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Privacy notice

In line with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), there are certain things that we need to let you, a research participant, know about how your information will be processed. In this privacy notice, we explain the legal basis for data processing, who will have access to your personal data, how your data will be used, stored and deleted, and who you can contact with a query or a complaint.

 Brief Description of Research

The survey is carried out to understand how Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) form part of the welfare support package available at a local level, and assess how demand for DHPs has changed over the past three years.

The survey is being conducted by an independent research company called the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen). It has been commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions and the results of the evaluation will be published in a report, which will be available online through Findings will be reported in a way that ensure no individual who took part in the research will be identifiable in any way; the report and accompanying data will be completely anonymised.

 Data protection Legislation

Data protection legislation determines how, when and why any organisation can process personal data. ‘Personal data’ means any information which can identify a living individual. ‘Processing’ means any action or set of actions performed on personal data, including: collection, storage, alteration or deletion. These laws exist to ensure that your data are managed safely and used responsibly. They also provide you with certain rights in respect of your data and creates a responsibility on the Department for Work and Pensions, to provide you with certain information.

 The identity and contact details of the data controller

The data controller is the person or organisation who decides what personal data shall be processed and for what purpose. The Department for Work and Pensions is the data controller for the Local Authority Insight Survey. NatCen is the data processor for this survey.

DWP contact details are:

For more information about your data, you can contact the NatCen Data Protection Officer by email: and can read our data protection policy at

The contact details of our Data Protection Officer:

Our Data Protection Officer is the person who provides us with advice and guidance on the ways we can best protect the information we collect and use. They are involved in all the major decisions we make in relation to personal data. If you have any queries or concerns regarding your data, or wish to exercise any of your rights (see below), then please contact the Data Protection Officer:

 The purposes for which personal data are processed

Personal data collected for the Local Authority Insight Survey will only ever be used to produce statistics or undertake research.

The legal basis for the processing

Data protection legislation requires that all processing of personal data is undertaken under one or more of a set list of conditions. All processing for the Local Authority Insight Survey is undertaken under the following condition: Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.

The Department for Work and Pensions carries out its functions according to powers in the Social Security Act.

An additional condition is required for any processing of special category data. ‘Special category data’ means information about your racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, sex life or sexual orientation. This definition also includes genetic and biometric data. The condition that we use to process such data is: Processing is necessary for archiving in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes based on UK law.

Some elements of the processing, such as printing and postage will be sub-contracted. All sub-contractors working for NatCen come from our ‘Approved Supplier List’. These are suppliers that are already vetted by us with signed contracts and agreement already in place and refreshed every 12 months.

The recipients of personal data

We treat the data we hold with respect, keeping them secure and confidential. To support statistical production and research, we will sometimes allow access to the information we hold where it is lawful to do so. For this project data will be shared with the Department for Work and Pensions using legislative powers as the basis for doing so.

The period for which personal data will be stored

Data protection law requires that personal data are kept for no longer than is necessary to fulfil the purposes for which they were originally collected. There is an exemption that allows for research information to be kept for longer periods. We will only continue to hold personal data where they are still used to produce statistics or carry out research in the public interest. In addition, we de-identify or anonymise data at the earliest opportunity possible without compromising their utility.

Data subject rights

As a data subject (someone whose personal data are held by us as data controller) you have rights under data protection law. If you wish to discuss exercising any of these rights in relation to data we hold, please contact our Data Protection Officer.

You have the right, in some circumstances, to make the following requests of a data controller in relation to personal data they hold about you: to have access to that data, to amend any incorrect or inaccurate information, to object to that data being processed, to restrict the processing of that data, to erase that data, or to pass any information they hold about you to another controller. Please note that once data is aggregated and anonymised, we would not be able to change the results by removing individual information. However, you can request that your personal data be deleted or updated and we will let you know immediately if this is possible or not.

Further information on the rights available to you, and the circumstances under which you can exercise them, is available from the Information Commissioner.

The Information Commissioner

The Information Commissioner’s Office is the independent body tasked with regulating data protection within the UK. They can provide you with additional information regarding data protection and your rights, and will deal with any complaints you may have regarding our use of your data:

  • 0303 123 1113
  • Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF