The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is committed to the responsible handling and security of personal data.
Your privacy is important to us and protected in law by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA).
- what we mean when we talk about personal data
- why we ask for this information
- what we do with it
It also explains:
- how we store your data
- how you can get a copy of the information we have collected about you
- how you can complain if you think we’ve done something wrong
OPG is an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).
MOJ is the data controller for the personal information we collect.
About personal data
Personal data is information that can be linked directly or indirectly to a living individual. This includes your:
- telephone number
- date of birth
It can also include information about your:
- mental capacity
- online identity – for example, an email address
Why we collect personal data
OPG collects and processes personal data so that it can:
- support the Public Guardian to protect people who lack capacity
- maintain a register of lasting powers of attorney (LPA), enduring powers of attorney (EPA), court-appointed guardians and court-appointed deputies
- supervise court-appointed deputies
- supervise court-appointed guardians
- promote its services
- maintain its accounts and annual reports
- support and manage its staff
When we collect personal data
OPG collects and uses personal data when:
- you apply to register a power of attorney – so we can register your power of attorney
- you apply to register a lasting power of attorney using the LPA online service – so we can register your power of attorney
- you’re appointed as a deputy under the Mental Capacity Act 2005
- you’re appointed as a guardian under the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017
- you’re visited by a Court of Protection (COP) visitor to review the clients you are responsible for – so we can support and supervise court-appointed deputies
- you pay a fee using a credit card, debit card or by direct debit – so we can process your payment
- you apply for a remission or exemption of fees – so we can make sure you are charged the correct fee
- you apply for a refund under the power of attorney refunds scheme or deputyship fee refunds scheme
- you receive any refunds from OPG under the power of attorney refunds scheme or deputyship fee refunds scheme
- you contact us with a question by email – so we can help with your query
- you contact us at our Contact Centre – so we can help you with carrying out your role or making an application for a power of attorney
- you make a complaint – so we can understand and investigate your complaint
- you volunteer to take part in our customer research – so we can improve our services
- an investigation is triggered in your case – so we can protect people who lack mental capacity from abuse
- someone raises a safeguarding concern – so we can protect people who lack mental capacity from abuse
- we’re served with a copy of a witness statement – so we can comply with directions issued by COP –
this occurs during legal proceedings
- we help to facilitate a surety bond – so we can make sure there is compliance with the court order
- we’re served with an order from COP – so we can supervise your role as a deputy appointed by COP
- we review your deputy report – so we can support and supervise court-appointed deputies
What we promise to do
Whenever we ask for information about you, we promise to:
- always let you know why we need it
- ask for relevant personal information only
- make sure we don’t keep it longer than needed
- keep your information safe and make sure nobody can access it unless authorised
- only share your data with other organisations for legitimate purposes
- consider any request you make to correct, stop storing or delete your personal data
We also promise to make it easy for you to:
- tell us at any time if you want us to stop storing your personal data
- make a complaint with the supervisory authority
The legal basis for processing personal data
OPG has a legal basis for processing personal data when carrying out its public role to support the Public Guardian under:
Sharing personal data
Sometimes we need to share your personal information with other organisations. We will only do this when the law says we can.
We will never share your information with other organisations for marketing, market research or commercial purposes.
The organisations we share your personal information with include:
- the police
- the Court of Protection
- local authorities and social services
- other government departments and agencies
- the NHS
- Court of Protection visitors
Occasionally, we may use contact information to ask customers if they would like to complete a customer service survey. We use this information to see where and how we can improve our services.
Keeping personal data
We will keep personal data for as long as we need it to:
- support the service we have provided to you
- comply with our legal obligations and policies
This will be done in line with the OPG’s Record Retention and Disposition Schedule.
Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) you have:
The right to be informed
You have a right to find out about how we process your personal data.
How you do this is explained on this page and in our privacy notices.
The right of access
You have the right to get the following free of charge:
- confirmation that your data is being processed
- a copy of the information we hold about you
You do this by making a ‘subject access request’ (SAR).
You’ll need to include two forms of identification, such as:
- a photocopy of your passport or driving licence
- an original electricity, gas, council tax or other bill in your name from the last 6 months
Send your SAR to:
MOJ information governance and data protection
10th Floor 10.38
102 Petty France
The right to rectification
You have the right to have your personal data corrected if you have provided us with inaccurate or incomplete information.
The right to erasure
You have the right to have your personal data erased or deleted when it is no longer needed. For example, if an LPA is revoked we would erase most of the personal data we have on you, but we would keep a register of names indefinitely.
The right to restrict processing
You have the right to ask us to ‘block’ or suppress the processing of your personal data.
Where you contest the accuracy of the personal data, we will restrict the processing of your personal data until we have checked that it is accurate.
The right to data portability
You have the right to obtain and reuse your personal data for your own purposes free of charge if:
- you have provided it to us for the purpose of customer research
- it was processed by automated means
You can ask for your personal data in a structured and commonly used form, such as CSV or XML.
You can also ask us to transfer your data directly to another organisation, if this is technically possible.
The right to object
You have the right to object to the processing of your personal data, but this is only enforced in certain circumstances.
Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling
We do not make any automated decisions.
However, if a decision is made without human intervention in the future:
- you have the right to be advised about this
- you will be able to ask for this decision to be reviewed by a person
Contact the OPG information assurance team at:
OPG information assurance
PO Box 16185
Data protection officer
The data protection officer (DPO) monitors and provides independent advice on how we use personal information.
If you have any concerns about how OPG is handling your personal data, you can contact:
MOJ data protection officer
Post point 10.38
102 Petty France
If you have a complaint about how OPG has handled your personal information or data, you can contact the Information Commissioner for independent advice.
Information Commissioner’s Office
Telephone: 0303 123 1113
OPG’s privacy notices explain how we handle personal information when: