Data protection and freedom of information
We live in a society where information is both abundant and necessary. Having the ‘right’ information when it is required is essential if the Council is to carry out its duties in an efficient and effective manner.
The Council is seeking to promote transparency with regards to the information it holds. This is in line with laws that have been passed to both protect and provide information about individuals or general information.
There are two main laws that the Council must comply with about information. These are:
- The Data Protection Act 1998
- The Freedom of Information Act 2000.
The easiest way to distinguish these Acts is:
- the Data Protection Act is about personal information
- the Freedom of Information Act is about all other kinds of information.
The Council is actively seeking to meet its obligations in law, and these obligations include a right of access to Council Information, both personal and general.
These obligations also include:
- Ensuring information held about individuals is accurate, relevant and subject to clear archival and disposal policies.
- Ensure that proper security measures are in place to protect all information.
- Ensuring that all requests for information are dealt with promptly, and that the release of information is encouraged where the legislation requires it.
- Treating people justly and fairly whatever their age, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity when dealing with requests for information.
- Raising awareness with Council staff through literature and training to ensure that procedures for responding to requests are followed.
To find out more about the personal information the Council holds, and how to make a request to see your personal information, see Data protection.