Finance Service Privacy Notice

Housing Benefit / Council Tax Reduction / Education Benefits applications 

Why we need your information

As part of the Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Education Benefits, Discretionary Housing Payments and Self Isolation Payments application processes, Gwynedd Council will be collecting personal data about you and your family.

This information collation will include such details as follows :

  1. Details about you, your address, National Insurance number, date of birth, household composition, income and savings details.

  2. We will also collate other relevant information that will be needed to process your claim such as rental information and landlord details.

  3. Contact details such as telephone numbers, email address etc will also be collected so that we are able to contact you should we need to query your information.

We will use this data to process your claim and may need to check some of the information with other sources to ensure this data is accurate.


Justification for using your Information

We are using your information because we have a duty under the following legal basis :

  1. Our legal obligation under the following legislation :

    - Social Security Administration Act

    - Housing Benefit Regulations

    - The Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements and Default            Scheme) (Wales) Regulations

    - Local Government Finance Act

  2. The prevention/detection of crime, including false representation in accordance with the Fraud Act and the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Detection of Fraud and Enforcement) (Wales) Regulations.

  3. Your own personal consent, which can be withdraw at any time by you notifying us in writing. Please be advised that where consent is withdrawn your application for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction and/or Education Benefits will no longer be processed.  Consent cannot be withdrawn in cases for the prevention of crime.

The Council will use your information for automatic decision making in order to quickly and correctly deal with data received from other organisations on your behalf (e.g. DWP) and for profiling so as to risk-score your claim to find out what further action is needed with your claim before processing.  This will have the following effect on you :

  1. Quicker decision making

  2. Fewer enquiries

  3. Correct first-time decisions

Sharing your information 

We may share your data/information with the following organisations :

  1. Internal teams within the Council such as Council Tax, Housing Services, Customer Services.

  2. Councillors, should they be helping you with your claim.

  3. Other partner organisations such as the Department of Work and Pensions, Housing Associations, Citizens Advice Bureau, Shelter Cymru.

  4. Third parties where permitted or required by law to do so for the prevention and detection of fraud and the protection of public funds.  These can include other local authorities and government departments or agencies carrying out their public tasks, such as the Council's Collection Agents, Employers, Department of Work and Pensions, HM Revenues and Customs, the Police in carrying out criminal investigations, and data matching via the National Fraud Initiative.

  5. On occasions, it may be necessary for your information to be accessed by our contracted IT support organisations in the delivery of IT support for both the IT infrastructure and associated systems, for the processes detailed in this privacy notice.  Access by IT support will only be for such reasons as fixing any technical issues with software, and any viewing of data will be incidental.

The above lists are not exhaustive.

We will not normally share your information with organisations other than our partner organisations without your consent.

However, there may be certain circumstances where we will need to share without consent, such as when we are required to do so by law, to safeguard public safety, and in risk of harm or emergency situations.

Any information shared will be on a need-to-know basis only, with the appropriate individuals and the minimum information for the purpose.

The Council will not transfer your personal information to another country.


How long we keep your information  and your rights

The information you supply will be kept for the minimum period necessary for our purposes.

The information outlined in this notice will be kept after all action on your claim has finished and the period required by the Council for legal and audit purposes has elapsed.

Your rights

For further information about your rights and the Data Protection Officer’s contact details visit the website.

What information we collect

The information we will collect will depend on the nature of your claim, but can include the following: name, address, date of birth, age, occupation, telephone numbers, email address, vehicle registration, National Insurance Number, and sensitive personal data such as medical information.


How we collect the information

Information will be collected in a number of ways, including: written correspondence, emails, face to face, telephone calls, provided by other bodies e.g. solicitors and insurers.


Why we need your information

The Council will use your information to determine and handle your insurance claim against Gwynedd Council. Your information may also be used in the furtherance of an associated service required or received from the Council, such as making a complaint or a request for service. By making a claim, you consent to the collection and use of your personal information (including sensitive personal data) by us, provided it is used as set out in this notice. Failure to provide personal information may mean we will be unable to process your claim.


Justification for using your information

We are using your information:

  • because the Council is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers

  • because we are undertaking a task in the public interest

  • for the detection and prevention of fraud

The Council will not use your information for automated decision making or profiling.


