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Portsmouth City Council is a registered Data Controller (Registration Number Z5578313).
The Council tries to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information in accordance with data protection law.
This privacy notice tells you about how the Council collects and uses personal information. It applies to information we collect about:
The Council uses personal information to:
The Integrated Commissioning Unit (ICU) is a joint commissioning team for Portsmouth City Council and NHS Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group. The ICU aims to deliver efficiencies across departments and improve outcomes for vulnerable adults, children and families in Portsmouth through the commissioning of whole life pathways, joining up the delivery of services, and adopting a strategic approach to the wider determinants of health and wellbeing.
The Council has entered into an agreement with Portsmouth CCG under Section 75 of the NHS Act 2006 (as amended), the Secretary of State can make provision for local authorities and National Health Service (NHS) bodies to enter into partnership arrangements in relation to certain functions, where these arrangements are likely to lead to an improvement in the way in which those functions are exercised.
The staff who work in the ICU will jointly process health and care data with staff from Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group.
The Council provides various services to the public and local businesses. We have to hold the details of the people who have requested a service in order to provide a service to them. However, we only use these details to provide the service the person has requested and for other closely related purposes. For example, we might use information about people who receive a service to carry out a survey to find out if they are happy with the service they received.
Similarly, where enquiries are submitted to us we will only use the information supplied to us to deal with the enquiry and any subsequent issues and to check on the level of service we provide.
The Council uses information about people who use Council services for research, planning and statistical purposes, to monitor the performance of local services and to evaluate and develop those services. Statistics are used in such a way that individuals cannot be identified.
When you telephone the Council, including when you call the City Helpdesk, your call may be recorded. The reasons for this include to help with staff training and to maintain records of conversations, to help with the detection, investigation and prevention of crime. We will tell you if your call is being recorded.
The Council uses Next Generation Text Services, NGT Lite, to provide text call services. NGT Lite can be used in parallel with a phone call to send and receive telephone conversations via text.
The Council also uses a third party telephone interpretation service to help callers communicate across different languages.
Any email sent to us, including any attachments, may be monitored and used by us for reasons of security and for monitoring compliance with the Council’s information security policies. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used.
The Council uses a secure email service for sending personal data outside the Council. Other organisations are responsible for ensuring that any email that is sent to the Council is secure and within the bounds of the law.
If you need to send us sensitive information, we recommend using our secure online forms (where provided) or the postal service.
Email addresses and preferences
Portsmouth City Council uses a GovDelivery, email marketing platform supplied by Granicus to send communications and to manage the email addresses and preferences of My Portsmouth Updates subscribers. GovDelivery is a secure platform that adheres to the council’s information security standards and data processing policies and complies with the European Union-US Privacy Shield framework.
Granicus and GovDelivery does not use your email addresses or preferences for anything other than providing the service to the Council and will not pass on your email address for promotional purposes to any other person or organisation (third parties).
Information collected for use with GovDelivery services will be only be used for the purpose of keeping you informed about topics that you have told us you are interested in. Subscribers to ‘My Portsmouth Updates’ can indicate their chosen email topics when they sign up for the service online. You will not be added to any mailing list or receive any mail unless you have chosen to do so. You can unsubscribe from this service at any time.
The council uses a range of social media services to publicise council news, stories, offers and events and to receive comments and feedback from residents including through direct messages, which are private, and through posts which are public to other social media users.
The information you provide via social media is subject to the social media service providers’ privacy notices and policies. Any information you post on the council’s social media platforms is also subject to the council’s social media moderation policy.
When we receive a complaint from a person we generally make up a file containing the details of the complaint. This normally contains the identity of the complainant and any other individuals involved in the complaint.
We will only use the personal information we collect to process the complaint and to check on the level of service we provide. We do compile and publish statistics showing information like the number of complaints we receive, but not in a form which identifies anyone.
We usually have to disclose the complainant’s identity to whoever the complaint is about. This is inevitable where, for example, the accuracy of a person’s record is in dispute. If a complainant doesn’t want information identifying him or her to be disclosed, we will try to respect that. However, it may not be possible to handle a complaint on an anonymous basis.
We will keep personal information contained in complaint files in line with our retention policy, which is available on request. Information relating to a complaint will normally be retained for up to 7 years from when the complaint is resolved.
It will be retained in a secure environment and access to it will be restricted according to the ‘need to know’ principle.
When individuals apply to work at the Council, we will only use the information they supply to us to process their application and to monitor recruitment statistics. Where we want to disclose information to a third party, for example where we want to take up a reference or obtain a ‘disclosure’ from the Disclosure & Barring Service we will not do so without informing them beforehand unless the disclosure is required by law.
Personal information about unsuccessful candidates will be held for 6 months after the recruitment exercise has been completed, it will then be 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.
Once a person has taken up employment with the City Council, we will compile a file relating to their employment. The information contained in this will be kept secure and will only be used for purposes directly relevant to that person’s employment or in order for the Council to meet a legal obligation, for example inspection by a regulatory body such as the Care Quality Commission or Ofsted and statutory reporting to the Department of Health or Department of Education.
