implementing the findings of a new reporton the use of personal data.
Prepared by the government's Performance and Innovation Unit (PIU)
sector to deliver more personalised, more efficient services depends
on the effective use of personal information about citizens.
Rosie Winterton, a minister at the lord chancellor's department said:
'The report is about using personal information effectively to
improve the delivery of services to the public. But the public will
need to trust us to handle their personal information safely,
securely and fairly.
'We need to get this right. We are therefore undertaking full public
consultation on proposals for legislation and for a public trust
charter. But this does not mean delay. Our aim is to have detailed
proposals for legislation ready early next year.'
The Lord Chancellor's Department's aim will be to deliver more
customer-focussed public services through better use of personal
information in a way that commands public trust and ensures effective
privacy safeguards. The department will provide a secure legal
framework and detailed strategy to put into operation the goal of
increased data sharing.
The benefits that may be achieved include:
- Better targeting of benefits to those who need them
- More effective enforcement of civil court judgements
- Speeding up house buying and selling
The consultation is designed to ensure that future legislation will
give respect to the privacy of individuals, while creating powers for
organisations to share data and to impose conditions and limits on
1. The PIU report 'Privacy and Data-Sharing: The Way Forward for
Public Services' was published yesterday. The report is available on
the PIU websiteor from the PIU (tel 020-7276 1416).
2. The consultation period closes on 12 July 2002.
3. Comments on the recommendations should be sent to:
Freedom of Information and Data Protection Division,
Lord Chancellor's Department,
Room 912, 50 Queen Anne's Gate,
London SW1H 9AT
Fax: 020 7273 2684.
Draft Public Services Trust Charter - for consultation
This Charter sets out the standards of service that you can expect
from public services in the way they handle personal information.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM US
In observing the Data Protection Act, public services will aim to
ensure that the following principles apply in handling personal
- where you have a choice as to whether to provide us with your
information, it is as easy as possible to exercise that choice;
- your information is only processed without your knowledge where
this is necessary for purposes such as national security, public
safety, statistical analysis, the protection of the economy, the
prevention of crime or disorder, the protection of health or
morals, or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others;
- only information which we actually need is collected and processed;
- your personal information is only seen by staff who need it to do
- any information which we no longer need is deleted;
- decisions affecting you are only made on the basis of reliable and
up to date information;
- your information is protected from unauthorised or accidental
- a copy of any information we hold about you is normally provided on
- any inaccurate or misleading information is checked and corrected
as soon as you bring this to our attention; and
- proper procedures are in place for dealing promptly with any
complaints that you make.
The principles apply to personal information which we hold both on
computer and in some paper records.
Service-specific Privacy Statements
Wherever we request personal information from you, we will publish a
Privacy Statement for that service which will set out clearly:
- who will see it
- why they need it
- what they will do with it
- when they will delete it
We will also tell you:
- how we safeguard your personal information
- how you can check and correct the information we hold
- how to pursue a query or complaint
- where to get more information