Data Protection Act
What kind of information does Waveney District Council hold?
The Council holds a variety of information about people living in the district. For example, records are kept about Council Tax, Council Housing, Housing Benefit, Planning, Electoral Registration, Environmental Health etc.
Waveney District Council is registered as a Data Controller with the Information Commissioners Office. You can view our registration on the Information Commissioner's Office website. Our registration number is Z6623692.
What are the rules about dealing with this information?
The Data Protection Act 1998 gives you certain rights, and also places legal responsibilities on the council which holds and processes personal information about you.
The Act says that organisations collecting and holding personal information must be open about how it is to be used and must adhere to the eight principles of the data protection act which state that personal information must be:
- Be processed fairly and lawfully
- Only be obtained and processed for specified and lawful purposes
- Be adequate, relevant for the purpose and not excessive
- Be accurate and where necessary kept up to date
- Not be kept longer than necessary
- Be processed in accordance with the rights of data subject
- Be kept secure
- Not be transferred to other countries without adequate protection for the rights and freedoms of the data subject
By law the Council is required to follow these rules.
Who is entitled to personal information
As a Data Subject you have the right of access to the personal data held about you by the Council on a computer and in any structured/unstructured manual paper files.
You may obtain copies of your personal data and you have the right to have any inaccuracies erased or corrected. In special circumstances, you may have the right to compensation for inaccuracies, loss or destruction and unauthorised disclosure. Copy(ies) of the amended data will be given to you for approval, free of charge.
In general, personal information will only be given to an individual, and then only with appropriate identification. In addition, requests for information about a person other than yourself will be rejected except for the following common situations. Parents may request information about a child under 16, but there is no automatic right to the data; A solicitor may request information on behalf of a client.
What information will be provided
Copies of documents you are allowed to see under the Act (some documents will be provided by third parties or contain information about third parties and in general you will not be able to see those); A catalogue of the documents you can see; A description of common disclosures; An explanation of any codes used in the documentation.
What is the process
You may write to the Council's Data Protection Team if you think the Council holds the relevant data and ask for information about yourself to be disclosed. The Data Protection Officer will send out an application form (SAR). The applicant will complete the form and send it back with a cheque or postal order for £10.00 along with two items of proof of identity and details of information requested. The Data Protection Officer will check the validity of the request, agree the scope of the search and set the 40 day time period when satisfied. The applicant will be sent the results of the review, or in the case of an exceptional number of documents, you may be asked to attend the office to view the documents.
Complaints and Appeals
We will acknowledge receipt of the completed SAR form in writing and will send you a written response within 40 working days.
If you are unhappy with our response, you should contact the Office of the Information Commissioner. This is the organisation that ensures compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and that deals with formal complaints. You can ask the Commissioner to carry out 'an assessment of processing of personal data'. There are instructions for this on their web site. The address for
The Information Commissioner is:
All personal information held by Waveney District Council is kept securely and is only released in accordance with the Data Protection Act.