3. Obtaining information about myself
You can make a request to see the information we hold about you and wherever possible, we will provide you with the information you have requested. If we hold lots of information about you, we may ask you to specify what information you would like to see (e.g. housing, council tax, housing benefit etc).
What information can I have?
Generally, you can ask to see anything we hold about you. This could include information held across a range of services in our databases, in our email system, in our filing systems and on CCTV.
Is there any information I can’t have?
The general rule of thumb is that you can have access to any information we hold about you. However there are some exceptions to this rule, particularly where the information requested contains information about other people for example, someone who has contacted us about you or where an ongoing investigation is underway. We will always try to make as much information as possible available to you but will remove (redact) or anonymise any information which you are not entitled to have access to.
Can you refuse to deal with my request?
We may refuse to comply with your request if you have already had a copy of the information and we consider that a reasonable time interval has not elapsed since when you made your first request. We may also refuse to deal with your request if we consider it to be excessive or unfounded.
If we do refuse to deal with your request you have the right to appeal against our decision. Details of the complaints procedure can be found here (link to how to complain).
How can I request information about me?
If you would like a copy of the information we hold about you, you need to submit your request in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can complete the Subject Access Request form. If you would like a manual copy of the form please call 01392 265257 or call into the Civic Centre.
When making your request please try to provide as much detail as possible to enable us to locate the information you would like to see. We will need to know your name, address and previous addresses and date of birth to make sure that we are locating information about you and not somebody else who has the same name as you. It would also be helpful to know if the information relates to a specific service within the council, for example council tax, housing benefit, housing and also whether any particular dates apply.
It is important that we only provide your personal information to you, so prior to undertaking any information searches or releasing any personal information about you we will need to check your identity. We will discuss this with you prior to releasing the information.
Do I have to pay?
You do not have to pay to make a request for access to the information we hold about you.
However, we can make a charge for the request if we consider the request to be unfounded or excessive. We will always contact you in the first instance to try and refine the request rather than make a charge. Any fee charged will be based on the administrative cost of providing the information.
How long does the council have to respond to my request?
In most cases we have one month to respond to your request for your information. However, we can extend the timescale from one month to a maximum of three months if the request is complex in nature and spans across a number of different service areas. If we consider that it will take more than a month to process your request, we will tell you before the first month is up.
What format will you provide my data in?
We will try to provide your information in the format you have requested. This can be a photocopy, electronically or you can simply call into the office and view the information.