Data Protection and the Coronavirus
Sefton Council will endeavour to respond to your information rights’ request in accordance with the one month deadline imposed by data protection legislation. However, please be aware that there may be a delay in responding to your request during this unprecedented period of challenge created by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
We value your personal information. Sefton Council collects and processes personal information about its service users and its employees. Information is processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation. We will only gather the minimum information necessary and use it to provide you with an effective and joined-up service. It will be adequately protected and shared with other agencies only where the law permits. Finally, it will be destroyed as soon as it is no longer required.
The Council is made up of many different areas of service. For information about why a particular Service processes your personal data, what personal data are collected, the retention periods for that personal data, and who it will be shared with, please contact the relevant Service area for a copy of their ‘privacy notice’.
Sefton Council's Registration number is Z6451588. The entry on the Information Commissioner’s public register can be found at the following link:
Sharing your personal information with other agencies or departments
Sefton Council, along with all other Public Sector agencies, are committed to providing joined-up, cost-effective services to all our customers. To do this it is sometimes necessary to share your information with other departments, agencies or external service providers. This will only be done where the law permits, and will be done in compliance with the law and in accordance with guidance provided by the Information Commissioner's Office.
For more detailed information, visit the Information Commissioner's website.
Sharing without your knowledge
In certain rare and limited circumstances the Council is permitted to share your personal data without your knowledge. This is principally where the information is needed for:
- the prevention and detection of a crime including fraud.
- the apprehension or prosecution of offenders.
- the assessment or collection of tax or duty.
The Council will still refuse to release personal information if it feels the request is not compliant with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation, or if it determines the request is not fair or lawful.
The National Fraud Initiative (NFI)
Sefton Council are required to participate in the Audit Commission's National Fraud initiative and to share certain limited personal information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds. This enables them to prevent and detect fraud.
The Council has a duty to protect the public funds it administers, and may use information held about you for lawful purposes, including and not limited to the prevention and detection of fraud, and the matching Council Tax data with Electoral Registration records.
The Council will also use the information for the purpose of performing any of its statutory enforcement duties. It will make any disclosures required by law and may also share this information with other bodies responsible for detecting/preventing fraud or auditing/administering public funds.
Access to personal information
You are entitled to request, from the Council, access to those Council records which hold personal information about you.
This entitlement is provided for under Article 15 of the General Data Protection Regulation ‘Right of access by the data subject’.
If we do hold information about you we will:
- Provide the purposes of the processing
- The categories of personal data concerned
- give you a description of it
- tell you why we are holding it
- tell you who it could be disclosed to
- let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form
In certain circumstances, you also have the right to:
- object to processing of personal data that is likely to cause, or is causing, damage or distress,
- prevent processing for the purpose of direct marketing,
- object to decisions being taken by automated means,
- in certain circumstances, have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed,
- right to data portability in certain circumstances
- The right to lodge a complaint with the supervisory authority (the Information Commissioner’s Office)
If you wish to make a request for any of the above please submit it via the Individual’s Right Request Form.
The Council will provide a copy of the information free of charge. However, we can charge a ‘reasonable fee’ when a request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive.
We may also charge a reasonable fee to comply with requests for further copies of the same information. The fee will be based on the administrative cost of providing the information.
If your request concerns your present or past experience as either a child known to Children’s Social Care or to Adult Social Care then please see Access to Personal Files information in Social Care.
If your request is outside of the two Social Care departments then please read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs About Your Records) below.
If you decide to progress your request please use the electronic form below.
For any further details please contact the Data Protection Officer.
FAQs About Your Records
We need to keep your personal information to help us make decisions about services provided to you, and to plan future services. Everyone who receives a service from the Council will have some type of record.
Different information is kept, depending on the reason for your contact with us. The record is likely to include basic information such as your name, address and date of birth.
(If you are seeking Social Care records held by the Council, please contact the Access to Files Officer on 0151 934 3405)
Information is held on paper files and on secure computer systems in the relevant Council Service. Paper files are locked in secure cabinets when not in use, and all computers are password protected.
Closed paper case files are archived in secure storage rooms, and electronic files are closed down.
All staff are required to keep information confidential, and only authorised staff can access your information.
Under the General Data Protection Regulation you have a right to access your records, however there are legal restrictions on some types of information.
You need to make the request in writing by emailing email@example.com. Your request will then be sent to the relevant Service department to deal with.
If you request relates to social care records, you can complete an electronic version of the access to files request form.
The form can be printed blank for you to complete by hand and sign, or you can save a copy to your computer, which allows you to fill in your details electronically and print a copy to sign.
You need to provide two forms of identification, one which confirms your identity and one which confirms your current address. Please send only photocopy documents, do not send originals as these can be lost in transit.
Acceptable confirmation of identity includes:
- Current Passport
- Birth certificate
- Unexpired photo card driving licence (full or provisional)
Acceptable confirmation of current address includes:
- Utility bill dated within the last three months
- Council Tax bill for current year
- Unexpired old style paper driving licence
- Bank statement dated within the last three months
- Benefits Agency / State Pension correspondence (on letter-headed paper) dated within the last three months
If you want to nominate a friend or representative to access your records on your behalf, you will need to confirm this on your request form. They will also need to provide two forms of identification from the above list.
We will provide access to your records within one month of receiving your completed application form and identification.
The Department will read through your entire record and remove any information which is not about you. We may also need to contact other services and people such as schools and health professionals, for permission to release any third party information they have provided.
Sometimes the volume of information may take longer than a month to process. Where appropriate, we will contact you to discuss timescales when we receive your request.
If records are found to be inaccurate these will be corrected. If you disagree with any statements within your record, your comments can be added to the record for reference.
Records are kept in accordance with the authority’s Retention and Disposal Schedules. The length of retention will depend on the type of service you have received from us. The relevant Officer can confirm the retention period for your record.
Access to other Council information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 enable the public to have access to unpublished information that the Council holds, subject to certain conditions and exemptions.
The Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act aims to promote a culture of openness and accountability amongst public sector bodies, by giving the public rights of access to the information held by them. It is expected that these rights will facilitate better public understanding of how public authorities carry out their duties, why they make the decisions they do and how they spend public money.
The Sefton Council FOI Publication Scheme and Guide to Information will guide you to the information that we publish. It will show how to obtain it, and whether or not there is a charge involved. You can also find more information on the Freedom of Information Act and your rights.
If you would like to request a copy of the information Sefton Borough Council holds and shares about you, please see the above section on this page, “Access to personal information”.