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Departmental Databases

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what categories of personal information on members of the public are contained on each database that contains such data managed by his Department and its agencies; when each category of information was first collected; and if he will make a statement; (284894)

(2) what databases managed by his Department and its agencies hold personal information on members of the public; on what date each such database became operational; and if he will make a statement;

(3) which of the planned databases that will be managed by his Department or one of its agencies and which will hold personal information on members of the public are expected to become operational in each of the next five years; and if he will make a statement.

Detailed information pertaining to all databases holding personal information in both CLG and its Government Office network is not held centrally. Communities and Local Government holds a variety of databases, including some containing personal data of members of the public and other stakeholders: details of some of these can be accessed via the Department’s information asset register at:

http://www.communties.gov.uk/corporate/foi/cornmunities-lgps/asset-register/

These are required for the purposes of conducting its business and implementing its policy agenda. The personal data involved are mainly contact details for stakeholders who have been consulted on issues relating to departmental business and expressed a wish to be kept informed on policy developments, although some databases are more specialised. In the case of the majority of the databases the data collection is recent, and whenever new databases are set up steps are taken to ensure that they are compliant with the Data Protection Act.

New databases containing personal data are set up as and when policy development and implementation of policy dictate the operational need for them. It is not possible to plan or predict which areas of business or policy will require the setting up of a database up to five years ahead.