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Data Protection

Policy Statement

Tees Valley Combined Authority will ensure that its policy upholds the rights and protects the interests of all those with whom the organisation has contact with, by protecting data and information in accordance with legislative and regulatory requirements and provisions. This will be achieved by ensuring that data processing and information exchange systems comply with the six principles of data protection.

The Combined Authority recognises that information relating to the activities of the organisation and its working practices should be made as widely available as possible in the interests of freedom of information (see FOI section of the website).  However whilst operating this policy, we must also recognise that some information may be sensitive or confidential and its release may prejudice the activities of the Combined Authority and the privacy of its employees. There are exceptions to Data Protection and exceptions to the rule when an individual exercises one of their “Rights”.

The Combined Authority will ensure that all staff are trained to a high standard to enable them to carry out all their duties in line with legislation and this policy.

Regulation and Legislation

The Data Protection Act 2018 is in place to protect the personal data that organisations hold on staff and other individuals. To comply with the Act, Tees Valley Combined Authority must act in accordance with six principles, which aim to ensure that personal information is:

  1. Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner
  2. Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes
  3. Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary
  4. Accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
  5. Retained only for as long as necessary
  6. Processed in an appropriate manner to maintain security

Under the Data Protection Act “personal data” means:

“Data relating to a living individual who is or can be identified either from the data or from the data in conjunction with other information that is in, or is likely to come into, the possession of the data controller”.

For the majority of information that we hold, the Combined Authority acts as the “Data Controller”, i.e. we process information on behalf of staff and other individuals, and decide how best to process, store and secure that information. As a data controller we are registered with the ICO and our registration reference number is Z4969253. Further details can be accessed at www.ico.org.uk

The Combined Authority may also instruct others to process data on our behalf. This is called a “Data Processor” and is any company acting on behalf of the Combined Authority to process information. Where this is the case, the Combined Authority will have a contract with the company which clearly sets out how we expect them to process the information.

Roles and Responsibilities

The table below summarises the roles and responsibilities in relation to the Policy. It is important to note that the role of the Data Protection Officer is to provide advice to the organisation and to encourage effective processes. The responsibility for adhering to the regulations lies with each team, to ensure that they have full ownership of the data they process.

 

Roles Responsibility
Senior Leadership Team Accountable for ensuring:

  • adequate resource is available in the organisation to deal with the requirements of Data Protection and its procedures
  • this Policy is implemented effectively and adhered to
  • all staff are appropriately trained
Data Protection Officer Responsible for:

  • providing advice to the organisation
  • encouraging effective implementation of the policy and its procedures
  • ensuring the processes are updated according with the law
All staff Should have an awareness of this Policy and act in accordance with the procedures

 Records

Data Asset Register and Privacy Notices

In line with the regulations, the Combined Authority has produced an internal data asset register, and has used the information to produce and publish privacy notices, as appropriate. The information within the asset register and privacy notices has been developed by and is owned by each of the teams processing the data. They include the following information:

Note that if information is stored outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), the location is checked against the countries that GDPR considers “adequate”, and if this is not the case, the issue is raised with the Data Protection Officer for consideration as to what information is stored, how sensitive it is and the risks considered.

The data asset register informs the risk register for the Combined Authority and is reviewed regularly.

Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs)

Organisations are required to undertake DPIAs when undertaking any significant changes to the way it processes personal data or when it may be about to take on a new set of personal data. This ensures that it upholds the principles of “privacy by design” and any new project considers and implements the principles of data protection from the beginning. The approach should be proportionate and therefore the Combined Authority will carry out DPIAs as and when required.

Note that in some circumstances the change may be assessed as so significant that it requires the approval of the Information Commissioner’s Office. The Data Protection Officer will co-ordinate such discussions.

 Subject Rights

Individuals have access to a set of “Subject Rights” and can exercise them at any time. However, the rights of data subjects differ depending upon the legal basis for the processing of the information. The specific rights will be set out clearly in the privacy notices that the Combined Authority publishes on its website separately to this policy. The full list of rights are as follows:

In line with the regulations, most of the Subject Rights will be completed within 30 days (one calendar month), and will be provided free of charge.

Those wishing to submit a data subject access request can do so by contacting:

Data Protection Officer

Tees Valley Combined Authority

Cavendish House

Teesdale Business Park

Stockton-on-Tees

TS17 6QY

or

DPO@teesvalley-ca.gov.uk

Breach Management

There is a requirement under Data Protection to have a documented process to deal with a data breach. All breaches must be logged, and under certain circumstances, a breach must be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Officer with 72 hours of the Combined Authority becoming aware of the breach. Having this process in place helps in the understanding, damage limitation, evidence gathering, resolution and communication of a breach.

Staff should communicate with the Data Protection Officer immediately if a breach has taken place.

Monitoring and review

This Data Protection Policy will be reviewed every three years, or in line with legislation.

The accountability for this Policy lies with the Strategy Director and responsibility for providing advice on, and updating this Policy, lies with the Data Protection Officer.

This policy may be subject to an audit in line with the internal audit plan. Elements of Data Protection activities across the Combined Authority are subject to management review and audit at any time to ensure that the Policy is being adhered to.