Personal information charter

Our personal information charter and how to request your personal data under the Data Protection Act.

Our obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998

The processing of personal data is governed by the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), under which the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) is registered as a data controller.

Personal data is data that relates to a living individual who can be identified from the data. It is necessary that we handle personal data so that we can provide services for you. You can find more details of our obligations under the DPA in our information charter (PDF, 70.1KB, 3 pages)

How to request your personal data under the Data Protection Act

The Data Protection Act allows you to find out what information we hold about you on computer and in some paper records. This is known as the ‘right of subject access’, and a request for your personal information is called a ‘subject access request’, or SAR.

If we do hold information about you we will:

  • give you a description of it
  • tell you why we have it
  • tell you who it could be given to
  • let you have a copy of the information in a readable form

So we can answer your subject access request you must send us 3 things:

  1. a description of where your personal data may be held: please ensure that you provide details of where in the department your personal data may be held to help us to trace your records. For example, details of which court you may have had business with, including any relevant case reference numbers and dates. Please be as specific as possible.
  2. the fee; this is £10 and cheques and postal orders should be made payable to ‘Her Majesty’s Paymaster General’ or to ‘HMPG’.
  3. valid identification - acceptable forms of ID include:
  • a photocopy of your passport or driving licence
  • an electricity bill (the original bill, not a copy)
  • a gas bill (the original bill, not a copy)
  • a council tax bill (the original bill, not a copy)
  • any other bill in your full name (the original bill, not a copy)

Any bill you send must be less than 6 months old.

How and where to send your request

The subject access request form will help us answer your request correctly, or you can send your request to us directly. Once you have completed the form, press the ‘print’ button. This will open up a printable form in a new window, and you can then print the form and send it to us at the address provided with the £10 fee and your proof of ID.

Staff requests

If you are a member of MOJ staff, please refer to the intranet for details of how to make a subject access request.

Prisoners and ex-prisoners

If you are representing a prisoner, or former prisoner, and want to make a subject access request on their behalf for personal information held by Her Majesty’s Prison Service, the subject access request form will help us answer your request correctly.

Once you have completed the form, please send it to the address provided, ensuring that you include the fee (or authority from the prisoner to deduct the fee from their prisoner monies account) and ID. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to ‘Her Majesty’s Prison Service’ or ‘HMPS’.

Please ensure that you include sufficient details to enable us to trace the records. This should include the full name, date of birth, prison number and the name of the establishment the prisoner is currently held in. If you are representing a former prisoner, please include the name of the last establishment they were held in custody in, along with the relevant dates.