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Privacy

Overview

As a Local Authority, Birmingham City Council collects holds and processes a considerable amount of information, including personal data about the citizens it serves, to allow it to provide services effectively.

The Council recognises that this information is important to their citizens and that it has a responsibility to these citizens regarding the information it holds about them. As such, it takes seriously its responsibilities to ensure that any personal information it collects and uses is done so proportionately, correctly and safely.

For information about what is personal data please visit the Information Commissioner’s web site.

The Council collects, holds and uses personal data to enable it to provide services on behalf of the citizens of the City of Birmingham. These services include, amongst others, providing schools and educational facilities within the city; providing care and support for vulnerable individuals and their families; maintaining and improving the environment of the city and protecting the citizens generally.

Our website advertising partner also collects data - find out more at http://capacitygrid.com/services-2/council-advertising-network/council-advertising-councils/canprivacy-policy-2/

Essential Information
  • Birmingham City Council will continually review and update this privacy notice to reflect changes in our services and feedback from service users, as well as to comply with changes in the law. When such changes occur, we will revise the "last updated" date at the top of this notice. If there are substantial changes to this statement or in the way Birmingham City Council uses your personal data, we will advertise the updated notice both on the front page of the Birmingham City Council web site and in Council offices.


    Birmingham City Council encourages you to periodically visit the Council’s web site to review this notice and to be informed of how Birmingham City Council is protecting your information.


  • At all times, Birmingham City Council will comply with the legal requirements set out by the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to the collection, holding and processing of your personal data.


    If you would like to know more or have any concerns about how your information is being processed please contact the Corporate Information Governance Team.

    If you require general information about the data protection act, information is available on the Information Commissioner’s website

  • You have the right to request that Birmingham City Council cease processing your personal data in relation to any Council service; including the Single Customer Record (see details below). Where possible, Birmingham City Council will seek to comply with your request but there may be some situations where it will not be able to do this, e.g. where Birmingham City Council is required to hold or process information to comply with a legal requirement. However, this may cause delays or hinder the Council’s ability to provide services to you.


    You are also legally entitled to request access to any records held by Birmingham City Council about yourself, including the Single Customer Record. Again, Birmingham City Council will seek to comply with your request but there may be some situations where it will not be able to do this in full, e.g. where information held was given in confidence. For further information about either requesting access to your personal data or to cease processing personal data please contact the Council’s Corporate Information Governance Team.


    Whilst Birmingham City Council tries to ensure that any personal data it holds about you is correct, there may be situations where the information it holds is no longer accurate. If this is the case, please contact the department holding the information or the Corporate Information Governance Team so that any errors can be investigated and corrected.


    Birmingham City Council will not use your personal data for third party marketing purposes without your prior express consent.


    It will not pass any personal data on to third parties, other than those who either process information on our behalf or because of a legal requirement, and it will only do so, where possible, after Birmingham City Council has ensured that sufficient steps have been taken to protect the personal data by the recipient.


  • Birmingham City Council may use information about your ethnic background, first language, gender, sexual orientation and age (“equalities data”) for the purposes of compiling statistical data about the population of the city at large and the take up of council services by various groups, both to assist in complying with their legal obligations and to assist the council in the effective planning and provision of future services.

    Such statistical data or statistical analysis will not allow the identification of any specific individual nor will it have any impact on any individual’s entitlement to council services and facilities.

    Such equalities data may also be used to allow the council to provide sufficient assistance where required, e.g. to provide translation services or access facilities, e.g. induction hearing loop, where appropriate.

  • Data Matching may also be used to assist the Council in responding to emergencies or major accidents, by allowing the Council, in conjunction with the emergency services, to identify individuals who may need additional support in certain circumstances such as in the event of an emergency evacuation.


    In addition, further data matching may be undertaken on a directorate level. Please see the respective directorate’s web site for any additional directorate specific privacy policies.


