Use of Third Parties / Contracted Companies for the handling of Residents Data (Council Tax)

The request was successful.

Dear Great Yarmouth Borough Council,

I hope this message finds the reader well.

Please would you provide me with a document which outlines how the council utilises the services of third party companies and/or agents to handle the data of it's residents. In particular, how this process plays a part in the Single Person Discount review and collection/information gathering for the purposes of Council Tax.

I'm particularly interested in seeing documents which details any terms & conditions informing residents that by paying their council tax they are entering into an agreement to not only pay their council tax to the council but also are allowing the council to share the resident/s in question, data with third parties and/or contracted companies. I would also appreciate seeing a link to any already published documents which is already publicly available (or one which can easily be accessed online or via an FOI request such as this) which details this relationship and how residents can expect this personal data to be treated by the council and the aforementioned third parties/contractors/private companies.

I very much appreciate your time in answering this request and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours faithfully,

Josh Coles

Freedom of Information, Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Dear Josh

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 – INFORMATION REQUEST FOI2015-440

Your request for information has now been considered and I am not obliged to supply some of the information you have requested. In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 this letter acts as a Refusal Notice.

Please would you provide me with a document which outlines how the council utilises the services of third party companies and/or agents to handle the data of it's residents. In particular, how this process plays a part in the Single Person Discount review and collection/information gathering for the purposes of Council Tax.

The service is provided in accordance with the Local Authorities (Contracting out of Tax Billing, Collection and Enforcement Functions) Order 1996 - SI1998/1880, Section 12 - Ascertaining entitlements to discounts.

I'm particularly interested in seeing documents which details any terms & conditions informing residents that by paying their council tax they are entering into an agreement to not only pay their council tax to the council but also are allowing the council to share the resident/s in question, data with third parties and/or contracted companies.

All personal data is processed securely and in compliance with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998 and is used under s29 (1)(a) – the prevention and detection of crime and s29 (1)(c) - the assessment or collection of any tax or duty or of any imposition of a similar nature, Data Protection Act 1998.

I would also appreciate seeing a link to any already published documents which is already publicly available (or one which can easily be accessed online or via an FOI request such as this) which details this relationship and how residents can expect this personal data to be treated by the council and the aforementioned third parties/contractors/private companies.

The exemption applied Section 43(C)(e) - The information is commercially sensitive.

This exemption applies because the documents reveal how the company is able to compete on price . However we can disclose the following:

1. Service level agreements and contracts, integrated data security, data processing and the SPD service provision to Local Government are all compliant with the Data Protection Act 1998 and are in place prior to the commencement of the Single Person discount Review.
2. Information passed to the 3rd party company consists only of full name, address, council tax reference, council tax band and discount start date
3. Households in receipt of a single person discount are checked only for multiple occupancy i.e. the number of adults at the address (this process does not access personal data within the credit bureau)
4. The information gathered as part of the SPD review is used only for the purposes of the identification of any potential fraudulent Single Person Discount claims and the collection of Council Tax

I apologise that your request will not be met but if you have any further information needs in the future then please contact me.

You have the right of appeal against the decision. If you wish to appeal please set out in writing your grounds of appeal and send it to the Information Manager at the address below.

If you are unhappy with the decision of the appeal you also have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF,
Telephone: 01625 545 700.
www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Geoff Jones
Information Manager
Great Yarmouth Borough Council
 
E-mail: [email address]
 
Website: www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk
Correspondence Address: Town Hall, Hall Plain, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk NR30 2QF
 
Great Yarmouth Borough Council - Customer Focused, Performance Driven
 
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