How we use your information
This privacy notice tells you what to expect when Carmarthenshire County Council collects and uses personal information. It applies to information about:
- Our customers and clients
- Job applicants, current and former employees
- People who register to vote
- Visitors to our website
The proper handling of personal information by the Council is very important to the delivery of our services and maintaining public confidence.
To ensure that the Council treats personal information correctly, we seek to adhere in full to the eight principles set out in the Data Protection Act 1998.
The types of information the Council holds
The Data Protection Act refers to obtaining, recording, holding and dealing with personal information as ‘processing’. The Council has notified the Information Commissioner’s Office of the types of personal information it processes and the purposes for which it does so.
The Information Commissioner's Office is the body responsible for overseeing the Data Protection Act and maintains a public register which contains the name and address of Data Controllers with a description of the kind of processing they do.
Anyone can access this register and if you wish to view the Council’s entry you can access it via the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Our customers and clients
The Council offers a wide range of services to its customers and clients. We need to obtain and use personal information so that we can deliver the services people need and to keep a record of those services.
For example, personal information is collected and used when we provide Social Care services or administer Council Tax, Housing Benefit, grants and other important services.
We have to hold the details of the people who have requested a service in order to provide it. However, we only use these details to provide the service requested or for other closely related purposes.
Job applicants, current and former employees
When individuals apply to work for the Council, we will only use the information they supply to process their application and to monitor equal opportunities statistics.
Personal information about unsuccessful candidates will be held for six months after the recruitment process has been completed, it will then be destroyed securely by shredding and/or deleted.
Once a person has taken up employment with the Council we will compile a personnel file relating to their employment. The information contained in this will be kept secure and will only be used for purposes directly relevant to that person’s employment.
People who register to vote
When a person registers to vote, their name and address is included in the Electoral Register. Two versions of the register are compiled and published every year.
The Full Register lists everybody who is entitled to vote. Only certain people and organisations can have copies of this register, and they can only use it for specified purposes. These include electoral purposes, the prevention and detection of crime and checking your identity when you have applied for credit. It is a criminal offence for them to pass it on to anyone else or to use it for any other purpose.
The Full Register is available for inspection at the Electoral Services Unit under supervision.
The Edited Register does not include the names and addresses of people who have asked to be excluded from this version of the register.
The Edited Register can be bought by anyone who asks for a copy and they may use it for any purpose.
Visitors to our website
The Council does not capture or retain any personal information about individuals who visit our website, except where they choose to give their personal details via an online form to apply for services.
Where any of our online forms are completed, the personal information provided is used only to provide the services requested.
This privacy notice does not apply to websites that are not run by the Council.
Sharing and disclosing your information
Depending on the purpose for which we originally obtained it and the use to which it is to be put, information may be shared with other organisations.
For example, providing aids and equipment in a person’s home is likely to be a service provided jointly by our Social Care, Health and Housing teams as well as the local Health Service.
Information may also be shared, where necessary, with other organisations that provide services on our behalf such as providers of residential accommodation and home care. In such cases, the information provided is only the minimum necessary to enable them to provide services to you.
Personal information about you may also be provided to other local authorities. An example would be when you have moved from one local authority to another and the new authority requires confirmation of the services you were receiving.
In relation to job applicants, where a provisional offer of employment is made, we will inform the individual beforehand of any need to disclose information to a third party in order to undertake necessary pre-employment checks.
For example, we may want to take up a reference or obtain a ‘disclosure’ from the Disclosure and Barring Service.
In most cases we will not disclose personal data without consent. However, there are situations where consent would not be required such as:
- Where the Council is required to provide the information by law
- Where the information is needed to prevent or detect a crime
- Where the Council is obliged to publish the information by law
- Where disclosure is in the vital interests of the person concerned
The Audit Commission currently requires us to participate in a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to provide particular sets of data to the Audit Commission for matching (for each exercise), and these are set out in the Audit Commission’s guidance, which can be found at www.audit-commission.gov.uk/nfi.
County Councillors may also access personal information about individuals living within their wards, when those people have asked a Councillor to deal with an issue for them. Councillors can also access personal information as members of Council Committees.
By contacting us you can get further information on agreements we have with other organisations for sharing information and circumstances where we can disclose personal data without your permission.
How long we keep personal information
The length of time we will keep personal information depends on the purpose for which it is being processed. For more information on how long we keep different types information you can refer to our Retention Guidelines.
Accessing your personal information
The Council tries to be as open as it can be in terms of giving people access to their personal information. Individuals can find out if we hold any personal information by making a ‘subject access request’ under the Data Protection Act.
More information on making a request can be obtained via the Data Protection page.
There may be cases where, with your agreement, we can deal with your request informally, for example by providing you with the specific information you need over the telephone.
If we do hold information about you, you can also ask us to correct any mistakes you feel may have been made during its recording.
Changes to this privacy notice
We keep our privacy notice under regular review and we will place any updates on this webpage.
Complaints or queries
The Council tries to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information. For this reason, we take any complaints we receive about this very seriously. We encourage people to bring it to our attention if they think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate. We would also welcome any suggestions for improving our procedures.
Please note that this privacy notice does not provide exhaustive detail of all aspects of the Council’s collection and use of personal information.
However, we are happy to provide any additional information or explanation needed.
If you have any enquiries, contact details are provided below.
Information and Data Protection Officer
Customer Focus & Policy
Telephone: 01267 224127