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Privacy Notice for the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

This privacy notice sets out how the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards will collect, store and process your personal data.

About Us

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards is independent and will not share your data with other parts of the House of Commons, except with your consent or as set out in this notice.

References to ‘us', ‘our' or ‘we' are to the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

The Corporate Officer (Clerk of the House) is the Controller for any personal data processed as described in this Privacy Notice.

The Data Protection Officer is the House of Commons Head of Information Rights and Information Security - contact details can be found at the end of this notice.

Collection of your personal data

When you contact us, visit us, access or use our services either online, by post, in person or by other means, or otherwise engage with our Parliamentary work, we may collect, store and use your personal data. We may also receive personal data about you from other people.

The personal data we collect and process may include:

  • name, address, phone number, email address, other personal contact details
  • photographs, video or audio recordings and images, including CCTV footage
  • proof of identity
  • personal data that you share when you contact us by letter, email, phone or other means.

We may also collect special category data including data on race and political opinions.

Use of your personal data

We process your personal data so we can:

  • make sure that the House of Commons functions properly
  • investigate complaints into MPs
  • maintain the Registers
  • explain and promote the work of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

The reason we collect personal data, also known as the lawful basis, defines the purpose for processing information.

These bases include:

  • where it is necessary for the performance of our public task or is in the public interest (GDPR Article 6 (1) (e))
  • where we have your consent to do so (GDPR Article 6 (1) (a))
  • where necessary to fulfil a legal obligation (GDPR Article 6 (1) (c)), such as collecting information about donors to MPs.

The Investigation of Complaints

We collect data to investigate complaints about MPs. The personal data we collect and process may include:

  • name, address, phone number, email address, other personal contact details
  • photographs, video or audio recordings and images, including CCTV footage
  • proof of identity
  • personal data that you share when you contact us by letter, email, phone or other means
  • special category data including data on politics, see section below.

We may also on occasion share personal data with:

  • the Committee on Standards and its staff
  • staff or investigators at the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme
  • the House of Lords Commissioner
  • an MP who is the subject of a complaint (so they know the name of an individual who has made a complaint against them)
  • a witness or potential witness in an investigation
  • the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
  • the Electoral Commission
  • Parliamentary authorities, including the Pass Office (where this is relevant to a suspected breach of the rules)
  • the Parliamentary Health and Wellbeing Service.

The Registers

Registers include: Register of Members' Financial Interests, Register of Interests of Members' Secretaries and Research Assistants and Register of Journalists' Interests

We collect data to maintain the Registers which are published online at regular intervals. The personal data we collect and process may include:

  • name, address, phone number, email address, other personal contact details and proof of identity
  • personal data that you share when you contact us by letter, email, phone or other means
  • special category data including data on politics, see section below
  • personal data about individuals who have donated to you, paid you, or given you benefits, which is published in the Registers
  • for MPs, personal data about family members, where the House's rules require this to be published in the Registers.

We also collect data related to the Register of All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPG).

The personal data we collect and process may include:

  • name, address, phone number, email address, other personal contact details and proof of identity for any individual who provides support or benefits for an All-Party Parliamentary Group.

Note: Each APPG will have a data controller who takes responsibility for the use of personal data by that group.

We may also on occasion share personal data with:

  • the Electoral Commission (names and addresses of individual donors are shared with the Commission so that they can confirm permissibility)
  • Parliamentary authorities, including the Pass Office, where this is relevant to a suspected breach of the rules
  • the parliamentarian who sponsored your pass, if you appear on the Register of Interests of Members' Secretaries and Research Assistants, or the Register of All-Party Parliamentary Groups
  • we may also share your data when there is a legal requirement to do so, for example with the police or other law enforcement organisations for security purposes.

How we collect your data

Most of the personal information we process is provided to us directly by you for one of the following reasons:

  • you have corresponded with the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards or taken part in its work e.g. by making a complaint or submitting evidence
  • you have requested a publication from us
  • you have provided feedback
  • you have submitted data for one of the Registers which the House requires.

We may also receive personal data about you from other people, eg as a complainant or potential witness in an investigation or inquiry into a complaint or concerning an entry in the Register of Members' Financial Interests.

Special categories of personal data

A further lawful basis is required when processing special categories of personal data as these require greater protection.

Special categories include:

  • racial or ethnic origin
  • political opinions
  • religious or philosophical beliefs
  • trade union membership
  • genetic and biometric data
  • health data
  • sex life or sexual orientation.

We may process special categories of personal data where it is relevant to an investigation. The law will differ depending on the circumstances but might include processing where we have your explicit consent or where it is necessary for substantial public interest.

Storage and security of your personal data

We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know.

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.

The House of Commons will retain your personal data for as long as is necessary for the purpose it was collected. Retention periods can be found in the Houses of Parliament Authorised Records Disposal Practice (ARDP).

Your rights

You have certain rights over the personal data you provide to us. We will ensure you can exercise these.

The following scenarios explain these rights in more detail:

  • where we are relying on your consent to use your personal data, you can withdraw that consent by unsubscribing from our services or writing to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
  • you can request access to the personal data we hold about you or ask for certain data in a machine-readable format by contacting the Data Protection Officer
  • you can ask us to update your personal data if it changes
  • in certain circumstances, you can request we erase the personal data we hold, or ask us to stop or restrict processing if you have an objection
  • if you have any concerns relating to the use of your personal data, you may complain to the Data Protection Officer.

Full details on your rights are available from the regulator, the Information Commissioner's Office (www.ico.org.uk).

Right to complain

If you are unhappy with the processing of your personal data by the House of Commons, you should contact the Data Protection Officer.

Email: IRIS@parliament.uk

Telephone: 0207 219 4296

Post: IRIS, House of Commons, SW1A 0AA

You also have the right to complain to the supervisory authority, the Information Commissioners Office (ICO).

Post: ICO, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Web: www.ico.org.uk

Last updated 28 May 2020