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Access to personal records (Subject Access Requests)

Under the Data Protection Act (2018) and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) individuals have the right to access their personal data. This is commonly referred to as subject access.

Individuals are not entitled to see someone else’s information unless they give their explicit consent for that to happen.

We are required to confirm the identity of the requestor, so that we only disclose personal information to those who have a legal right to receive it.

You are entitled to the following:

  • A copy of the information held about you
  • The purposes for which the information is being processed
  • A list of recipients to whom the data may be disclosed
  • An explanation of any codes used

Under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), where a request is ‘manifestly unfounded or excessive’ organisations may charge a reasonable fee for administrative costs.  Unless we advise otherwise following assessment of the request there is no fee for requesting personal records. 

 

How to make a subject access request

 

1.  Subject access requests made in writing to be addressed to:

by email: informationrights@walsall.gov.uk

or by Post to;

Assurance Team
Resources & Transformation Directorate
Walsall Council
Civic Centre
Darwall Street
Walsall
WS1 1TP

If there are any issues submitting your request in writing then please telephone us on Free-phone 0800 0856018 for further advice.

To make it easier we provide a downloadable form (pdf) which you can print off, complete and submit to the contact details above.

To help, we are looking at developing an online form soon!

 

2.  Identification

We are required to confirm the identity of the requestor, so that we only disclose personal information to those who have a legal right to receive it.

Your request should include the following information:

  • Your Full Name.
  • Your current address.
  • Your contact telephone number, if you have one.
  • You will also need to provide details of any other addresses you have lived at within the borough and any other names you have may have used previously.

Please provide a summary of any specific information you are looking for such as dates or details of any council services or council officers you have had dealings with as this will help.

 

3.  Your request should be accompanied by 2 forms of identification.

Copies are acceptable and should include a passport or birth certificate to confirm your name and a utility bill to confirm your address.

Other acceptable forms of identification include:

  • Full valid current passport
  • Driving Licence (with or without photograph)
  • Local bus pass
  • Birth/adoption/marriage certificate
  • Identity card issued by a recognised local employer
  • NHS medical card
  • Council or social landlord rent book
  • Allowance/benefit/pension book
  • Letter from a responsible person (e.g. solicitor, doctor, minister of religion, teacher etc) which says they know the applicant and confirms their name and address
  • Recent council tax bill

The copies can be;

  • posted along with your request or
  • the originals can be brought into the council offices where they will be copied and the originals returned or
  • we are able to accept copies by email.
 

4.  Consent

If you are making the subject access request on behalf of someone else you will need to also submit signed written approval from the person in question prior to any information being released.

 

5. Timescales

We will acknowledge your subject access request, usually within 3 working days of receipt if not sooner.

As soon as we are clear on what information you require and have the relevant identification documents, we will begin processing your request.

Based on the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that came into force on 25 May 2018, we have one calendar month to process your request.

What this means in terms of a deadline for response will be advised to you on acknowledgement.

This timescale can be extended by a further two months if the request if complex or a repetitive request. We will inform you within one month from receipt of the request if any extension to our response timeline is necessary. 

 

6.Delivery

We will have already asked you at the start of the process in what format you require the information to be provided for example, electronic copy, print copy, special delivery, by collection.

It must be noted that only information relating to you will be released. Any third party information that may be on your records will be removed, a process known as ‘redaction’, unless the other person or persons in question have consented for their data to also be released, or there is some other overriding reason to release this information to you. The records you receive will explain where any information has therefore been redacted.

 

What to do if you are not happy?

If you have any concerns about how your request for access to your personal information has been processed by the council, you should contact the Assurance Team in the first instance who can review how your request has been handled. Our details are provided above.

Complaints about the handling of your request will be responded to within 20 working days or in exceptional circumstances 40 working days.

If you remain unhappy with the outcome of this response, you may refer the matter to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). They are an independent authority who regulates compliance with Data Protection legislation. https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/