Subject access requests (SARs)
Access to personal information
You can find out if we hold any personal information about you by making a ‘subject access request’ (SAR) under the Data Protection Act (DPA). If we do hold information about you we will:
- give you a description of it
- tell you why we are holding it
- tell you who it could be shared with
- let you have a copy of the information if we are able to do so.
We handle all information in a manner that respects the rights of individuals and which is in line with the requirements of the Data Protection Act. To make a request for any personal information that we hold, you need to put the request in writing.
If we do hold information about you, you can ask us to correct any mistakes by contacting us using the same contact details.
How to make a subject access request
Please make your request to us in writing. Include your name and address, and any previous or alternative names you are or have been known by or addresses where you have lived, if relevant.
Hammersmith Town Hall
London W6 9JU
What to provide when making a request
Send two original proofs of your identity from the following lists:
One from this list of proof of name documents:
- full valid driving licence issued by a member state of the EC/EEA
- birth certificate or certificate of registry of birth or adoption certificate
- full valid current passport or ID card issued by a member state of the EC/EEA or immigration and nationality directorate travel document
- documents issued by the Home Office or certificate of naturalisation or registration or Home Office standard acknowledgement letter (SAL).
Note: If the individual’s name is now different from that shown on the document submitted to confirm their identity, they must also supply original documentary evidence to confirm their change of name, e.g. marriage certificate, decree absolute or decree nisi papers, deed poll or statutory declaration.
And, one from this list of proof of address documents received within the last three months:
- utility bill - gas, electricity, water or telephone bill in the individual’s name
- council tax demand or letter from HMRC in the individual’s name
- bank, building society or credit card statement in the individual’s name
- letter to the individual from solicitor/social worker/probation officer.
If you are making a request on behalf of someone else you also need to include proof of your authority to act on their behalf, this could be:
- signed written consent from the individual that you are acting on their behalf
- evidence of a power of attorney
- health professional evidence that the individual is unable to provide consent and that you therefore act on their behalf on appropriate letter-headed paper
- court order.
Photocopies and electronic copies are not acceptable.
Send us as much detail as you can about the information you want. Include any services or departments which you believe hold the information, dates of your involvement with the council, any reference numbers or contact names you may have, anything else you think will help us to find the information.
Once we receive the information we need to process your request we have 40 calendar days to respond. We will send you an acknowledgement and return your documentation to you.
Will I see all the information retrieved?
Personal information is defined as information related to a living individual who can be identified:
- from the information, or
- from the information and other information which is in the possession of, or likely to come into the possession of the data controller
and includes any expression of opinion about the person and any indication of the intentions of the data controller or any other person in respect of the individual.
There are certain circumstances where we may decide not to release information because we consider it exempt. Some of these are listed below.
We may decide that the release of the information could prejudice the following purposes under s.29 of the Data Protection Act.
Prevention or detection of a crime
- the apprehension or prosecution of offenders
- the assessment or collection of any tax or duty
Or the information may fall into one of the following definitions.
- confidential references given by a council officer to a prospective employer
- examination scripts (the information recorded by candidates during examinations)
- certain records relating to health, education and social work
- any records of the intentions of the council in negotiations with you
- information which is subject to legal professional privilege
- information that would lead to self-incrimination
We will consider all information carefully before we make a decision whether to release it or not. If we do choose to withhold we will tell you why.
Information which identifies someone else
When requested information includes personal information about someone else we will consider whether to remove this information, seek consent or disclose. We will always tell you if we have chosen not to release certain information.
Complaints and appeals
If you are unhappy with our response, either the information we send you or the way we handle your request, or if you would like to have any information we hold about you corrected, then you should write to the Information Management Team, 3rd Floor East Wing, Hammersmith Town Hall, London W6 9JU. Alternatively, send an email outlining your concerns or requirements to Information.Management@lbhf.gov.uk
For requests to amend or remove information we will tell you whether we consider this change appropriate and the reason for our decision.
If you are still unhappy with our decision you can send a complaint to:
The Information Commissioner’s Office
01625 545 700
Information Commissioner's Office website
Information Management Team
3rd Floor, East Wing, Hammersmith Town Hall
020 8748 3020
Open 9am to 5pm