6. Who we share your data with
We may pass information to other agencies or organisations such as the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs as allowed by law.
We may check information you have provided, or information about you that someone else has provided, with other information held. We may also get information about you from certain third parties, or give information to them to make sure the information is accurate; prevent or detect crime; and protect public funds. These third parties include government departments, local authorities and private sector companies such as banks and organisations that may lend you money. We will not give information about you to anyone else, or use information about you for other purposes unless the law allows this.
We participate in the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) data matching exercises for the prevention and detection of fraud. Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Support information may be provided to the Cabinet Office and the DWP and will be used for cross-system and cross-authority comparison. The use of this data is carried out with statutory authority under Part 6 of the Local Government and Accountability Act 2014.
We will also use the information for the purpose of performing any of our statutory enforcement duties. We will make any disclosures required by law or where it is appropriate to support our duty to protect public funds and / or detect and prevent fraud or other criminal activity or safeguarding requirements.
We may share the details with other organisations that handle public funds, assist in the processing of other benefits and in the recovery of outstanding amounts of housing benefit which has been overpaid.
We do not contact your landlord about your claim, but if you get Housing Benefit paid direct to a landlord, we will give them details of your payment dates and amounts. We may also have to contact your landlord for information about the property.
If you have agreed that we can share information with your landlord, this means that we can tell them about the progress of your claim.
If you previously did not agree to us sharing information about the progress of your claim with your landlord, but you change your mind after you have sent us your claim sheet, please tell us in writing that you now agree to share that information.
If you are a private tenant, we usually have to give the Valuation Office Agency Rent Service details about your home and rent.
We can share information collected as part of your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction applications with other departments in the Council, other Local Authorities the Department for Work and Pensions, the Valuation Office Agency, HM Courts and Tribunals Service and, in some circumstances, your landlord. The information on your Housing Benefit or Local Council Tax Support applications may also allow us or other internal or external organisations mentioned to identify other support and help that may be available.
We may use an external printing firm to produce paper statements and any mass-mailed correspondence letter.
There may also be instances where our system suppliers will need to access individual’s personal information to ensure that information is being held securely and accuracy is maintained. This will be on a strict need to know basis and all contracts have confidentiality clauses built in.
Where we engage third parties to process personal data on our behalf, they do so on the basis of written instructions, are under a duty of confidentiality, and are obliged to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure the security of data.
We will not transfer your information to countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) unless this is necessary, and only to countries which have sufficient safeguards in place to protect information.
We will not share your information with third parties for commercial or marketing purposes.