Personal information charter

This charter sets out what you can expect from RPA when we ask for, or hold, your personal information.

Rural Payments Service

To find out how personal information is protected, Forestry Commission and Natural England customers should follow the links below.

Forestry Commission – Our Information Charter

Natural England - Personal Information Charter

Rural Payments Agency (RPA) customers should read the information below.

Who controls your Rural Payments Agency personal data

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the data controller for personal data you give to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). Your personal data will be protected in line with the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998. Defra provides the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) with details about how it processes personal data.

Read Defra’s standards for protecting your personal information

How RPA uses your data

Your data will be used in a number of ways. These could include to:

  • administer the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and other Defra schemes
  • administer the Cattle Tracing System
  • ensure food safety, effective disease control and animal health and welfare
  • ensure occupational health and welfare
  • keep you updated on Defra schemes and services, and to seek feedback from you on the services we provide.

We may use your data for auditing or administering public funds, in order to stop fraud.

Sharing your data

Where necessary, we may share your information with others (or those authorised to act on their behalf), for example to:

  • check eligibility for aid and that CAP and Defra scheme rules are met
  • check imports and exports
  • ensure food safety, effective disease control and animal health and welfare
  • ensure occupational health, welfare and diversity
  • resolve a dispute
  • safeguard the EU’s financial interests.

We will only share your data with:

  • EU institutions such as the European Commission and the European Court of Auditors (ECA)
  • other government departments and agencies, and local authorities
  • law enforcement
  • other parties where this is required to resolve the eligibility of a claim, or ownership of land such as a neighbouring farm, the landlord or leaseholder of the land.

We may need to share data with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to stop fraud.

We may use your data to produce anonymous statistics for the agricultural census. These statistics will not identify individuals.

We may have to release personal data and commercial information under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. We won’t share any data unnecessarily, or break the rules set by the Data Protection Act.

Publication of beneficiary information

European legislation (Regulation 1306/2013) requires RPA to publish certain information about you, if you receive any payments from CAP schemes.

Depending on the legal structure of your business, this might include:

  • your name
  • your company name
  • your postcode and county
  • how much you were paid and reason for payment (for example, Basic Payment Scheme payments)

If you are paid €1,250 or less, the information will be anonymous.

The EU and member state bodies might use this data in their work to safeguard EU funds.

How to ask to see what data we hold about you

You can ask to see what data we hold about you. This is called a ‘subject access request’. Send your written request to the ‘Information Rights Team’ address in the ‘How to contact us’ section below.

Each request you make costs £10, so you must include a cheque or postal order made payable to ‘RPA’. You don’t have to pay this if you are or were employed directly by RPA.

Include as much information as possible to help us find the data you want. For example, tell us the schemes, transactions and dates that you want to know about.

Depending on the age and volume of material, it may take us a few weeks to return the data to you.

Job applicants, current and former RPA employees:

When you apply to work at RPA, we will only use the information you supply to us to process your application and to monitor recruitment statistics. If we want to disclose information to a third party (for example, where we want to take up a reference) we will not do so without informing you beforehand, unless the disclosure is required by law.

Personal information about unsuccessful candidates will be held for 12 months after the recruitment exercise has been completed, and then destroyed or deleted. We retain de-personalised statistical information about applicants to help inform our recruitment activities, but no individuals are identifiable from that data.

How to contact us:

Email requests for information to the Information Rights Team or write to:

Information Rights Team
Rural Payments Agency
North Gate House
21-23 Valpy Street

Phone 0330 0416 502

To correct any mistakes or to provide updates you can call or email the Customer Service Centre or write to:

Rural Payments Agency
PO Box 69

Telephone: 0300 0200 301

Changes to the Personal Information Charter

We keep our Personal Information Charter under regular review. This Personal Information Charter was last updated on 4 December 2016.