Sharing your information

Depending on the nature of your claim/contact, your information may also be shared with any of the following:

  • Other Council departments

  • Council’s insurers

  • Internal / external solicitors

  • Judicial agencies – e.g. Courts

  • External loss adjusters

  • External contractors

The Council will not transfer your information to another country.


How long your information is kept

Information will be kept for 6 full financial years after the date your claim is settled. Where a claim involves a child/minor, this 6 year period will not begin until the child’s 18th birthday.


Your rights

Further information about your rights and the Data Protection Officer’s contact details.

 As a public authority Gwynedd Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. We may share information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.


In October 2022, the latest round of the anti-fraud data matching exercise, known as the National Fraud Initiative (“NFI”) will commence. Gwynedd Council data, along with data from other public bodies, will be presented to the Auditor General for Wales.


Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. This is usually personal information. Computerised data matching potentially allows fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it may indicate that there is an inconsistency which requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.


The Auditor General for Wales currently requires the Council, under his statutory data matching powers set out in Part 3A of the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004 (the 2004 Act), to participate in his anti-fraud initiative. For this initiative, we are providing particular sets of data to the Auditor General for matching. Details are set out on the Audit Wales website. 


The use of data by the Auditor General in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority, therefore, it does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act.


Data matching by the Auditor General is subject to a Code of Practice. This is to help all bodies involved in data matching to comply with the law and good practice, including maintaining data security (see Code of Data Matching).


For more information on the Auditor General’s legal powers and the reasons why he matches particular information, visit the Audit Wales website or contact:


Audit Wales,
24 Cathedral Road,
CF11 9LJ,



As a billing authority for the county, Gwynedd Council collects, processes and stores personal information about you in order to administer and enforce Council Tax.

We also use the data in our Council Tax database for other purposes, including the performance of our statutory enforcement duties and the prevention and detection of fraud.

We will share information internally if this is deemed to be beneficial to the data subject and when this does not conflict with their rights under data protection legislation.

How we get your information

We get information about you from the following sources:

· Directly from you

· Central government agencies

· Other local authorities

· Family members

What personal data we process and why

The information we process about you will vary depending on the service being provided, but will fall within the following categories:

· Information about you, this could include your name, address, date of birth

· Number and status of other adults in the property to determine eligibility for discounts and exemptions

· Details about your lifestyle and social circumstances

· Financial details

· Employment details, to assess your eligibility for our Council Tax Reduction Scheme

Information relating to your health and wellbeing and other special category data

In order to meet our statutory and legal obligations in respect of this services, we may also need to process sensitive, or “special category” personal data about you, which could include data related to:

· Physical or mental health details to assess your eligibility for discounts and exemptions

Lawful basis for processing your personal data

Depending on the service, we rely on the following lawful basis for processing your personal data under the UK GDPR:

· Article 6(1)(e) for the performance of our public task

The relevant legislation is as follows:

Council Tax – Local Government Finance Act 1992

Non Domestic Rates – Local Government Finance Act 1988

Special category data

Where the information we process is special category data, for example your health data, the additional bases for processing that we rely on are:

· Article 9(2)(g) for reasons of substantial public interest

In addition we rely on processing conditions at Schedule 1 part 2 of the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA2018). This relates to the processing of special category data for:

Statutory etc. and government purposes

How long we keep your personal data for

In accordance with our retention schedule, since information relating to Council tax liability may be amended retrospectively to the first of April 1993, certain details may therefore need to be retaine from this date. We will actively review the data after 6 years to ensure that no unnecessary details will be retained.

Data sharing

In performing this service, it may be necessary for us to share some of your personal data with external organisations.

We may share information with the following types of organisations:

· Cabinet office – National fraud initiative, see further information section

· Welsh Government - National fraud initiative, see further information section

· HM courts and tribunals service

· Local government

· Police

· Social housing associations

· Private landlords

· Department of works and pensions

· Welfare advisors

· Employment mentors


· Valuation office

· The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Council Tax data – see further information section

· Credit Reference – TransUnion (Call Credit)

· Health and social care organisations

In some circumstances, such as under a court order, we are legally obliged to share information, and we may also share information with the Police and other enforcement agencies for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection, or prosecution of criminal offences.

We may also share information internally, in order to verify or confirm your personal details, to ensure our records are accurate and up-to-date.

Data held by this service will only be used by other internal departments or services when we are satisfied there is a lawful basis for doing so, and that is it fair, e.g.

