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Departmental Data Protection

Volume 471: debated on Tuesday 29 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the statement of 17 December 2007, on data loss, what personal data for which her Department is responsible are (a) stored and (b) processed overseas; and if she will make a statement. (175768)

[holding answer 7 January 2008]: The Department for Transport includes its seven agencies, a shared service centre and the central Department. The only business unit within the Department that is responsible for significant amounts of personal information that is stored and/or processed overseas is the Driving Standards Agency.

The Driving Standards Agency has a contract with Pearson Driving Assessments Ltd. for the delivery of the driving theory test. Pursuant to this contract, the following data on candidates sitting their test are stored and processed in the United States:

Title; First name; Surname; Address; Postcode; Alternative postal address (if required); Phone number (optional); e-mail (optional); Date of birth; Gender; Specific card details that enable payment to be taken i.e. expiry date, card number, name, issue number; Date of test; Location of test; Test Score; Response to each multiple choice question; Response to each hazard perception test clip; Test category taken; Test pass/fail; Pass certificate number (if applicable); Special accommodation arranged i.e. voice over language, reader recorder,; British sign language/signer, translator (if required); Survey responses (optional); and Ethnic group (optional).

The Vehicle Certification Agency has offices in US, Japan, Malaysia, India and China. These offices keep small volumes of personal information of its UK Civil Servants based overseas, locally employed staff and contractors. The total number of individuals included is less that 100, five of which are VCA UK civil servants.

The central Department has a contract with Penna plc for the storage and processing of data relating to the performance management of DFT staff. These data are stored and processed in the United States. The information held includes employee name, team, e-mail address, gender, employee ID, pay band and responses to assessment questions. Approximately 8,800 records relating to civil servants are currently stored.