Elections - candidates and agents - 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.


Candidates and Agents

Your Personal Data

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, Risk and Safety 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

Legal Obligation: Under the Representation of the People Act 1983 each Local Authority must by law appoint a “Returning Officer”. This is a personal appointment with its own statutory functions, separate to Argyll and Bute Council.

The Returning Officer has a statutory duty to process certain personal data for the purpose of administrating election and referenda; and as such, is subject to the requirements of data protection regulations as a “data controller”. Pippa Milne is the Returning Officer for Argyll and Bute Council and is the registered Data Controller with the Information Commissioners Officer (ICO).

For many of the Returning Officer functions, the Council’s Election Office will not be processing personal data on behalf of the Council; it will instead be processing personal data on behalf of one or more of the following statutory office holders:

  • the Registration Officer appointed by the Council under Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act 1983;
  • the Returning Officer appointed for the purposes of local authority elections by the Council under section 41 of the Representation of the People Act 1983;
  • the Counting Officer responsible for the administration, within the Council’s local authority area, of any local, regional or national referendum;
  • any other statutory office holder whose duties relate to administering elections or referenda and whose office is held by virtue of holding one or more of the offices described above or is otherwise required by law to be held by an officer of the Council.

What information do we need?

Your personal data is used under the following legal basis: Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller (ie the Returning Officer).

The personal data required includes:

  • name and address
  • contact details – phone number(s), email address
  • written signature
  • description of political party or if standing as an “independent”
  • for local government candidates, place of work may be required for qualifications
  • Electoral registration number
  • BACS details for the reimbursement of statutory candidate deposits for some polls
  • data required for Election expenses return (candidate spending); details of election expenses, office address, election agent details

Third Party Data

Some of the information processed by the Returning Officer may have been provided by a third party as part of the election process. This would be from the registered political party or their nominating officer with which you are affiliated, or the appointed election agent appointed by you.

Why we need this information?

As a candidate or election agent for an election we require your data for the following purposes:

  • Processing and determining candidate nomination papers, agent appointment form, publishing statutory notices containing your details, and producing ballot papers and other poll material.
  • Administering, managing and recording the poll processes in which you are entitled to be involved.
  • Maintaining historical records of candidates, nominees and elected members participating in all elections, by-elections and referendum results in the Argyll and Bute area for public consumption, such as the election results or nomination and membership records.
  • Producing and maintaining records of candidates, election agents, sub agents, polling agents, counting agents and postal voting agents as required by statute.
  • Administering the election expenses return (candidate spending), holding of statutory returns relating to campaign/candidate spending during poll campaigns and publication of statutory notices regarding the same.

What we will do with your information?

Your information will be shared with the following recipients or categories of recipient:

  • The Council’s Returning Officer and, in the case of Local Government Elections, the relevant council departments and for community council elections, the Community Council liaison officer.
  • Printing companies contracted to produce printed material related to the poll.
  • Staff required to administer and manage the poll (eg door supervisors, polling place inspectors)
  • Single Point of Contact (SPOC) officer at Police Scotland (if required)
  • Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament, Scottish Office, Cabinet Office or UK Government as may be required for a particular poll for statutory returns.
  • The Councils payment section for the reimbursement of statutory candidate deposits.
  • Where information is required for material intended for public consumption ie candidate spending is made available to the public under supervision.

The Argyll and Bute Returning Officer is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to them with other public bodies responsible for auditing, administering public funds, or where undertaking a public function, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

How long will we keep your information?

We will keep your information for the length of time specified in the Election Legislation if it is no longer required for the lawful purposes for which it was obtained, after which it will be destroyed under secure arrangements.   More information on our retention policy can be obtained from the Data Protection Officer (contact details can be found above).

Automated Decision Making

No automated decision making will take place

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

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