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Sundry Debtors Privacy Notice

Who we are

Teignbridge District Council is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a ‘data controller’ under the Data Protection Act, entry Z5463710. We are a public authority and have a nominated Data Protection Officer who can be contacted on

Some of the goods and services that we provide to you may incur a charge and we have a legal duty to recover these costs from you. These are known as a sundry debt. A sundry debtor invoice will be issued for example the payment of a lease, rent or the overpayment of housing benefits. Revenue and Benefit Services are responsible for recovering these fees on behalf of other services within the council.

This notice, in conjunction with our overarching privacy policy, explains when as a service we collect personal information, what we use your data for, who has access, who we share it with and what your rights are.

What information do we collect about you?

We collect personal information to make sure that we can carry out our work. The personal information we collect includes:

  • name
  • address
  • postcode
  • email address
  • details of the service you have been provided
  • financial details
  • health information
  • details of third parties authorised to act on your behalf

In addition, in relation to housing benefit overpayments we collect the following information:

  • employment status and information, including your National Insurance number
  • housing benefit records

We will use this data to raise an invoice and recover arrears if it is necessary to do so. We may check some of the information with other sources such as a credit reference agency to ensure this data is accurate.

We will also collect telephone numbers so that we can contact you. If we hold a mobile number for you, we may send you a text message.

Where we get your information from

We collect personal information from you as the service user through online web forms, hard copy application forms, email, by telephone or through face-to-face discussion. This information will be collected from either you directly as the data subject, or from a representative acting on your behalf.

Information is also obtained from other government agencies such as the Department of Work and Pensions and the HMRC who may provide us with a current address and up-to-date details of employed or self-employed income relating to customers with outstanding housing benefit debt.

How your information will be used

We use this personal information to administer and collect sundry debt. This may include any of the following:

  • raise an invoice
  • send you reminders and taking recovery action in the event of non-payment
  • undertaking a means assessment if you are experiencing difficulty in paying
  • recover any monies owed in line with our legal powers, for example, take you to court, refer the debt to enforcement agencies for collection
  • deduct payments direct from your employer or social security benefit where we have a court order that enables us to do so
  • deal with complaints or concerns

If you do not provide us with the information we have requested for raising an invoice then we might not be able to provide you with the goods or services that you require.

Lawful basis for processing data

The lawful basis for processing your personal data is the performance of a public task, and is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation as specified by the following legislation:

  • Local Government Act 1972
  • Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015
  • Social Security and Administration Act 1992
  • Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1987
  • Local Government and Housing Act 1989
  • Local Government Finance Act 1992 and the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992
  • Local Government Finance Act 1988 and the Non Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (local Lists) Regulations 1989

We are allowed to process personal and sensitive data for the reasons of substantial public interest where it is necessary for us to fulfil our legal obligations and regulatory requirements.

Your data will be used for this specific purpose although your details will be shared between council services and other agencies as noted below where there is lawful authority to do so.

Who we share your data with

Your information may be shared with public agencies, government departments and other organisations as required, to support the collection and recovery of sundry debtor invoices. This may include:

  • courts and tribunals
  • Department of Works and Pensions; HM Revenue and Customs
  • credit reference agencies
  • debt collection, enforcement and tracing agents working on our behalf
  • law enforcement and prosecuting authorities

The information we hold about you may be shared with third parties with responsibility for auditing or administering public funds. This may also include organisations employed by us to assist in the undertaking and fulfilment of our duties. For example, enforcement agents employed to recover outstanding debts.

We may also share your information with other council services and local authorities to ensure our records are accurate and up-to-date, to improve the standard of the services we deliver, and to perform any of our statutory duties, including enforcement duties.

We are required by law to protect the public funds we administer, and may use your information for the prevention and detection of crime, including fraud and money laundering.

We participate in the Cabinet Office National Fraud Initiative; a nationwide electronic data matching exercise between public and private sector bodies to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. Sundry debt data may be provided 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 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 disclose any personal information to any other third parties unless required to do so 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 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.

How long do we keep hold of your information and is it secure?

We will only retain your personal information for as long as we are required to do so by law and the purpose we collected it for. The retention period is either dictated by law or by our discretion. Once your data is no longer needed it will be securely and confidentially destroyed. We will usually keep your information for a minimum of seven years if it is no longer required for the lawful purpose for which it was obtained.

We have implemented appropriate technological and operational security in order to safeguard your data from loss or misuse.

Changes in your circumstances

You must notify us immediately if there are any changes in your personal details so we can maintain an accurate and up to date record of your information.

Your rights and access to your information

You have rights under the data protection legislation:

  • to access your personal data, known as a subject access request
  • to be provided with information about how your personal data is processed
  • to have your personal data corrected
  • to have your personal data erased in certain circumstances
  • to object to or restrict how your personal data is processed
  • to have your personal data transferred to yourself or to another business in certain circumstances
  • you have the right to be told if we have made a mistake whilst processing your data and we will self-report breaches to the Information Commissioner.

Should you wish to exercise any of your rights, you should contact the Data Protection Officer

If you have any concerns

You have a right to complain to us if you think we have not complied with our obligation for handling your personal information by contacting the Data Protection Officer in the first instance.

If you are not satisfied with the council’s response you have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner Office:

Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Or use their online tool for reporting concerns:

When this content has been updated

Last updated 4 December 2023