This charter sets out the standards and commitment you can expect from Ealing Council in the way it handles your personal information.
To enable us to provide services to you, we will need to handle personal information about you. But no matter how personal information is collected, processed or stored (electronically or manually), it must be handled appropriately to ensure the council meets its legal obligation to comply with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998.
Ealing Council will endeavour to apply the following principles when handling your personal information.
When we ask you for personal information, we will ensure that:
- you know why we need it;
- you know when you have a choice about giving us your information;
- we only collect the information that we actually need;
- it is protected by appropriate technical and organisational measures;
- it is only seen by those members of staff who need it to do their job;
- we do not keep it longer than is necessary;
- you know if we need to share your information with other organisations and why we need to share it
- protocols, agreements and procedures are in place that facilitate the safe and lawful sharing of information.
- proper procedures are in place for dealing with your request for access to your information and any complaints you may have.
The council's primary purpose for processing your personal data is in order to provide services to which you are entitled and in order to get in touch with you.
How you can help us
In return, we ask you to:
- give us accurate information;
- tell us as soon as possible of any changes in your circumstances;
- tell us as soon as possible if you notice any inaccuracies in the information we hold about you
This helps us to keep your information reliable and up-to-date.
How we use your information
Ealing Council collects personal information for the purpose of providing its services which include but are not limited to council tax, housing, benefits, grants, health, social services, education, leisure and democratic services.
The information we have collected about you when you request or apply for a service(s) will primarily be used in the provision of that service(s) but may be also be used within the council for other lawful purposes. In particular, we will use information about you for the purpose of:
- maintaining our electoral register
- carrying out the council's statutory and regulatory functions (such as licensing, planning, parking control and the provision of education housing and social services)
- to communicate and consult with you in order to provide services appropriate to your needs
- to monitor and improve performance in relation to those services
- to assist with the planning of future service provision
- for all law enforcement, regulation and licensing, criminal prosecutions and court proceedings. We will use all information held by us in order to undertake those functions efficiently and effectively
- for the prevention and detection of fraud. We may also share your information with other bodies responsible for the auditing or administering of public funds for these purposes
- for the maintenance and improvement of the services which we deliver, this includes the development and upgrading of the systems which we use to process your information
- where there are financial transactions relating to some services, such as grants, payments and benefits. We therefore may use your information for all uses relating to situations where you owe money to the Council, or where we are paying you money, or you are claiming grants, housing benefit or council tax reduction, your personal information (other than just your name, address, dates of birth etc.) will be kept secure and used only for that range of purposes
The council may check information provided by you or information supplied by an external organisation about you against other information held by the council. The council may also obtain information from certain external organisations or provide information to them in order to:
- verify the accuracy of the information supplied by you to the council
- prevent or detect crime
- protect public funds from fraud
- comply with the council's legal obligations
- assist with research and statistical purposes
The council is obliged by law to provide personal information to the Audit Commission. This is used in data matching to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. Read more about the National Fraud Initiative.
The council shares information with partner organisations in accordance with our Overarching protocol for the sharing of information in Ealing. In order to safeguard your information the council makes use of technical and organisational measures to ensure that only those who need to have access to your information will be given access to it. When the council no longer needs to keep information about you it will be disposed of in a secure manner.
Accessing your information
For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998 Ealing Council is the data controller. Under the Act you have the right to request access to the personal information the council holds on you. Your request should be made in writing to: Corporate information governance manager, Perceval House, 3rd floor SE, 14-16 Uxbridge Road, Ealing, W5 2HL.
At any time, you can ask us and we will provide you with further details on:
- any agreements we have with other organisations for sharing information
- when we might be required to pass on information without telling you
- our instructions to staff on the proper handling of your personal information
- how we safeguard the information we hold
If you would like to know more, including how we look after your information or for queries and complaints please contact the corporate information governance manager.