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The Data Protection Act

The Data Protection Act governs the way organisations must treat personal information about you. It applies to information on computers and certain types of paper filing systems.

Basildon Borough Council needs personal information about its citizens and all other people who do business with the Council. We only collect and use this information in ways that the law allows. The Act puts an extra duty on us to make sure we use personal information fairly and correctly.

What information do we have about you?

The information we keep can include:

  • Forms you have completed and given to us
  • Letters and e-mails you have sent to us
  • Notes of information given to us verbally (in person or by telephone)
  • Details of any checks made to ensure the information we have is correct
  • Information about you supplied by other parties
  • Computer and paper records to do with your business with the Council

The law says we can sometimes share information about you with other organisations, such as The Benefits Agency, Inland Revenue, etc.

This can be because:

  • You have given permission
  • The law says we have to
  • A Court Order says it is necessary.

To find out more about how Basildon Council uses your personal data, see our GDPR Data Privacy Notice.

Subject Access Request - Find out what information we have about you

Individuals have the right to access their personal data and supplementary information. A Subject Access Request enables individuals to be aware of the data that Basildon Council holds about them and to verify the lawfulness of how that data is processed.

Under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), individuals will have the right to obtain:

  • confirmation that their data is being processed;
  • access to their personal data; and
  • other supplementary information - this largely corresponds to the information that should be provided in a privacy notice.

The purpose of the Right of Access under GDPR is to allow individuals to access their personal data so that they are aware of it and can verify the lawfulness of the processing.  This means that you can ask for copies of all information that the Council holds on you - for example: file notes, copies of application forms you may have completed, notes of interviews you may have attended, records of telephone calls, details of payments you have made, and so on. 

The information must be provided free of charge.  However, the council can charge a 'reasonable fee' when a request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive.  The Council can also refuse to supply information in specific circumstances.  If this is the case the Council will tell you what we cannot release and the reasons why and who you can appeal to if you believe that the decision to withhold the information is wrong.

Basildon Council may also charge a reasonable fee to comply with requests for further copies of the same information. (This does not mean that it can charge for all subsequent access requests.)  The fee will be based on the administrative cost of providing the information.

Information must be provided without delay and at the latest within one month of receipt.  The Council will be able to extend the period of compliance by a further two months where requests are complex or numerous. If this is the case, the Council will inform you within one month of the receipt of the request and explain why the extension is necessary.

Basildon Council will have to verify the identity of the person making the request, using 'reasonable means'. This means that the Council will ask you for a copy of your passport, driving licence, utility bill etc.  If the request is made electronically, you will be provided with the information in a commonly used electronic format.  If you do not have an email address, the information will be sent as a paper copy.

Submit a Subject Access Request Online:

You can expect a further response to your Subject Access Request within one month of the date of submission.

Proof of the applicant's identity is needed

When submitting a Subject Access Request Form the applicant must enclose confirmation of their identity.

Applicants are asked to supply two documents that will provide confirmation of their identity, one from each of the following lists:

Proof of identity

  • current, valid full passport  (certified copies must show nationality, place and date of birth, passport  number, expiry date,  photograph and signature)
  • current, valid full UK photo-card driving licence with signature  or 'old style' driving licence
  • current, valid UK photo-card provisional licence
  • Northern Ireland Voter's Card showing your current address
  • Armed Forces ID Card
  • Residence permit showing your full name and current address. This is issued by the Home Office to non-EU Nationals on sight of your own country's passport. firearms certificate or shotgun licence
  • HM Revenue & Customs (Inland Revenue) tax document e.g. tax assessment, statement of account, notice of coding. It must contain your full name and current address.  P45s and P60s are not acceptable
  • original notification letter from the relevant benefits agency confirming the right to benefits or state pension

Proof of address:

  • household utility bill (e.g. gas, electric, water or fixed line telephone but not a mobile phone  bill). It must be no more than three months  old and show your name and current address
  • current, valid full UK photo-card driving licence with signature  or 'old style'
  • driving licence. Provisional licences are not acceptable as proof of address
  • bank, building society or credit card statement. It must be no more than three months old and show your name and current address
  • local authority tax bill (e.g. council tax) valid for the current year
  • local authority rent book
  • solicitor's letter confirming recent house purchase or land registry confirmation (in this case, proof of previous address will also be needed)
  • HM Revenue & Customs (Inland Revenue) tax document e.g. tax assessment, statement of account, notice of coding. It must contain your full name  and current address.  P45s and P60s are not acceptable
  • original notification letter from the relevant benefits agency confirming the right to benefits or state pension
  • Northern Ireland Voter's Card showing your current address

For valuable documents such as passports or driving licences, you may prefer to send us certified copies rather than the original documents. However, if you do send us the original documents rather than certified copies, we recommend you use recorded delivery. 

If you are unable to send us any documents from the lists above, we will consider other documents showing your name and current address provided they are from a recognised company  or organisation and have been issued within the last 12 months.

Inaccurate or incorrect use of data we hold about you

If you think we have used your personal data to send you promotional literature or advertising that you do not wish to receive, please write to the Council requesting us not to use your details for direct marketing, see contact details bottom of this page.

If you think that the use of the personal data, or some parts of it could cause you unwarranted damage or distress, please write stating your reasons for stopping the processing, see contact details bottom of this page.

If you feel that any of the any personal information we hold about you is inaccurate or incorrect, please let us know by writing to us, see contact details bottom of this page.

For further information and advice on what rights you have, please visit:

For further information, help and advice

When communicating with the Council on a data protection matter, please contact the Data Protection Officer at the address given above or by e-mail to the dataprotectionofficer@basildon.gov.uk.

More information is available from:

Office of the Information Commissioner
Springfield House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AX

or from their website, see Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) 

Disclaimer

Remember that this is a general guide and is not a full and authoritative statement of the law. The Council has made every effort to ensure that the information is correct, but changes in the law may make the guidance become gradually less accurate.       

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