You have the right to request your information from the Department for Communities (DfC). This is known as the ‘Right of Access’ under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018. It is also known as a Subject Access Request.
You can make a Right of Access Request (RAR) verbally or in writing. You may make the request to the Departmental office you were in contact with or via the Data Protection Officer;
The Data Protection Officer
Department for Communities
1 Cromac Place
Gasworks Business Park
Belfast, BT7 2JB
Consider what personal data you want to access. It may help us to respond quicker if you can give a specific request and specific dates, for example, 'I want my information in relation to Personal Independance Payment from 1/12/18 to 28/2/19'.
If you are requesting your information in relation to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) you should note that it is the Department for Work and Pensions which handles these requests. Please visit GOV.uk
When making a Right of Access Request, you should include the following information;
- Your name and address for correspondence and a phone number in case we need to contact you
- Any information used by us to identify or distinguish you from other people with the same name (Date of Birth, National Insurance number, unique reference number, etc)
We may refuse to comply with your request
We may refuse your Right of Access Request if your data includes information about another individual, except where;
- the other individual has agreed to the disclosure, or
- it is reasonable to provide you with this information without the other individual’s consent
In deciding this, we will have to balance your right to access your data against the other individual’s rights regarding their own information.
We can also refuse your request if it is ‘manifestly unfounded or excessive’.
What are the timescales?
We have one month to respond to a RAR. In certain circumstances we may need extra time to consider the request and if required, can take an extra two months. If this is the case, we will inform you and provide an explaination why the additional time is required.