  • Birmingham City Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. We process and share the information provided to us for the following purposes:

    • Council Employee Payroll
    • Council Employee Pensions
    • Electoral Register
    • Student Loans
    • Housing
    • Supported Care (Home Residents and Care Home Residents)
    • Transport passes, including residents’ parking blue badges
    • Insurance Claimants
    • Housing and Council Tax Benefits
    • Licences, e.g. market trader/ operator, taxi driver and (new) personal licences to supply alcohol
    • Council Tax
    • Leisure
    • Property (Planning, Business Rates)
    • Libraries
    • Information provided by external bodies, e.g. Utility Companies, Credit Reference agencies and Service Providers, including Registered Social Landlords
    • Provision of Council funded services
    • Information provided to the Council to assist the Council in its legal obligations

    To prevent and/or detect potential fraud and crime, Birmingham City Council will conduct our own Data Matching as well as sharing this information with other public bodies, such as; the Audit Commission, the Department for Work and Pensions, other Local Authorities, HM Revenues and Customs, the Police, as well as utility companies, credit reference agencies and service providers / contractors and/or partner bodies, where the disclosure of such information is either:-


    a) necessary for the purposes of the prevention and/or detection of crime; and/or;

    b) to protect the public purse and/or minimise waste

    c) is otherwise necessary to comply with any other legal obligation.


    The Audit Commission appoints an auditor to audit the accounts of Birmingham City Council, and also conducts its own data matching exercise.


    Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims, transactions, applications and payments to be identified. Where a match is found and two or more records have contradictory or conflicting information, the inconsistency will require further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out. Regardless, the data matching process is a proven way of helping to ensure that records are up to date and accurate.


    The Audit Commission currently requires local authorities to participate in a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and/or detection of fraud. We are legally required to provide particular sets of Data to the Audit Commission for matching for each exercise, and these are set out in the Audit Commission’s guidance.


    The use of data by the Audit Commission in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in Part 2A of the Audit Commission Act 1998. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.


    Data Matching by the Audit Commission is subject to a Code of Practice. This may be found on the Audit Commission website.


    For further information on the Audit Commission’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, visit the Audit Commission website.


    For further information about data matching at Birmingham City Council, please contact either:

  • Data Matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. This is usually personal information.


    Birmingham City Council undertakes Data Matching, where necessary, for a number of purposes, to comply with legal requirements placed on the Council.


    These include to:

    • Detect and prevent crime/fraud
    • Assist in Emergency response management


  • Birmingham City Council is working on improving how it provides services to the citizens of Birmingham.


    In order to assist the Council in providing relevant services more quickly when required, and in an effective and efficient manner, it is creating an information hub.


    The information hub will contain a single customer record, comprising of your name, address, date of birth and gender, together with some information which can be used to confirm your identity. It is envisaged that the single customer record will record a brief summary of your contact with the Council, e.g. that you called the Council about a missed bin collection.


    The Single Customer Record will not contain extensive details of the services you have received. However, the single customer record will also act as an index to other council databases, but will be able to feed information into a number of council systems, including:

    • Libraries
    • Waste Management
    • Leisure services
    • Trading Standards
    • Adult Social Care
    • Corporate Finance
    • Benefits
    • Council Tax


    To do this, the Information hub will take your name, address, date of birth and gender from the above council systems to create the single customer record.


    This list of services utilising the Single Customer Record is continually updated, and an up-to-date list is available on Birmingham City Council’s web site.


    This will allow you to notify the Council once and have that information fed into a number of Council systems. For example where you change your address, rather than you having to notify each individual Council department of the change of address, by reporting it to one Council department, a number of Council departments will be notified. However, this will only be done with your express consent.


    The Single Customer Record will also allow the council to respond to any queries you may have in respect of the provision of services more quickly and efficiently. By linking into a number of Council systems, any query or issue can be investigated more quickly. However, any access to such Council systems will only take place in response to any query or instruction received by yourself, and only where such access is necessary to answer or respond to the query or issue raised by yourself.


    Birmingham City Council will not normally create or hold Single Customer Records in relation to children (individuals under the age of 18) without the consent of the child’s parent/guardian. However, there may be limited circumstances where a child’s data will be held in a Single Customer Record, such as.

    • Where the child is a designated carer or has been appointed as being able to act on behalf of a named adult
    • Where an child receives services as if he/she was an adult, e.g. where a 16 or 17 year old applied for Council Housing
    • Where dealing with urgent matters where it is impossible to obtain the prior consent of the parent, e.g. where the child has reported an incident requiring urgent action.

    There may also be certain other situations, where Birmingham City Council will hold children’s information in a Single Customer Record. In these situations, this record will be treated as being sensitive and access to such records will be restricted on a “need to know” basis.

  • Birmingham City Council will use your personal data for a limited number of purposes, and at all times within the rules set out in the Data Protection Act 1998.


