Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction - Privacy Statement

A new data protection law was introduced on 25th May 2018. As a result, we've updated our Privacy Notice to make it easier for you to find out how we use, process and protect your information.

What information do we need?

Argyll and Bute Council will act as the ‘Data Controller’ for the personal data you provide to us. The Data Protection Officer, who is responsible for ensuring personal data is managed in accordance with data protection legislation, can be contacted as follows:

Address: Iain Jackson, Governance and Risk Manager, Argyll and Bute Council, Governance and Law, Kilmory, Lochgilphead PA31 8RT.  

Email:  Iain.Jackson@argyll-bute.gov.uk   or  data.protection@argyll-bute.gov.uk  

Telephone:  01546 604188 or 01546 605522

Information held about you

As part of the Housing Benefit (HB) and Council Tax Reduction (CTR) application process, Argyll and Bute Council will collect personal data about you and members of your family.

The information collated includes:

  • Details about you such as your name and address, telephone number, email address, national insurance number, date of birth, household composition and income and savings details
  • Other relevant information to process your claim such as landlord details

We will use this data to process your claim and may check some of the information with other sources, such as the electoral roll or credit reference agencies to ensure this data is accurate.

Who will process your information?

The personal information you give to us through any of our forms relating to HB and CTR, and any other personal information we hold about you in this context will be processed by Argyll and Bute Council staff. There may be times when staff employed by other organisations will process your claim for HB or CTR or any appeal you may make. If this is the case the Council will ensure that the terms of its contract with the other organisation include provision for data security under the terms of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and that the organisation complies with the law.

Do you have to provide your information?

We process housing benefit and council tax reduction claims as part of our statutory function as your local authority. Processing your personal information is necessary for the performance of this task by the council. If you do not provide us with the information we have requested for this purpose then we will not be able to award you these benefits/reductions.

Providing accurate information

It is important that we hold accurate up to date information about you in order to assess your needs and deliver the appropriate level of service and support. If any of your details have changed, or change in the future, please ensure that you tell us as soon as possible so that we can update your records and reassess your claim for HB and/or CTR as required.

How will we use the information we hold about you?

We will collect information about you (where applicable) to:

  • Process your claim for HB and/or CTR
  • To allow the council to communicate and provide services appropriate to your needs, for example free school meals, school clothing grants
  • Where processing is necessary to comply with legal obligations for example, the prevention and detection of crime including fraud
  • Protect public funds

What is the legal basis for us to process your information?

The legal basis for processing data is:

  • Under the following legislation:
    • Social Security and Administration Act 1992
    • Housing Benefit Regulations 2006
    • Local Government Finance Act 1992
    • The Council Tax Reduction (Scotland) Regulations 2012
    • The prevention/detection of crime, including false representation in accordance with the Fraud Act 2006.

There are laws that give the council powers via mandatory and permissive gateways to share information such as;

  • Welfare Reform Act 2012 which allows local authorities to share data with social landlords
  • Section 115 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 allowing anyone to pass information to certain authorities if it is necessary or expedient for the purposes of any provision of the act
  • Section 17 of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 allowing disclosures under the statutory provisions in Schedule 4 for the purposes connected with the criminal investigation and prosecution, where such disclosures are proportionate
  • The National Audit Act 1983 imposing a legal obligation on public bodies to share relevant information with the National Audit Office.
  • Part 2A of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 which concerns the sharing of data for the National Fraud Initiative carried out by Audit Scotland.

Who will we share your information with?

To process your claim we share information under our legal obligations and with partner organisations, including:

  • Other departments of the Council
    • Landlord data may be shared with the landlord registration service
    • Housing services where the Council is the landlord or the claimant is designated as homeless.
    • Customer Services and Education in respect of applications for other benefits such as Free School Meals and School Clothing Grants
    • Other organisations or public bodies
      • The Department of Works and Pensions (DWP)
      • HM Revenues and Customs
      • The Police
      • Our contracted Sheriff Officers for the purpose of performing any of our statutory enforcement duties
      • To make any disclosures required by law such as disclosure to the Office of National Statistics
      • LoCTA, The National Anti-Fraud Network (NAFN) and other bodies responsible for detecting or preventing fraud or auditing or administering public funds
      • Civica and Capita under contract from processing claims and/or appeals.
      • Rent Registration Service to ensure rent levels are reasonable when processing claims.

We will not share your information with other organisations unless there is a legal basis to do so. However, there may be certain circumstances where we would share without your consent, such as where we are required to do so by law to safeguard public safety and in risk of harm or emergency situations. Otherwise outside of the conditions stated, we will not share your information as detailed unless you have provided your written consent to do so. 

How long will we keep your information?

We will keep your information for the minimum period necessary. The information outlined in this privacy notice will be kept after all action on your claim has finished and the period required by the Council for legal and audit purposes has passed, which is normally 6 years after your claim has been cancelled. All information will be held securely and destroyed under confidential conditions. 

Do we transfer your information outside the UK?

We do not transfer personal information outside the UK.

Your rights

When you provide information to the Council, you will have the following rights:

  • to withdraw consent at any time, where the lawful basis specified above is consent
  • to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office – see below for details
  • to request access to your personal data – please contact the Data Protection Officer if you wish to submit a request.
  • to data portability, where the Legal basis specified above is i) consent or ii) performance of a contract
  • to request rectification or erasure of your personal data, as far as the legislation permits – please contact the Data Protection Officer and provide details of what data you wish to be rectified or erased.

You can find out more about your rights in relation to data protection here: www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/data-protection or from the Data Protection Officer by telephone or in writing, as detailed above.

Information Commissioner’s Office

The ICO is the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights. 

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Telephone:  0303 123 1113  
Email:  casework@ico.org.uk

The Information Commissioner’s Office – Scotland
45 Melville Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7HL
Telephone:  0303 123 1115 
Email:  Scotland@ico.org.uk

Did you find what you were looking for?

Why wasn't this information helpful

Limit to 250 characters.