom of Information Paragraphs 2-12

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Paragraphs 2—4

Publication Schemes

Paragraph 5

This Publication Scheme

Paragraph 6


Paragraph 8

Finding and obtaininginformation from the Publication Scheme

Paragraph 9

Historical Records

Paragraph 10

Exempt Information

Paragraph 11


Paragraph 12

Guide to the information available under the Sentence Review Commissioners

Publication Scheme Paragraphs 13-18

Information by Class Group Heading

Paragraph 13

Commissioners' Casework Paragraph 14
Government, Politics and Public Administration Paragraph 15
Commissioners' Business Paragraph 16
Finance and Personnel Paragraph 17

Miscellaneous Office Policies and Procedures

Paragraph 18

Feedback and Comments Paragraph 19


1. The role of the Sentence Review Commissioners is to implement the arrangements established under the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998 for the accelerated release of prisoners convicted of scheduled offences in Northern Ireland or of similar offences elsewhere. And to consider the cases of prisoners recalled under the Act.



2. The Freedom of Information Act received Royal Assent in November 2000. It is part of the Government's commitment to greater openness. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities and sets out exemptions from that right. In other words, it gives any individual a statutory right to request information directly from any public authority and have it provided except where it is classified as exempt under Sections 12 and 21-44 of the Act. It will come into operation in January 2005.

3.The full text of the Freedom of Information Act, both in print and online, may be obtained from The Stationery Office (see “links”). And further advice about Freedom of Information may be obtained from the Information Commissioner's Office (see “links”).

4. Until the Act comes fully into operation in January 2005, access to information about the work of the Commissioners that is not presently available under this Publication Scheme or otherwise readily accessible, will be considered in accordance with the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. This already commits Government Departments and Non-Departmental Public Bodies to publishing the facts, and analysis of the facts, that Government considers relevant and important in framing major policy proposals and decisions. The full text of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, in print and online, may be obtained from the Lord Chancellor's department (see”links”).


5. Publication Schemes are a legal requirement under Sections 19 and 20 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. These sections come into operation from November 2002 onwards. Publication Schemes are essentially guides to the information that a public routinely publishes or intends to publish. If you are looking for information about the Sentence Review Commissioners you might find it helpful to use this Publication Scheme first. You might also find it helpful to refer to “inforoute” which is a register of Government information Assets. This is available online at


6. The Sentence Review Commissioners Publication Scheme is available in print and online at Indicators will show where a charge may be levied. If you intend to apply for information for use in private research/study, it may be available free of charge on the website (i.e. there is may be no charge made by the Commissioners, but you will have to meet any charges made by your Internet Service Provider, personal printing costs, etc. together with any charges levied by public libraries that have Internet facilities).

7. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may obtain by post from The Secretary to the Sentence Review Commissioners, a single print-out of the information as it appears on the website. Requests to the Commissioners for printouts or for archived copies of documents that are no longer available on the website, will attract a charge for the cost of retrieval, photocopying, postage etc. The Commissioners will let you know the cost at the time of your request. Any charges will be payable in advance. From time to time, some items will be revised or may become obsolete. Please note that it will not always be possible to provide out of date or out of print material


8. Users may find the following links helpful:

Equality Commission for Northern Ireland
Equality House
7-9 Shaftesbury Square
Belfast BT2 7DF

Tel: +44 (0)2890 500600

Fax:+44(0) 2890 329227


Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Cheshire SK9 5AF

Tel: +44(0)1625 545700 Fax: +44(0)1625 524510

Lord Chancellor's Department

Freedom of Information Division
Selborne House
London SW1E 6QW

Tel: +44(0)2072 102665
Fax: +44(0)2072 101415


Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

Temple Court
39 North Street
Belfast BT1 1NA

Tel: +44(0)2890 243987

Fax: +44(0)2890 247844

Northern Ireland Office

Stormont House
Stormont Estate
Belfast BT4 3SH

Tel: +44(0)2890 520700

Fax:+44 (0) 2890528195

Northern Ireland Prison Service

Dundonald House
Upper Newtownards Road
Belfast BT4 3SU

Tel: +44(0)2890 525065

Fax: +44(0)2890 525100

Probation Board for Northern Ireland

80-90 North Street
Belfast BT1 1LD

Tel: +44(0)2890 262400

Fax: +44(0)2890 262436

Public Record Office Northern Ireland

66 Balmoral Avenue
Belfast BT9 6NY

Tel: +44(0) 2890 251318


9. This Publication Scheme may be used as a directory to locate information either by subject, theme or group. This information is presented under the heading “classes of information” in Part Two, where you will find details of the information that the Commissioners publish; the format in which it is available, for example printed or online; and whether there is a charge for obtaining it. In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, all the information listed in this Publication Scheme will be published as soon a practicable (except where indicated in certain classes of information).


10. Official Records deemed of value for permanent preservation are usually transferred to the Northern Ireland Public Records Office (see “links”).


11. You should note that documents and/or information in this Publication Scheme may be edited or withheld either in accordance with the Sentences Act or where in the view of the Commissioners specific information should not be disclosed on grounds of national security; confidentiality; unwarranted invasion of privacy; and commercial sensitivity. For a full list of reasons for confidentiality you may wish to refer to Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, available both in print and online, from the Lord Chancellor's Department (see “links”).


12. Although subject to Crown Copyright, the material and information in this Publication Scheme may be reproduced for personal or in-house use without the formal permission of the Commissioners. However, reproduction for sale or other commercial purposes is not permitted. If in doubt, you should contact the Secretary to the Sentence Review Commissioners.

Guide to the information available in the Sentence Review Commissioners

Publication Scheme.

13. Class Group Heading

Class/Type ofInformation

Where information in this class is available

Is there a charge?

14. Commissioners' Casework

15. Government, Politics and Public Administration

(Reports, Reviews and Summary

Information for the Public)

16.Commissioners' Business

17. Finance and Personnel

18. Miscellaneous office policies and procedures

Guidance for applicants

Procedural Guidelines for Oral Hearings

Guidance for Applicants whose licences have been suspended

Public Reports by the Sentence Review Commissioners

Summary details of the Functions and Role of the Commissioners

Audited minutes of the Commissioners' Plenary meetings from (date to be inserted).

Reports laid before Parliament

Summary of Accounts submitted to Parliament

Details of remuneration of Commissioners and Secretariat Staff by group, excluding details or information about any individual

Records management policies

Policy and procedures for responding to subject access requests under Section 7 of the Data Protection Act; and to requests made under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information

The Commissioners' Equality Scheme

Commissioners' Annual Report (Printed)-and on Commissioners' Website www. sentencereview.

Commissioners' Annual Report

Commissioners' Annual Report

Commissioners' Website

Commissioners' Annual Report and Website

Commissioners' Annual Report and Website

Commissioners' Website

As above

As above

£13-00 from The Stationery Office: Free on the Website

As above

As above


£13-00 from The Stationery Office; free on the Website

As above

As above

As above


19. Feedback, comments or complaints about this Publication Scheme should be addressed to The Secretary, Sentence Review Commissioners at :

The Office of the Sentence Review Commissioners
5 th Floor
Windsor House
9-15 Bedford Street