Who is the Data Controller for the information I provide?

Wirral Council is the Data Controller for the personal information you provide. The Council’s Data Protection Officer can be contacted via email informationmanager@wirral.gov.uk

Our address is:
Wirral Council
PO Box 290
Brighton Street
Wallasey
Wirral
CH27 9FQ

Why do you need my information?

We collect and hold information, that you provide, in order to process your application for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction, all of which are means tested benefits and information will be used to assess your entitlement to these benefits. We also receive information from Department of Work and Pensions and Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs in the form of data matching to ensure our records and therefore your benefit entitlement is accurate.

What legal basis allows you to use my information?

The legal basis that allows us to use your information is Public Task. The processing is necessary for us to perform a public task in the public interest. Those tasks have a clear basis within the following legislation -

  • Housing Benefit Regulations 2006
  • The Council Tax Reduction schemes (prescribed requirement) (England) Regulations 2012
  • The Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Detection of Fraud and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013
  • Local Government Finance Act 1992
  • The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992
  • The Education Act 1996
  • Children and Families Act 2017

Do I have to provide this information and what will happen if I don’t?

The information is needed by law to ensure that benefit claims are calculated correctly. Failure to supply information may result in claims being suspended/cancelled or loss of benefit to which you may be entitled.

Who will my information be shared with?

The information may be shared with other Departments within Wirral Council who also have a statutory duty to provide a service, and other organisations, such as;

  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs
  • External enforcement Agencies (collection of overpaid Housing Benefit, where appropriate)
  • External Auditors
  • National Fraud Initiative - we participate in the Cabinet Office's National Fraud Initiative. This requires us to provide particular sets of data to the Minister for the Cabinet Office for matching. The use of data for this data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under Data Protection legislation. Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a Code of Practice. You can view further information on the Cabinet Office's legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information

We may disclose information to other partners of the council where it is necessary, either to comply with a legal obligation, or where permitted under the Data Protection Act, e.g. where the disclosure is necessary for the purposes of the prevention and/or detection of crime.

How long will you keep this information for and why?

Personal information will be retained for 6 years based on best practice.

How will my information be stored?

Information will be stored electronically on a secure document imaging system and assessment details with be stored within the secure electronic Benefits system.

How we protect your data

We will take appropriate steps to make sure we hold records about you (on paper and electronically) in a secure way, and we will only make them available to those who have a right to see them. The Council takes security measures such as, but not limited to:

Logical Security Control

• Encryption
• Anonymisation
• Partitioning
• Paper document security

Physical Security Control

• Managing workstations
• Website security
• Backups
• Network security
• Physical access control
• Monitoring network activity
• Hardware security

Organisational Control

• Monitoring committee
• Policies
• Managing Privacy risks
• Integrating privacy protection in projects (PIA)

Will this information be used to take automated decisions about me?

Some decisions may be automated, such as income changes reported by Department of Work and Pensions, decision notifications will make it clear when this occurs. New claims may be profiled to help reduce processing times and  reduce possible Fraud and Error. Profiling is carried out in accordance with national good practice and guidelines prepared by Department of Work and Pensions. Automated decision making is a service provided to speed up the application process, however if you believe the automated decision making  service has disadvantaged you, you can request someone to review your application However this process will take longer than an automated system.  See Rights on automated decision making and profiling below.

Will my data be transferred abroad and why?

No

What rights do I have when it comes to my data?

Right to be informed – through this Privacy Notice.

Right to rectification – you have the right to have personal data rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete.

Rights on automated decision making and profiling - The law provides safeguards for you against the risk that a potentially damaging decision is taken without human intervention. As with all benefit decisions you have the right to request a review of the decision within one month of the decision being made.

Right to restrict processing – you have the right to block or suppress processing of your data, however this right does not apply in some circumstances.

Right to object - You can object to certain types of processing such as direct marketing. The right to object also applies to other types of processing such as processing for scientific, historical research or statistical purposes (although processing may still be carried out for reasons of public interest).

Right of Access - you have the right under the Data Protection Act 1998 (General Data Protection Regulation 2018) to request a copy of your information and to know what it is used for and how it has been shared. This is called the right of subject access. To request a copy of your data or ask questions about how it is used please email informationmanager@wirral.gov.uk

Who can I complain to if I am unhappy about how my data is used?

Informal resolution

In the first instance we would ask that you try and resolve data handling issues directly with the relevant department before applying for a formal resolution.

Formal resolution

If you are dissatisfied with the informal resolution of your complaint you can request a review by the Data Protection Officer, Jane Corrin, by email DPO@wirral.gov.uk or by writing to:

Data Protection Officer
Wirral Council
PO Box 290
Brighton Street
Wallasey
Wirral
CH27 9FQ

If you remain dissatisfied following an internal complaint, you can lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Changes to our Privacy Notice

We regularly review our privacy notice and suggest you check for any changes from time to time. This notice was reviewed May 2018.