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Privacy statement

Privacy statement

Overview

As a Local Authority, City of Lincoln Council  collects, holds and processes a considerable amount of information, including personal information about the citizens it serves, to allow it to provide services effectively.

The Council recognises that this information is important to the citizens and that it is responsible to the citizens for the information it holds about them. As such, it takes seriously its responsibilities to ensure that any personal information it collects and uses is done so proportionately, correctly and safely.

For information about what is personal data please see the Information Commissioner’s website.

The Council collects, holds and uses personal data to allow it to provide services on behalf of the citizens of the City of Lincoln. These services include, amongst others, providing maintaining and improving the environment of the city, processing benefit claims, collecting Council Tax and protecting the citizens generally.

Changes

City of Lincoln Council will continually review and update this Privacy Statement to reflect changes in our services and feedback from service users, as well as to comply with changes in the law. When such changes occur, we will revise the “last updated” date at the top of this Statement. If there are substantial changes to this statement or in how City of Lincoln Council will use your personal information we will advertise the updated Privacy Statement both on the front page of the City of Lincoln Council web site and it will be available at the reception desks of the Council offices to view

City of Lincoln Council encourages you to periodically visit the Council’s website to review this statement and to be informed of how City of Lincoln Council is protecting your information.

Further information

At all times, City of Lincoln Council will comply with the legal requirements set out by the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to the collection, holding and processing of your personal data.

If you would like to know more or have any concerns about how your information is being processed please contact the Legal and Democratic Services Team.

If you require general information about the Data Protection Act, information is available on the Information Commissioner’s website.

Your data

You have the right to request that City of Lincoln Council cease processing your personal data in relation to any Council service, including the Single Customer Record, see below for further details Where possible, City of Lincoln Council will seek to comply with your request but there may be some situations where it will not be able to do this, for example, where City of Lincoln Council is required to hold or processing information to comply with a legal requirement. However, this may cause delays or hinder the Council’s ability to provide services to you.

You are also legally entitled to request access to any records held by City of Lincoln Council about yourself, including the Single Customer Record.

You can make a subject access request by downloading our access request form here and returning it to the council. There is a fee of £10 and you will be asked to prove your identity and address in order for us to complete your request. Once everything is received, you can expect a response within 40 days.

Whilst City of Lincoln Council tries to ensure that any personal data it holds about you is correct, there may be situations where the information it holds is no longer accurate. If this is the case, please contact the department holding the information or the Legal and Democratic Services Team so that any errors can be investigated and corrected.

City of Lincoln Council will not use your personal data for third party marketing purposes without your prior express consent.
It will not pass any personal data on to third parties, other than those who either process information on our behalf or because of a legal requirement, and it will only do so, where possible, after City of Lincoln Council has ensured that sufficient steps have been taken to protect the personal data by the recipient.

Equalities

City of Lincoln Council may use information about your ethnic background, first language, gender, sexual orientation and age (“equalities data”) for the purposes of compiling statistical data about the population of the city at large and the take up council services by various groups, both to assist in complying with the race relations act and other equality legislation and to assist the council in the effective planning and provision of future services.

Such statistical data or statistical analysis will not allow the identification of any specific individual nor will it have any impact on any individual’s entitlement to council services and facilities.

Such equalities data may also be used to allow the council to provide sufficient assistance where required, for example, to provide translation services or access facilities, such as induction hearing loops, where appropriate.

Emergency response management

Data Matching may also be used to assist the Council in responding to emergencies or major accidents, by allowing the Council, in conjunction with the emergency services, to identify individuals who may need additional support in the event of, for example, an emergency evacuation.

In addition, further data matching may be undertaken on a directorate level. Please see the respective directorate’s web site for any additional directorate specific privacy policies.

Detect and Prevent Crime/Fraud

City of Lincoln Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. We process and share the information provided to us for the following purposes:

  • Council Employee Payroll
  • Council Employee Pensions
  • Electoral Register
  • Housing
  • Supported Care
  • Transport passes
  • Insurance Claimants
  • Housing and Council Tax Benefits
  • Licences, for example,  market trader/ operator, hackney carriage/private hire drivers and (new) personal licences to supply alcohol
  • Council Tax
  • Leisure
  • Property (Planning, Business Rates)
  • Information provided by external bodies, for example, Utility Companies, Credit Reference agencies and Service Providers, including Registered Social Landlords to prevent and/or detect potential fraud and crime, by both conducting our own Data Matching as well as sharing this information with other public bodies, such as; the Department for Work and Pensions, other Local Authorities, HM Revenues and Customs, other Central Government Departments, the Police, as well as utility companies, credit reference agencies and service providers/ contractors and/or partner bodies, where the disclosure of such information is either;
    a) necessary for the purposes of the prevention and/or detection of crime; and/or,
    b) is otherwise necessary to comply with any other legal obligation.

The Government appoints an auditor to audit the accounts of City of Lincoln Council, and also conducts its own data matching exercise.
Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims, transactions, applications and payments to be identified. Where a match is found and two or more records have contradictory or conflicting information, the inconsistency will require further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out. Regardless, the data matching process is a proven way of helping to ensure that records are up to date and accurate.

The Government currently requires local authorities to participate in a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and/or detection of fraud. We are legally required to provide particular sets of Data to the Government for matching for each exercise, and these are set out in the Government’s guidance.

The use of data by the Government in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in Part 2A of the Government Act 1998. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Data Matching by the Government is subject to a Code of Practice.

For further information on the Government’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, refer to the Government’s fair processing notice.