Once their employment with the City Council has ended, we will retain/delete the file in accordance with the requirements of our retention schedule.
The general data protection regulation (GDPR) states that the council should not hold personal data longer than is absolutely necessary. Our corporate retention schedule tells you how long we keep the records we work with, what we do with them at the end of that time, and the reasons why we do those things.
You can find out more about it on the corporate retention schedule page.
When you visit the Council’s website www.portsmouth.gov.uk to view a page or download a form, we will collect the following information automatically:
We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site which helps us to improve our website service. This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone.
We use a third party service, Google Analytics, to collect this information. We do not make, and do not allow Google to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website.
We will make it clear to you whenever we collect any personal information through our website and will explain what we intend to do with it.
We will take appropriate steps to make sure that the personal information we hold (on paper and electronically) is kept securely and only used by people who have a right to see it. The Council’s security measures include encrypting personal data and equipment, system access controls and training in data protection for all staff.
Where another company or organisation processes personal information on behalf of the Council, they will only process your personal information in line with the Council’s instructions and are obliged to provide security assurances to the Council and to certain regulatory bodies.
Records are kept in line with the Council’s retention policy and we will not keep your information longer than necessary.
The Council has a duty to ensure that all council staff and volunteers, and companies or persons providing services or undertaking contracts on behalf of the Council create full, accurate and reliable records of their actions. The Records Management Policy sets out how those records should be managed to ensure they are kept safe and to meet the demands of the law and of regulatory bodies.
You can view the corporate retention schedule here.
Individuals can find out if we hold any personal information by making a ‘subject access request’. If we do hold information about you we will:
To make a request to the City Council for any personal information we may hold you need to put the request in writing addressing it to:
Data Protection Officer
Portsmouth City Council
Request forms are available to print and complete:
Please bring your completed request form to ground floor reception at the Civic Offices, along with:
The following may also be helpful:
If you cannot come to the Civic Offices, have difficulty making a written request, or don’t have any form of identification please use the contact details below to discuss your request with us.
If we do hold information about you, you can ask us to correct any mistakes by, once again, contacting the Data Protection Officer.
Please be aware that we would not let you see any parts of your record which contain:
You also have the right to see CCTV images of yourself and be provided with a copy. For further information and details of exceptions, see the Council’s Community Safety and CCTV page.
You can ask to see CCTV images by making a subject access request using the Data subject access – request form or as detailed above.
In many circumstances we will not share or disclose personal information without consent. However when we investigate a complaint, for example, we will need to share personal information with the organisation concerned and with other relevant bodies.
We may pass relevant information, such as your contact details, on to different parts of the council so that we can co-ordinate our services properly. For example, housing will tell the council tax team when someone has a change of address.
Where we do not directly provide a particular service, we may need to pass your information on to the company or organisation which provides services on our behalf.
A list of the types of organisations can be found on our Data Protection Register Entry
We use a number of commercial organisations and systems suppliers to either store personal information or to manage it on our behalf.
We also have agreements in place with partner organisations, including NHS organisations and the police to share information where this will benefit individuals or the local community. We will usually obtain your consent to do this. Follow the link for the Portsmouth Information Sharing Framework, which sets out the conditions under which we will share information with other organisations
We may pass your information to other agencies or organisations as allowed or required by law, for example to enable them to carry out their statutory duties or where it is necessary to prevent harm to yourself or other individuals.
We may be required by law to disclose your personal information without your consent for the purposes of preventing or detecting crime/fraud or apprehending and prosecuting offenders (for example to the police, Cabinet Office, Department for Work and Pensions or as part of the National Fraud Initiative) or where we have a statutory duty to do so. For more information follow the link to read our National Fraud Initiative page.
Sometimes we are required to give personal information to a court, for example for child protection purposes and in connection with mental health law.
Data processors are third parties who provide elements of our services for us, such as IT systems suppliers and market researchers who handle or collect personal data on behalf of the Council. We have contracts in place with our data processors. This means that they cannot do anything with your personal information unless we have instructed them to do it. They will not share your personal information with any organisation apart from the Council or approved sub-contractors. Data processors are required to hold any personal information securely and to retain it for the period we instruct.
We take any complaints we receive very seriously. Please bring it to our attention if you think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate.
You should let us know if you disagree with something written in your record. We may not always be able to change or remove the information. However, we will correct factual inaccuracies and may include your comments in the record.
We are happy to provide any additional information or explanation about how the City Council collects and uses personal information.
Any complaints, queries or requests should be sent to the Council’s Data Protection Officer.
Telephone: 023 9282 2251
For independent advice about data protection, privacy and sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at:
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 (if you prefer to use a national rate number).
This privacy notice does not cover the links within this site linking to other websites. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit.
There are additional privacy notices that apply to council services, as follows: