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LCD ASSUMES RESPONSIBILITY FOR SMARTER PUBLIC SERVICE THROUGH BETTER USE OF PERSONAL DATA

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The Lord Chancellor's Department is taking on responsibility for ...
The Lord Chancellor's Department is taking on responsibility for

implementing the findings of a new reporton the use of personal data.

Prepared by the government's Performance and Innovation Unit (PIU)

and published today, the report says that the ability of the public

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

those powers.

Notes

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:

Paul Henery,

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.

E-mail: foiu@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

4.

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

information:

Overall Principles

- 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

their jobs;

- 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

disclosure;

- a copy of any information we hold about you is normally provided on

request;

- 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

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