Purpose and lawful basis for processing

North Devon Council is always working to improve the way services are provided to our customers. In order to investigate and administer your complaint it is necessary for us to collect and hold personal information about you.

The lawful basis we rely on to process your personal data is article 6(1)(e) of the GDPR, which allows us to process personal data when this is necessary to perform our public tasks as a local authority.

If the information you provide us in relation to your complaint contains special category data, such as health, religious or ethnic information the lawful basis we rely on to process it is article 9(2)(g) of the GDPR, which also relates to our public task and the safeguarding of your fundamental rights. And Schedule 1 part 2(6) of the Data Protection Act 2018 which relates to statutory and government purposes.

What we need

We need information from you to investigate your complaint properly, so our complaint forms are designed to prompt you to give us everything we need to understand what’s happened.

When we receive a complaint from you, we’ll set up a case file. This normally includes your contact details and any other information you have given us about the other parties in your complaint.

We need this information to allow us to investigate your complaint and fulfil our public function as a local authority.

What we do with it

We will use your personal information to investigate your complaint and check on our level of service. We compile and publish statistics showing information like the number of complaints we receive, but not on a form that identifies anyone.

We will hold the information you provide to us securely and use it to help us to process your complaint. Your information will only be passed to officers within the relevant departments who are responsible for handling, investigating and responding to complaints. All information pertaining to complaints are administered and held on a central system which will be accessible by complaints management staff.

We will only share your information with internal departments and organisations that we are contracted with or who we need to share information with to deal with your complaint, for example the Local Government Ombudsman. If you don’t want information that identifies you to be shared with an external organisation we will try to respect that. However, it is not always possible to handle a complaint on an anonymous basis so we’ll contact you to discuss this. There may be certain circumstances where we would need to share your information for example; where we are required to do so by law, for safeguarding purposes or in risk of harm or emergency situations.

If you are acting on behalf of someone making a complaint, we’ll ask for information to satisfy us of your identity and, if relevant, ask for information to show you have authority to act on someone else’s behalf.

How long we keep it

For information about how long we hold personal data, see our Retention Schedule.

What are your rights?

We are acting pursuant to our public task to investigate your complaint about our services. You therefore have the right to object to our processing of your personal data. There are legitimate reasons why we may refuse your objection, which depend on why we are processing it. For more information on your rights see Your Rights.