Financial Inclusion Team Privacy Notice

Who we are

We are a Local Authority established under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 and having its Headquarters at Newtown St Boswells, Melrose, TD6 0SA.

You can contact our Customer Advice & Support Service using our online form or by calling 0300 100 1800. Our Data Protection Officer can be contacted using the contact details for ourselves as set out above or by using the Information Team online form.

How we will use your information

The personal information we hold about you may be collected by :

  • Online form
  • Phone
  • Email
  • A member of our staff
  • One of our partners

We will use your information to give general benefit advice or advice when your benefit has been sanctioned, including assisting you to prepare a benefit appeal and representing you at an appeal hearing. We are entitled to collect and use this information in order to carry out the task of providing this service to you.  We may contact you by email to ask you for feedback on the service you received.

If you have opted in we may contact you to provide free financial advice. If you wish to opt out, you can contact advising you no longer wish to opt in to the service.

We collect personal data and special category data. Personal data is information which can be used to identify you such as your :

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance Number
  • Phone number
  • Email Address

Special category data may be used in connection with identifying your eligibility for benefits and includes information such as your medical/health information.

Who we may share your information with

Your information will be accessed by our staff who need to do so in order to provide the service as described above. We are legally obliged to safeguard public funds, so details will be checked internally for fraud prevention and verification purposes and may be shared with other public bodies for the same purpose.

We are legally obliged to share certain data with other public bodies such as

  • HMRC
  • Child Support Agency
  • Police Scotland
  • Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service
  • Public Services Ombudsman and will do so where the law requires this.

Your information may also be shared and analysed internally in order to provide management information, inform service delivery reform and similar purposes to meet our duty to achieve best value and continuous service improvement.

For the purpose of quality assurance and continuous improvement of the advice service provided by us, we may also share your case file with external auditors.

Where there is a requirement for translation & interpreting services we may share your data with any of the following as appropriate:

  • Language Line
  • Alpha Translating and Interpreting Services LTD
  • Scottish Borders Interpreter Agency
  • Contact Scotland – BSL o Royal Blind – Scottish Braille Press

In general the we do not transfer personal data outside either the UK or the European Economic Area (EEA) and on the rare occasions when it does so we will inform you. We will only transfer data outside the UK and the EEA when it is satisfied that the party which will handle the data and the country it is processing it in will provide adequate safeguards for personal privacy.

Decision Making

We do not use profiling or automated decision-making processes. Some processes are semi-automated (such as anti-fraud data matching) but a human decision maker will be involved before any decision is reached in relation to you.

Information you have given us about other people

If you have provided anyone else's details on this form, please make sure that you have told them that you have given their information to us. We will only use this information to contact those people to assess your own entitlement to this service. If they want any more information on how we will use their data they can go online or email us

How long do we keep your information for?

The information you have provided will be retained for seven years after your case has been closed.

Your Rights

You have the right to request access to any personal data held about you by us. You can also request that we restrict the use of your information or even object to any further processing. You can do this by contacting the Data Protection Officer using the contact details provided above. We will respond to your request within 30 calendar days.

Find out more information  on your rights or alternatively if you would like a hard copy of this information, please contact us using the contact details provided above.

How to raise a complaint

We aim to directly resolve all complaints about how we handle personal information. If your complaint is about how we have handled your personal information, you can make a complaint online or by telephone on 0300 100 1800.

However, you also have the right to lodge a complaint about data protection matters with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), who can be contacted by post to: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

You can contact the ICO by phone on 0303 123 1113 or online

If your complaint is not about a data protection matter you can find details on how to make a complaint.