8. Do we share information between departments or with other organisations?
The sharing of personal data is one of the data protection issues that causes the greatest amount of discussion and thought for our staff. It's a complex area, but here are some of the reasons why we might do so:
- We will normally share information between our departments where it is fair to do so and particularly when we feel it might be to the advantage of individuals. An example of where we might share information is if someone applies for a benefit through our Benefits department and sometime in the future the Housing department realise that this individual might be entitled to a new home insulation grant.
- We will normally share information between our departments when we are investigating a crime such as fraud or tax evasion.
- We get many requests from law enforcement agencies asking for details about specific individuals. Under certain circumstances the Data Protection Act allows us to disclose details about those individuals and as long as we are satisfied that the request is genuine and legitimate our policy is to assist when we can.
- Our residents' MP might contact us as part of the MPs work in assisting the resident, and in accordance with a piece of legislation known as "The Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) (Elected Representatives) Order 2002". It is our usual policy to assist MPs with their enquiries without first obtaining the written consent of the individual in question.