New Guidance on use of Council Tax data

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I saw this earlier this week on Public Sector Forums and  reflected  on its significance. The Information Commissioner’s Office will today (26th Jan)publish revised guidance for local authorities wishing to makesecondary use of Council Tax Data, for example to populate CRM systems. Previous government guidance on data sharing has created uncertainty in many local authorities on whether they can use this data for other council functions, despite the prevailing common sense that having one authoratitive data set is preverable to building several sets of data about a citizen’s residantial status. The ICO guidance asks a series of questions together with explanationswhich outline the ICO’s latest approach, answers to which willdetermine the permissibility of using the data.  The questions are asfollows:

  • Is it necessary for the local authority to use the information to carry out its statutory functions?
  • If council tax information is used for another purpose, what effect will this have on the people the information is about?
  • Would using the information cause unwarranted detriment to any individual?
  • Would using the information for another purpose benefit those the local authority provides services to?
  • Is the information particularly sensitive?
  • Will the information be adequately protected from improper use or disclosure?
  • Is there an alternative to sharing information in a form that identifies individuals?
  • Do individuals understand how the local authority will use their information?

The guidance is available for Download ICO_Tax_Guidance_2007.pdf.

About Post Author

Stephen Dale

I’m a life-long learner with an insatiable curiosity about life. I love travel, good food, and good company. I’m happy to share what I know with others….even the interesting stuff! My outlook on life is pretty well captured in this quote from a book about the legend of King Arthur: “The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.” ― T.H. White, The Once and Future King So much to learn, so little time!
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