For further information about data matching at City of Lincoln Council, please contact either:

Becky Scott, Legal and Democratic Services Manager, Becky.Scott@lincoln.gov.uk

Email: Legal@lincoln.gov.uk

Tel: 01522 873441

Data Matching

Data Matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. This is usually personal information.

City of Lincoln Council undertakes Data Matching, where necessary, for a number of purposes, to comply with legal requirements placed on the Council.

These include to:

  • Detect and prevent crime/fraud
  • Assist in Emergency response management

Single customer record

City of Lincoln Council is working on improving how it provides services to the citizens of Lincoln.

In order to assist the Council in providing relevant services more quickly when required, and in an effective and efficient manner, it is creating an information hub.

The information hub will contain a single customer record, comprising of your name, address, date of birth and gender, together with some information which can be used to confirm your identity.

The Single Customer Record will not contain extensive details of the services you have received. However, the single customer record will also act as an index to other council databases, but will be able to feed information into a number of council systems, including:

  • Environmental Management
  • Leisure services
  • Electoral Services
  • Financial Systems
  • Benefits
  • Council Tax
  • Housing Rents
  • Housing Services and repairs
  • Planning
  • Building Regulations
  • Garden Waste

To do this, when we are contacted by customers, we will ask your consent to use your name and details from the above systems to form part of the Single Customer Record.

This will allow you to notify the Council once and have that information feed into a number of Council systems, for example, where you change your address, so that rather than you having to notify each individual Council department of the change of address, by reporting the change of address to one Council department, a number of Council departments will be notified. However, this will only be done with your express consent.

The Single Customer Record will also allow the council to respond to any queries you may have in respect of the provision of services more quickly and efficiently. By linking into a number of Council systems, any query or issue can be investigated more quickly. However, any access to such Council systems will only take place in response to any query or instruction received by yourself, and only where such access is necessary to answer or respond to the query or issue raised by yourself.

City of Lincoln Council will not normally create or hold Single Customer Records in relation to children (individuals under the age of 18) without the consent of the child’s parent/guardian. However, there may be limited circumstances where a child’s data will be held in a Single Customer Record, such as, where an child receives services as if he/she was an adult, for example, where a 16 or 17 year old applied for Council Housing.

How we will use your personal data

City of Lincoln Council will use your personal data for a limited number of purposes, and at all times within the rules set out in the Data Protection Act 1998.
We will process personal data for the following purposes:

  • For the purpose to which you provided the information, for example, processing information given on a benefit claim form for the purpose of processing your benefit claim, and to monitor the Council’s performance in responding to your request
  • To allow the Council to be able to communicate and provide services appropriate to your needs, for example, to be able to arrange suitable access arrangements where the citizen has mobility difficulties
  • To ensure that the council meets its legal requirements, including obligations imposed under the Equality Act 2010 and Health and Safety legislation
  • Where necessary for the Council’s Law Enforcement functions, for example, licensing, planning enforcement, food safety, etc, where City of Lincoln Council is legally obliged to undertake such processing
  • Where the processing is necessary for City of Lincoln Council to comply with its legal obligations, for example, the prevention and/or detection of crime
  • To process financial transactions including grants, payments and benefits involving City of Lincoln Council, or where City of Lincoln Council is acting on behalf of other government bodies, for example, Department for Works and Pensions
  • Where you have consented to the processing
  • Where necessary to protect individuals from harm or injury or
  • Where otherwise permitted under the Data Protection Act 1998, for example, disclosure to comply with legal obligations. For further information on the Data Protection Act refer to the Information Commissioner’s website

City of Lincoln Council may also use your personal data, after it has been anonymised, to allow the statistical analysis of data to allow the Council to effectively review, target and plan the provision of services.

Using your personal data

In deciding what personal data to collect, hold and use, the Council is committed to ensuring that it will:

  • Recognise that any personal data handled by City of Lincoln Council is held on behalf of that person and that we ensure we respect that responsibility
  • Adopt and maintain high standards in respect of the handling and use of that personal data
  • Only collect, hold and use personal data where it is necessary and proportionate to do so
  • Securely delete any personal data when no longer needed
  • Keep your personal data secure and safe
  • Not unnecessarily and without good reason, infringe the privacy of the citizens of Lincoln
  • Consider and address the privacy risks first when planning to use or hold personal information in new ways, such as when introducing new systems
  • Be open with individuals about how we use their information and who we give it to
  • Make it easy for individuals to access and correct their personal information
  • Ensure that there is effective safeguards and systems in place to make sure personal information is kept securely and does not fall into the wrong hands
  • Provide training to staff who handle personal information and treat it as a disciplinary matter if they misuse or don’t look after personal information properly
  • Put appropriate financial and human resources into looking after personal information to make sure we can live up to our promises
  • Regularly check that we are living up to our promises and report on how we are doing to the senior management team.

The Council may disclose personal data to third parties, but only where it is necessary, either to comply with a legal obligation, or where permitted under the Data Protection Act, for example, where the disclosure is necessary for the purposes of the prevention and/or detection of crime, or where it is necessary to allow a third party working for or on behalf of the Council.

The Council will strive to ensure that any personal data in its care will be kept safe and that where your information is disclosed to a third party, City of Lincoln Council will seek to ensure that the third party has sufficient systems and procedures in place to prevent the loss of personal data.

Where the Council intends to disclose sensitive personal data, such as medical details, to third parties, we will do so only with your prior express consent or where we are legally required to do.

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