Your Right to Know

There are a number of ways to gain access to information about Hart District Council and find out what information the council holds about you. There are separate pieces of legislation that govern how we supply different types of information:

  • The Data Protection Act 2018, which gives you the right to see information we hold about you.
  • The Freedom of Information Act 2000, which gives you the right to access information we publish and other information we hold
  • The Environmental Information Regulations Act 2004, (EIR) which gives you access to information held by us relating to the environment

Obtaining Information from Hart District Council

There are different procedures in place to access information held under these acts, and Hart District Council works hard to meet our obligations.

Occasionally, we are unable to supply information requested under the Acts. In many cases, this is because the information itself is exempt from publication or we may not hold the data. This can be for a variety of reasons. Where information is exempt, we will tell you why we are unable to supply it.

For further information about what information is exempt from publication, see the Information Commissioner's Office website.

A great deal of information about the work of the council is published as part of our publication process. The publication process contains a wealth of information about:

  • who we are and what we do
  • what we spend and how we spend it
  • how we make decisions
  • our policies and procedures
  • lists and registers
  • services provided by the council

Retention of information

Hart District Council retains different types of information for different lengths of time. The different types of information, and the length of time we retain them for, is set out in the Retention Schedule.

Data Transparency

We are committed to being open and transparent about how we work, our decision-making processes and how we provide our services. As part of this commitment, and in line with the Government’s Transparency Code, we have increased the amount of data that we routinely publish. Data within the scope of the Local Government Transparency Code (2014) includes:

  • Expenditure exceeding £500
  • Contracts
  • Land and Property
  • Parking revenues, parking spaces
  • The Council’s Constitution
  • Fraud and counter fraud and anti-bribery strategy
  • Organisation charts for management tiers 1-3
  • Trade union activity
  • Senior pay and pay multiple
  • Counter Fraud Transparency Code

How to request information held about you - Making a subject access information request

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives people the right to know what personal information Hart District Council holds about them. Access to non-personal information is managed under the Freedom of Information Act. For information about Freedom of Information requests and to make a request please visit our Freedom Information webpage.

A request for personal information under GDPR can be made by email or in writing. This is known as a subject access request. We do not charge for providing your information to you. In order to make a subject access request you will need to provide the following information:

  • your name
  • your address
  • proof of identity
  • enough information to identify your records

You will also need to tell us what kind of information you are requesting to enable us to locate the information.

Once you have made a request you will receive an acknowledgement and your request should be answered within one month. Please be aware that in certain circumstances, this may take longer. For more details about what you can expect from us, see the Information Commissioner's website.

If you would like to make a request, please contact us by email to data.protection@hart.gov.uk or in writing to:

Data Protection Officer
Hart District Council
Harlington Way
Fleet
Hampshire
GU51 4AE

Proof of identity

When we receive a request for information, we must make sure you are who you say you are by confirming:

  • Your full name
  • Your residential address
  • Your date of birth

You must visit the Council offices in person with your proof of identify and show this to the relevant Council Officer for verification.

The following documents can be accepted to verify your identity. We require two forms of ID. You must provide at least one form of ID from each group below:

Group 1

  • Current UK or EEA passport
  • UK photocard driving licence (full or provisional)
  • Full UK paper driving licence
  • UK Birth Certification issued within 12 months of date of birth
  • Firearms licence or shotgun certificate

Group 2

  • Utility bill for supply of gas, electric, water or telephone landline*
  • Financial statement issued by bank, building society or credit card company*
  • P45 or P60 Statement
  • Credit Card Statement
  • Council Tax Bill

* These documents must be less than three months old.

We will accept copies of these documents however, we reserve the right to ask for originals if copies are not of a good quality.

Acting on behalf of someone else

Where data protection requests are made on behalf of adults, the Council needs to check that the person making the request has appropriate authority and that the request is made in the data subject’s interest.

Children have the right to request their own information themselves. People with parental responsibility can apply on their child's behalf where the child is too young to understand. Where a child cannot understand, which usually means they are under the age of 12, the council must be satisfied that the request is being made in the child's interest. There may be occasions when we decide not to give information to a parent or when we may ask a child to make a request on their own behalf.

What the council does to provide the information

Hart District Council is required to comply with your request within 1 month of receiving proof of identity or clarification of what is required.

We must tell you whether we hold the information requested and, if we do, should give you a description of the information, the purposes for which it is being processed, the types of people to whom the information may be disclosed, and the source of the information. We should give you a copy of the information, but there may be occasions when you agree to visit us to view the information instead.

We are obliged to check whether any of the information is exempt as defined in the GDPR and cannot be provided after all.

The main exemption we must consider relates to other people’s rights under data protection. If your information contains details about other individuals, we must consider whether it would be lawful and fair to them to disclose it. We would normally seek their consent before making our decision.

Other exemptions we must consider relate to national security, crime, taxation, prejudice of regulatory activity, legal professional privilege, the social work records exemption and health and education work records exemption.

Other rights under General Data Protection Regulation

If you find that information we hold about you is incorrect, you can apply to have it corrected or deleted. This applies to inaccurate information or opinions based on inaccurate information. To deal with inaccuracies in the most efficient way please contact the relevant service area where the error has occurred. To find contact details for services please check our Council contact list.

Making a complaint 

If you're not satisfied with the response you have received to a subject request for information, you can ask us to review our handling of the matter. This can be done by emailing data.protection@hart.gov.uk or calling 01252 622122 and stating the details of your complaint and what you would like us to investigate.

If you remain unsatisfied after the review outcome, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The Information Commissioner is an independent supervisory authority responsible for data protection and freedom of information. Please be aware the ICO will not consider a complaint unless the Hart District Council review process has taken place first.

You can contact the ICO by emailing casework@ico.org.uk, calling 0303 123 1113 or visiting ico.org.uk.

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