    We will process personal data for the following purposes:

    • For the purpose to which you provided the information. e.g. processing information given on a benefit claim form for the purpose of processing your benefit claim, and to monitor the Council’s performance in responding to your request
    • To allow the Council to be able to communicate and provide services appropriate to your needs, e.g. to be able to arrange suitable access arrangements where the citizen has mobility difficulties
    • To ensure that the council meets its legal requirements.
    • Where necessary for the Council’s Law Enforcement functions, e.g. licensing, planning enforcement, trading standards, food safety, etc, where Birmingham City Council is legally obliged to undertake such processing
    • Where the processing is necessary for Birmingham City Council to comply with its legal obligations, e.g. the prevention and/or detection of crime
    • To process financial transactions including grants, payments and benefits involving Birmingham City Council, or where Birmingham City Council is acting on behalf of other government bodies, e.g. Department for Works and Pensions
    • Where you have consented to the processing
    • Where necessary to protect individuals from harm or injury or
    • Where otherwise permitted under the Data Protection Act 1998, e.g. disclosure to comply with legal obligations.
    • For businesses located in Business Improvement Districts ("BiDs"), Birmingham City Council will share details of payments and/or non payments of BiD contributions, together with information about any associated recovery actions to the respective BiD Company.

    Birmingham City Council may also use your personal data, after it has been anonymised, to allow the statistical analysis of data to enable the Council to effectively target and plan the provision of services.


    For further information on the Data Protection Act refer to the Information Commissioner’s website.


  • In deciding what personal data to collect, hold and use the Council is committed to ensuring that it will:-

    • Recognise that any personal data handled by Birmingham City Council is held on behalf of that person and that we ensure we respect that responsibility
    • Adopt and maintain high standards in respect of the handling and use of that personal data
    • Only collect, hold and use personal data where it is necessary and proportionate to do so
    • Securely delete any personal data when no longer needed
    • Keep your personal data secure and safe
    • Not unnecessarily and without good reason, infringe the privacy of individuals.
    • Consider and address the privacy risks first when planning to use or hold personal information in new ways, such as when introducing new systems
    • Be open with individuals about how we use their information and who we give it to
    • Make it easy for individuals to access and correct their personal information
    • Ensure that there is effective safeguards and systems in place to make sure personal information is kept securely and does not fall into the wrong hands
    • Provide training to staff who handle personal information and treat it as a disciplinary matter if they misuse or don’t look after personal information properly
    • Put appropriate financial and human resources into looking after personal information to make sure we can live up to our promises
    • Regularly check that we are living up to our promises and report on how we are doing

    The Council may disclose personal data to third parties, but only where it is necessary, either to comply with a legal obligation, or where permitted under the Data Protection Act, (where the disclosure is necessary for the purposes of the prevention and/or detection of crime), or where it is necessary to allow a third party working for or on behalf of the Council.


    The Council will strive to ensure that any personal data in its care will be kept safe and that where your information is disclosed to a third party, Birmingham City Council will seek to ensure that the third party has sufficient systems and procedures in place to prevent the loss of personal data.


    Where the Council seeks to disclose sensitive personal data, such as medical details, to third parties, we will do so only with your prior express consent or where we are legally required to do.

  • From the 1st April 2013 the Council has taken on the legal responsibility for the provision of Public Health Services from the NHS. In order to allow the Council to provide such services, it will process personal data (including sensitive personal data/medical information) where necessary for the purposes of providing these public health services. This personal data will be processed in the same way as all personal data held by the Council.

  • Social Care and Medical Care records are planned to be shared between Birmingham City Council and the NHS. This is an initiative to enable this information to be available to professionals in both the NHS and Social Care services to improve the services provided. This information will include personal data (including sensitive personal data/medical information) where necessary for the purposes of providing Social Care and Health services. This personal data will be processed in the same way as all personal data held by the Council and the NHS.

  • The Child Protection – Information Sharing project is an NHS England initiative that, when implemented, will help to deliver the Department of Health policy "Making sure health and social care services work together". Birmingham City Council is a local authority partner to the initiative and is developing systems and processes to support this during 2015. CP-IS focuses on improving the protection of children who have previously been identified as vulnerable by social services when they visit the following NHS unscheduled care settings:

    • Emergency departments
    • Walk-in centres
    • Out of hours GPs
    • Minor injuries units
    • Paediatric wards
    • Maternity units
    • Ambulance services.

    CP-IS provides health professionals with prompt and easy access to key social care information that can help them to assess whether a child is at risk.


    The process of identifying children who have been maltreated, or are at risk of significant harm from abuse or neglect, during a single attendance remains difficult for even the most experienced clinician.


    The ability to correctly diagnose abuse or neglect depends on having the whole picture. Giving clinicians in unscheduled care settings access to relevant social care information is essential to successfully identifying children who may be at risk.


