Personal information charter

This charter sets out the standards you can expect us to meet when we ask for, do something with or continue to hold, your personal data. It also covers what we ask of you, to help us keep information up to date.

Personal data charter and privacy notice

1. The data controller

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is the “data controller”. This means that we are responsible for any of your personal data that we collect or use.

2. Why we are collecting the data

When we ask for your personal data, we promise only to ask for what we need, and to make sure you know why we need it. If it includes contact details, we will also tell you anything else that we may use it to contact you about and whether you can say no. If you do say yes to us contacting you about other things, you can withdraw your consent at any time.

3. Why we are legally allowed to process your data

The reasons that we can use to collect or use your personal data are set out in law. Most of the time, this will be because it is necessary for us in our work as a public body (Article 6(1)(e) of the General Data Protection Regulation, the law which applies to personal data).

When we collect or use your personal data under any other lawful basis we will let you know which part of the law we are using.

4. Sharing your data

We will usually let you know if we are going to share your personal data with other organisations – and whether you can say no. You can ask us for details of agreements we have with other organisations for sharing your information.

If you write to us on a subject that is not our policy area, and the response needs to come from another government department, we will transfer your correspondence, including the personal data, to that department.

Sometimes, we may be legally obliged to provide copies of personal data to other organisations. For example, to provide information that includes personal data to the police, or to a public inquiry. We might not be always able to tell you that we have shared your data in this way.

We won’t make your personal data available for commercial use without your specific permission.

5. Keeping your data

We will only keep your personal data as long as we continue to have a lawful basis to do so. This will usually mean that it is still necessary for our work as a public body. This will be decided by our ongoing business need and any laws or government policies that affect how long we keep it. We have a “retention schedule” that sets out how long we will keep different types of information for.

6. Your rights

The data we are collecting is your personal data, and you have rights that affect what happens to it. You have the right to:

(a) know that we are using your personal data

(b) see what data we have about you

(c) ask to have your data corrected, and to ask how we check the information we hold is accurate

(d) ask to have your data deleted

(e) complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (see below)

In some circumstances you may also have the right to withdraw your consent to us having or using your data, to have all data about you deleted, or to object to particularly types of use of your data. We will tell you when these rights apply.

7. Sending data overseas

We will not usually send your data overseas. If we need to do so, we will let you know.

8. Automated decision making

We will not normally use your data for any automated decision making. If we need to do so, we will let you know.

9. Storage, security and data management

Your personal data will be stored securely and will be protected to make sure nobody has access to it who shouldn’t.

You can ask us for details of our instructions to staff on how to collect, use and delete your personal data.

What we ask of you

So that we can keep your personal data reliable and up to date, please:

  • give us accurate information
  • tell us as soon as possible if there are any changes, such as a new address

Complaints and more information

When we ask you for information, we will keep to the law, including the Data Protection Act 1998 and new legislation coming into force.

If you are unhappy with the way the department has acted, you can make a complaint.

If you are not happy with how we are using your personal data, you should first contact dataprotection@communities.gov.uk.

If you are still not happy, or for independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing, you can contact:

The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545 745

Website: https://ico.org.uk/