This notice provides details of what information we collect from you, what we do with it, and who it might be shared with.
Identity and contact details of the controller and the data protection officer
Falkirk Council is the data controller. You can contact the data protection officer at:
Frequently asked questions
Why do we collect this information?
The information is being collected for the following purpose:
- The levying, administration and collection of Council Tax.
- If you consent, to check your eligibility for concessions for services under the Council’s Charging and Concessions Policy.
The legal basis each purpose is set out below:
|Performance of a contract
|Task carried out in the public interest
The main statutory provisions are the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (the 1992 Act) and The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) (Scotland) Regulations 1992.
What information do we collect about you?
- Your name
- The name of any adults aged 18 or over living in the house
- Your address (old and new)
- Your relationship to the property. For example, as an owner or a tenant
- Relevant dates. For example, when you or someone else moved in, moved out of, sold or bought a property
- Whether the property is furnished or unfurnished, occupied or unoccupied
We are responsible for implementing various council tax discounts and exemptions, and applying means-tested reductions through the council tax reduction scheme. These require additional supporting information to be supplied before they can be awarded, for example, a student discount/exemption would require certification from educational establishment. For Council Tax Reduction, which is means tested, details of household income, and some times capital, are required.
We keep copies of your communications with us and our responses. With your consent we may also hold your bank details, email address and telephone number depending on how you choose to pay and communicate with us.
Where do you collect information about me from?
The main sources of personal data are:
- Another resident at your home
- A former occupier of your home. For example, where you have bought a house the seller (or their solicitor) will normally inform the Council of the sale
- The Assessor for Central Scotland
- The Council's own records
- Another local authority
Who might we share your information with?
The Council has a duty to protect public funds. Details are checked within the Council for the prevention of fraud and verification purposes. Information will only be shared with other bodies where the Council is required or permitted to do so by law or if you consent. Potential recipients include:
- Sheriff Officers. We contract out the recovery of unpaid council tax, where that debt is subject to a summary warrant. This information cannot be used by the sheriff officer for any other purpose.
- The Assessor for Central Scotland. The Assessor prepares the valuation lists of all dwellings. The level of Council Tax chargeable is based on the valuation of the property
- Scottish Water. We collect water services charges on their behalf
- Audit Scotland, who leads the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) in Scotland
- The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)
- HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC)
- Other local authorities in relation to the administration and collection of Council Tax
- Regulatory and law enforcement bodies (for example, the Police or the Council's regulatory teams) where necessary and proportionate to their investigations and any enforcement action
- Scottish Government requires statistical information at postcode level for the purposes of analysing how Council Tax is working (for example, in the take up of discounts and exemptions)
- Where you consent, to check your eligibility for concessions under the Council’s Charging and Concessions Policy
We do use contact information within the Council to communicate with some owners about common repairs in former Council properties. The Council considers this is a legitimate interest.
The Council may use data processors such as credit reference agencies for data matching, for example, to check entitlement to the single person’s discount. Data matching is only used to check for inconsistencies. No assumption is made or action taken without further investigation, usually with the individual concerned. We use other data processors, for example, for the printing of annual Council Tax demands.
The Council may also rely on its power to advance well-being, under the Local Government In Scotland Act 2003, to inform citizens of public services or other matters of public interest.
The Council uses a Civica software system to process Council Tax data. All data is held on Council secure servers.
Do you use any automated processes to make decisions about me?
Yes – we use automated decision making tools to assess some of our applications. A data protection impact assessment was carried out to ensure the protection of individuals data. We also use information received from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), in relation to changes to DWP benefits in payment or just awarded, which can automatically amend claimants' entitlement. Some of the data provided by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) through their automated transfer to local authority systems (ATLAS) is imported electronically into our core benefits system. Claims are then re-assessed without human involvement.
Notification letters to customers and landlords following these re-assessments are also generated automatically. The automation is used for consistency and the efficient processing of claims and to ensure your current details are used so that you receive the correct amount of benefit / support.
Will we send your information outwith the UK?
The Council does not transfer your data Council Tax data outwith the UK. If it were to make such transfers, it would only be with appropriate safeguards.
How long do we keep hold of your information?
We keep your information as long as required by law or by our business requirements. We have a Business Classification Scheme in place which sets out the types of records we hold, and how long we hold them - you can access the relevant part of the scheme below.
Do I have to provide my personal data to you?
Yes. Individuals have a statutory obligation to provide the information referred to above (the main categories of data used) sufficient to allow the Council to make an assessment. This is under the 1992 Act and related Regulations. If you do not provide the information when requested, it may affect your assessment for Council Tax and could result in a penalty.
What are my rights in relation to the information held about me?
You have the following rights:
- To see any information held about you by making a subject access request.
- To withdraw consent at any time, where the legal basis for processing is consent.
- To data portability, where the legal basis for processing is (i) consent or (ii) performance of a contract.
- To request rectification or erasure of your information, where data protection legislation allows this.
Do I have a right to complain about the way information has been used?
If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, please let us know and we will try to resolve this. If you are still concerned, you can contact the Information Commissioner:
This notice was last updated in December 2022.