The Data Protection Act 1998 primary aim is to safeguard the rights and freedoms of individuals - especially their right to privacy. It consists of eight legally enforceable principles of good information handling practice and gives individuals legal rights.
The council will respect the rights of individuals, ensuring information is handled with care in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
When a valid request for personal information is received along with the appropriate fee, individuals should be given a copy or description of the personal information that the council holds on them, along with the purposes for which it is being processed, and those to whom the personal information may be disclosed.
The aim of this culture-changing legislation is to provide a right of access to information held by public authorities.
It is intended that this improved openness will promote accountability and transparency in the public sector.
Anyone, from anywhere in the world, may make a request for information that is held by the council. Requests for information can be from a person, business, or organisation.
When information requests are made reasons for making the request do not have to be stated, and the council cannot make enquiries as to why information is being sought.
Information resources are vital to the council’s services and their availability, integrity, security and confidentiality are essential. It is important that citizens are able to trust Thurrock’s methods of obtaining and holding information. Information provided by other organisations to Thurrock must also be treated appropriately.
The Information Security policy, Conditions of Acceptable Use and Personal Commitment Statements and local policies are designed to provide an appropriate level of protection to the information for which Thurrock is responsible.
The Information Security policy is supported by further policies which are listed in Appendix B.
The council routinely shares person identifiable information with external organisations and our partners. Prior to sharing any person identifiable information the council has a duty to ensure that the sharing of this information is done so in accordance with the law.
As we strive to become an excellent council, listening to customers' opinions can help improve customer services and departmental performance. We have procedures in place that allow customers to make complaints on any issue regarding services provided by the council.
Thurrock Council recognises that its records are key to the effective functioning and accountability of the council. Efficient management of records is essential in order to: