This page provides information about the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005.
Data Protection Act 1998
The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) gives all individuals a general right of access to the personal data which is held about them either on computer, or in a relevant manual filing system. These rights are known as "subject access rights".
DPA requires that we comply with the rules of good information handling practice which are commonly known as the 8 Data Protection Principles.
Freedom of Information Act 2000
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) gives a general right of access to information that is held by various public authorities, including Central and Local Government, the Police, the National Health Service, schools and other educational establishments, the Armed Forces (with certain exceptions) and a host of other public bodies which are listed in the Act.
Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005
The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 implement an EU directive that encourages the re-use of public information for purposes other than its original purpose. The aim is to stimulate the European information industry and enable companies to use our information for commercial purposes.
The Regulations do not oblige public bodies to make their information available for re-use unless there is a statutory obligation to do so. They do oblige public bodies to:
- Publish a list of the main documents which can be re-used
- Publish any standard conditions associated with re-use
- Publish any standard charges associated with re-use
- Operate a request procedure
- Operate a complaints/appeals procedure.
The Regulations apply to any recorded information (as defined for FOIA), including whole documents or parts of documents.
There are some exemptions to the Regulations, including educational or cultural establishments, intellectual property that rests with a third party, and information that is exempt under FOIA, DPA and other legislation.
Requests should be in writing but, unlike FOIA, they must state the reason for the re-use. The Council must respond to requests and complaints within 20 working days, unless the request is very complex or volumes are large.
Complaints procedures must include escalation to the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) and ultimately to the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information.
The regulations encourage public bodies to make the maximum use of electronic means in implementing them. For more detailed information and guidance visit the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website.
How to request to re-use information
To apply to re-use information, you should:
- Submit the request in writing - including by email
- State your name and address
- Specify which documents or pieces of information you wish to re-use
- State the purpose for which the document or information is to be re-used
Please send the request to the Council's Compliance Officer, Council Offices, Station Road, Wigston, LE18 2DR.
Making a decision
We will deal with your request as quickly as we can and will provide a full response within 20 working days. If we are unable to respond within 20 working days, we will contact you as soon as possible explaining why.
In some cases we will only permit re-use under a set of conditions known as a licence. Where this is the case, we will inform you of the licence conditions and whether there is a charge for the licence.
Appeals and complaints
If we refuse a request to re-use information, we will write to you and include:
- The reasons for refusal
- An explanation of our complaints and appeals procedure
- The identity of any third party, if known, which owns copyright and/or intellectual property rights which led to the refusal
Should you wish to appeal against our decision or make a complaint about the way your request was handled, please write to the Council's Compliance Officer at the address above. If, having heard the outcome of your complaint or appeal, you are still dissatisfied, you can refer your case to the Office of Public Sector Information by email at email@example.com, or by writing to the following address:
Office of Public Sector Information | Admiralty Arch (North Side) | The Mall | London | SW1A 2WH
The National Fraud Initiative is a data matching exercise. This is a two yearly exercise which is organised and supervised by the Audit Commission and is governed by the requirements of the Audit Commission Act 1988. The National Fraud Initiative was started by central Government in 1996 and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council has participated in this bi-annual exercise since then.
Under the act, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council is required as a public body to share its data relating to employees, councillors and customers with the Audit Commission. This data will then be compared to other records sent to the Audit Commission by other government bodies such as local authorities, police authorities, government departments and the National Health Service.
The purpose of the National Fraud Initiative exercise is to identify where data held by one government body is different to information held by another public body, for example where wage payments to local government employees have not been declared on state benefit claims. As a result of National Fraud Initiative work £450m of fraud has been detected.
Our participation in the National Fraud Initiative means that information about you will be shared with the Audit Commission for the purposes of data matching. The law requires that we release this information and it does not require your consent.
However, numerous safeguards are taken to protect your personal data and these are set out in the Audit Commission's 'code of data matching practice' . Furthermore, the National Fraud Initiative ensures full compliance with all data protection and human rights legislation.
Last updated: Tuesday, 11 October 2016 10:31 am