Data Matching Pilot - electoral roll

Mr Rawlins made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Education

The request was successful.

From: Mr Rawlins

21 September 2011

Dear Department for Education,

You are taking part in a Data Matching Pilot to check the accuracy
of data held on 22 authorities' electoral rolls during 2011.

Please could you tell me:

1) What database(s) is/are being used to supply this data;

2) Whether the data subjects have been informed prior to their data
being used in this project;

3) Can data subjects have their data 'flagged' or suppressed in
some way in order to prevent their data from being used or accessed
for a purpose other than which they may have been informed or
reasonably expected it may have been used when they originally
provided you with it;

4) If the answer to number 3 above is yes, then how can a person do
this?

Yours faithfully,

Mr Rawlins

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Department for Education

23 September 2011

Dear Mr Rawlins

Thank you for your recent email. A reply will be sent to you as soon as
possible. For information, the departmental standard for correspondence
received is that responses should be sent within 20 working days as you
are requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2011/0065552

Thank you.

Central Allocation Team

Public Communications Team

Tel: 0370 0002288
www.education.gov.uk

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Department for Education

13 October 2011

Dear Mr Rawlins,
Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 21 September.  You requested information about the databases being used in the Data
Matching Pilots to check the accuracy of data held on 22 authorities' electoral rolls during 2011.  I have dealt with your request as a request made
under the terms of the the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Individual Electoral Registration (IER) will be introduced in 2014, prior to the 2015 general election, to improve accuracy and make the system of
electoral registration less vulnerable to fraud.  Electors will need to register to vote individually rather than by household, providing information
which will be used to verify their entitlement to be included in the electoral register. Only once their entitlement has been verified will a person be
added to the register.

The Electoral Registration Data Schemes Order 2011 made under the Political Parties and Elections Act 2009 establishes the data matching pilot
schemes.  As part of this improvement programme twenty two local authorities are testing the usefulness of matching their electoral registers against a
selection of public databases to identify people missing from the register or entries on the register that may be inaccurate or fraudulent. The ability
of a local authority to provide its data for the purposes of the data matching schemes ends on 30 November 2011.  The pilot schemes are using between
them combinations of data from public authorities including the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Transport, the Department for
Education, HM Revenue and Customs, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Ministry of Defence. The pilots are being independently
evaluated by the Electoral Commission.

1) What database(s) is/are being used to supply this data?

DfE have provided information for the pilots from the National Pupil Database (NPD).  The NPD is a longitudinal database linking pupil/student
characteristics (eg age, gender, and ethnicity) sourced from the School Census to school and college learning aims and attainment information for all
children in maintained schools in England.  The School Census is a statutory collection from schools.  Data is collected in schools and processed by
their Local Authorities and the Department.   The data being shared from the NPD is name and address and date of birth of individuals aged 16-18 who
are resident in the pilot areas.

2)  Whether the data subjects have been informed prior to their data being used in this project

The data subjects have not been informed prior to their data being used in the pilot.  DFE are providing the information for this project in accordance
with the Electoral Registration Data Schemes Order 2011 made under the Political Parties and Elections Act 2009.

Schools provide pupils and parents with a Privacy Notice which explains what is done with the data held by schools.  This includes information about
what the DfE does with their data.  This information can be viewed on the DfE website at
[1]http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/admi...

3) Can data subjects have their data 'flagged' or suppressed in some way in order to prevent their data from being used or accessed for a purpose other
than which they may have been informed or reasonably expected it may have been used when they originally provided it?

No. But information provided to a registration officer may only be used for the purposes set out in section 35 of the Political Parties and Elections
Act 2009 and it is an offence to disclose it for any other purpose.

The pilots are presently being evaluated.  If they are deemed to have been successful and the data exchange is to be repeated for the full roll out of
IER, and DfE are required to share data with Cabinet Office and Electoral Registration Officers in future we would amend the Privacy Notice
accordingly.

4) If the answer to number 3 above is yes, then how can a person do this?

Not applicable.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you should make a complaint to the Department by writing to me within two calendar
months of the date of this letter.  Your complaint will be considered by an independent review panel, who were not involved in the original
consideration of your request. 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint to the Department, you may then contact the Information Commissioner’s Office. 
 
Yours sincerely,

Ann Wass
Data and Statistics Division
[email address]
[2]www.education.gov.uk

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2011/0065552.

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References

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1. http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/admi...
2. http://www.education.gov.uk/

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