    The project will link the IT systems of NHS unscheduled care to those used by social care child protection teams, so that information can be shared about three specific categories of child:

    • those with a child protection plan
    • those classed as looked after (i.e. children with full and interim care orders or voluntary care agreements)
    • any pregnant woman whose unborn child has a pre-birth protection plan.

    Further details can be found at http://systems.hscic.gov.uk/cpis

  • Birmingham City Council and its partners in the Health and Police Service are developing a solution to improve safeguarding of children within the City. In order to do so it is important that all the relevant information from various agencies needs to be available and accessible in one place. A Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) has been established to help ensure this and aid communication between all safeguarding partners. By ensuring all statutory partners have the ability to share information, it will help to identify those who are subject to, or likely to be subject to, harm in a timely manner, which will keep individuals safe from harm and assist signatories to this agreement in discharging their obligations under the Data Protection Act.


    Phase 1 of the MASH includes partners from BCC Children’s Services, West Midlands Police, and Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust. Subsequent phases will see the MASH expand to include other Health and Education sector partners, as well as third sector bodies.


    In general, a MASH helps deliver three key functions for the safeguarding partnership:

    • Information based on risk assessment and decision making. Identify through the best information available to the safeguarding partnership those children and young people who require support or a necessary and proportionate intervention.
    • Victim identification and harm reduction. Identify victims and future victims who are likely to experience harm and ensure partners work together to deliver harm reduction strategies and interventions.
    • Coordination of all safeguarding partners. Ensure that the needs of all vulnerable people are identified and signposted to the relevant partner/s for the delivery and coordination of harm reduction strategies and interventions.

    The MASH model was highlighted in the Munro Report into Child Protection DfE Munro Report as an example of good practice in multi-agency partnership working because of how it improved information sharing between participating agencies.


  • Birmingham City Council will process personal information relating to its current and former staff and individuals, (who have applied for permanent or temporary jobs at the Council), Councillors and other elected officials, and volunteers, for the purposes of managing their contract of employment, the work of the council, pay and/or pensions, discipline and other personnel matters.

  • The Council may process personal data to identify residents/users for the purposes of notifying them of proposed or planned changes to services that may affect them.

  • Birmingham City Council is committed to supporting the Government’s Troubled Families Programme for families with complex needs. In Birmingham this is known as ‘Think Family’. The aim of the programme is to support families to deal with the problems they face and achieve better outcomes in life.

    In order to deliver the programme in line with government guidelines we need to share personal information (which may relate to you) with other agencies, both to identify the families we need to be working with and also to establish whether the programme is working. This data could include details of children’s educational attendance and behaviour, out of work benefits, social care records, details of involvement with the police or anti social behaviour, domestic abuse, and mental and other health problems. The agencies we will be sharing and receiving information with include other council departments, the police, probation, the NHS and other health organisations, schools, the Youth Offending Team, and government departments including the Department for Work and Pensions. Any such sharing will be done proportionately and lawfully for the purpose of identifying those families who meet the Think Family criteria and most need this support, assessing their needs and ensuring the effectiveness of that this support. All families that agree to take part in the Think Family programme consequently should realise that this information sharing will take place in order to provide them with the necessary support.

    In addition Birmingham is required to take part in the National Impact Study, a major piece of anonymised research comparing the progress of families who have received a Think Family service with those who have not in order to measure the effectiveness of the programme. This research will be essential to establishing the best way of working with families to resolve their problems, improve outcomes for them and the wider community, and save public money. All families will meet at least two of the six criteria of the expanded National Troubled Families programme as detailed at

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/financial-framework-for-the-expanded-troubled-families-programme.

    Personal information will be shared with government departments for this purpose, including for some families who are not on the Think Family programme as the comparator group. When data is shared for the National Impact Study please note that:

    • it can only be used for carrying out research;
    • it cannot be used to make any decisions about you or your family and what services or benefits you do or do not receive;
    • it will be impossible for any person or family to be identified from any published reports;
    • no personal data will not be shared with or made available to the local authority or any other public agency by the researchers;
    • all data is transferred, handled and stored in accordance with the Data Protection Act;
    • appropriate measures are in place to prevent the un-authorised use or disclosure of the data; and
    • the data will be destroyed when the research is complete.

    Your Right to Opt Out of the National Impact Study

    Please note that you have the right to request that your data is not shared as part of the National Impact Study. If you wish to do this, please emailTFSupport@birmingham.gov.uk.