· Corporate fraud officers

· Corporate debt officers

· Financial assessment officer (care needs)

· Planning department

· Social Services

· Housing and Property department

Do we use data processors?

Data processors are third parties who provide certain parts of our services for us. We have contracts in place with them and they cannot do anything with your personal information unless we have instructed them to do so. Our current data processors for this service are listed below.

Data Processor Purpose Privacy Notice

Capita One Revenues and Benefits

(supplier Capita) The system used to administer Council Tax and Council Tax Reduction Capita One - Privacy Notice

Capita Intelligent Communications

(CIC) Supplier we use to send council tax and business rates bills, council tax and business rates recovery documents, benefit notifications, Financial Assessments documents, further request letters and communication letters CIC - Privacy Notice

Civica digital Workflow 360 The system used to store correspondence Civica - Privacy Notice

Tel Solutions Supplier we use to send text and emails about Council Tax accounts that are behind in payments Tel Solutions - Privacy Notice

TransUnion Credit Reference TransUnion - Privacy Notice

Transfer of personal data

No data is transferred overseas as part of this service.

Automated Decision Making

We may make automated decisions to end some time-limited discounts, exemptions and processing new direct debit mandate, and to assist with income recovery (recovery of unpaid council tax). You have the same rights of appeal as when an officer makes a decision.

Further Information

National Fraud Initiative

The Council has a duty to protect the public funds it administers and may use the information you have provided or share it with other bodies for the purpose of preventing and detecting fraud. This includes participation in the Cabinet Office.

For further information, please visit the page below: National Fraud Initiative

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Council Tax data

Council Tax is a key source for statistics on household incomes and inequalities. For example, Council Tax is one of the most important direct taxes that feeds into National Statistics on the Effect of Taxes and Benefits on households. Currently, these statistics are based on survey data, which are subject to measurement error and missing information (particularly for Council Tax).

Providing the ONS with administrative data on Council Tax significantly improves the quality of the statistics, and reduces the burden on survey respondents. These statistics are key for developing national policies aimed at combatting poverty and improving standards of living.

The Council shares the following personal data with the ONS:

· Name

· Address (personal or for business rates business address)


· NI number

· Company or business name

· Email

· Phone – personal and business (for business rates)

· Household Income/Rent

· Household Personal data – details on each person in household for benefit purposes

The ONS use it for the following purposes:

· Social Survey Division: Replace Council Tax related questions on four social surveys (Survey on Living Conditions, Living Costs and Food Survey, Wealth and Assets Survey, Family Resources Survey), that are used to produce new statistical outputs and enhance current statistical outputs

· Address Register Team: Creating and enhancing their address register for the Census

· Prices: Use in the measurement of Council Tax prices in Consumer Price Index including Housing costs and help weight sub-aggregates of households as they develop an index of household payments

· Admin Data Census: improve population research outputs by creating an indicator of activity to use for people and addresses

· Methodology: Efficient sample designs and improve precision of estimators

· Public Policy Division: Improve the statistics about the number of new properties built. Also help improve dwelling stock estimates by enabling a sub-national vacancy rate adjustment, which isn't currently possible between censuses

· Census Transformation Programme 2021: Help with enumeration, especially of hard to count population / geographic areas. Quality assurance and validation of census responses and estimates, improve the accuracy of census estimates (ensure that people who are no longer resident in the population are removed) and impute missing data for people who haven't responded to the Census.

The benefits to the Council for sharing this information are:

· Better authority level statistics

· Better ability of reporting alongside other local authorities

· Improved migration and demographic statistics at a local authority level

· Statistical evidence for requesting additional funding from Central Government

· The National Audit Office are also interested in the longer-term potential of this data extract. If this data is provided to ONS electronically, ONS can aggregate and disclose the data to The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government – saving local authorities time and money when providing this data manually

· Circular migration within the UK. This would be achieved through matching Council Tax data with other administrative data sets within ONS, which could enhance statistical evidence

Section 45A of the Statistics and Registration Services Act 2007 (as inserted by section 79 of the Digital Economy Act 2017). It permits any public authority to disclose to the Statistics Board, (ONS), any information they hold regarding their functions. This legal gateway enables ONS to work collaboratively with data suppliers including government and local authorities.

As such, the legal bases for sharing the Council Tax data with the ONS under the UK GDPR are:

· Article 6(1)(e) for the performance of our public task

· Article 9(2)(j) for statistical purposes in the public interest