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DATA-PROTECTION  2004

DATA-PROTECTION 2004

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Subject:

Re: Council Tax Debt Recovery

From:

"Broom, Doreen" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Broom, Doreen

Date:

Wed, 17 Nov 2004 11:58:26 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (106 lines)

***** This email was sent via the INTERNET *****

And remember to involve the Unions on any negotiations....we did and enclosed a letter in staff payslips notifying that no employee could have a debt and include on any future personnel application forms.
Doreen
Doreen Broom
Access to Information Officer
Scottish Borders Council
Tel: 01835 826516
Fax: 01835 825041

        -----Original Message-----
        From:   [log in to unmask] [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
        Sent:   16 November 2004 10:31
        To:     [log in to unmask]
        Subject:        Re: Council Tax Debt Recovery

        ***** This email was received from the INTERNET *****

        Yes, some do.  They cite the "public interest" argument and they have been
        advised by the ICO to include it in employee contracts.  If individuals are
        unaware of the process, it can still be seen as "unfair" despite the public
        interest justification.

        When staff are informed of the council's policy and they have any objections,
        they can raise these with auditors or the manager authorising the data
        matching.  Problems can arise where families are splitting or where the debt arises
        from one partner failing to pay and this is unknown by the person responsible
        for the debt.

        As the processing is unlikely to qualify for an exemption under s29, because
        it is really a fishing trip, the DPA Principles must be adhered to.  The
        matching will only identify the debtors, not aid recovery - the council must also
        have a policy on how it will recover the debt once the staff have been
        identified.  It would be easy to use other processes to aid the recovery process -
        such as deduction from salary - but this would probably be illegal, the proper
        court process should be used instead (attachment of earnings).  If the contract
        clause is in place, it might be seen as a disciplinary matter and the
        employee's continued employment could be at risk.

        Ian B


        Ian Buckland
        Managing Director
        Keep IT Legal Ltd

        Please Note: The information given above does not replace or negate the need
        for proper legal advice and/or representation. It is essential that you do not
        rely upon any advice given without contacting your solicitor.  If you need
        further explanation of any points raised please contact Keep I.T. Legal Ltd at
        the address below:

        55 Curbar Curve
        Inkersall, Chesterfield
        Derbyshire  S43 3HP
        (Reg 3822335)
        Tel: 01246 473999
        Fax: 01246 470742
        E-mail: [log in to unmask]
        Website: www.keepitlegal.co.uk

        --------
        In a message dated 16/11/04 10:01:46 GMT Standard Time,
        [log in to unmask] writes:


        > Am interested in list views and experiences on a Local Authority wanting
        > to data match it's employee payroll data  against that of its Council Tax
        > debtors, with the aim of recovering said debt.
        >
        > Do other local (billing) authorities do this?
        >
        > If so, under what powers / processes.



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* be the views held by Scottish Borders Council.                   *
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