Department for Communities
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Department for Communities

Privacy Policy

Privacy Notice for Department for Communities (DfC) - Work & Inclusion Group

Data Controller Name: Department for Communities
Information Management Branch,
Lighthouse Building, 1 Cromac Place,
Gasworks Business Park, Ormeau Road, Belfast

Telephone: 028 9082 9201

Data Protection Officer Name: The Data Protection Officer
Telephone: 028 9082 9201

Why are you processing my personal information?

The information is processed for:
  • The payment of social security benefits, grants loans and pensions
  • Child Maintenance
  • Employment and training
  • Social security research and statistics
DfC also uses information to prevent and detect fraud, and to protect public funds. The information we collect about you depends on the reason for your business with us, but we may use the information for any of these purposes.

The lawful basis for processing is set down in legislation and deemed to be in the public interest.

We may not be able to provide you with a product or deliver the services you request unless we have enough information to process that request.

What categories of personal data are you processing?

The kinds of data that DfC processes about people will depend on the contact that DfC has with them. An easy way to see what kind of information DfC processes for a particular benefit is to look at the claim form for that benefit. Categories of information processed include:
  • Personal details
  • Family
  • Financial details
  • Employment and education details
  • Education and training details
  • Visual images
DfC also process sensitive information that may include:
  • Physical or mental health details
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Financial details
  • Offences including alleged offences
  • Criminal proceedings, outcomes and sentences
  • Visual images
Where do you get my personal data from?

Apart from you, we may get personal information about you from other NI and UK government departments.

Do you share my personal data with anyone else?

For benefit processing and preparation for work purposes we may share your personal data with:
  • Other NI and UK government departments
  • Other public bodies
  • Financial details
  • 3rd party providers
  • Employment Agencies
  • Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations
  • Landlords
  • Others acting on your behalf
For the prevention and detection of crime purposes we may share your information with:
  • Other NI and UK government departments
  • Councils
  • Criminal justice partners
  • Employers
  • Private sector bodies, such as banks and organisations that may lend you money
  • Credit reference agencies
We share information for a number of reasons, including to:
  • Check the accuracy of information
  • Help people with particular difficulties, such as troubled families
  • Help people get or stay in work
  • Child maintenance
  • Help people get education and training to improve their chances of getting work
  • Support people with independent living
  • Prevent or detect crime
  • Check payments for services
  • Protect public funds
  • Use for research or statistical purposes
We will only ever give information about you to someone outside DfC if the law allows us to.

Do you transfer my personal data to other countries?

All the personal data we use is processed by our staff in the United Kingdom. GDPR applies to all data transfers within the EEA. Sometimes it may be necessary to transfer personal information overseas for the purposes of the prevention and detection of crime, within Europe, Australia and United States of America. Any transfers made will be in full compliance with all aspects of the GDPR and we will only do so in order to follow your instructions or comply with a legal obligation.

How long do you keep my personal data?

We will only retain your data for as long as necessary to process and in line with our Retention and Disposal Schedule: DfC holds a lot of different kinds of information for a variety of different reasons, but we always try and keep only what we need for no longer than we need it.

How do you use my personal data to make decisions about me?

We sometimes use automated decision making. However, all decisions that affect you, for example, whether or not you are entitles to a benefit, can be reviewed or appealed, even if the decisions are made automatically. Any ‘automated decisions’ for a particular benefit will just apply the entitlement rules for that benefit and will usually involve some input by DfC staff as well. DfC are continually developing new digital services, these use information more effectively to deliver our services.

What rights do I have?
How do I complain if I am not happy?

If you are unhappy with how any aspect of this privacy notice, or how your personal information is being processed, please contact the Departments Data Protection Officer at: 028 9082 9201 or email us

If you are still not happy, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO):

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Tel: 0303 123 1113