Privacy and cookies
How we use your information
The Register of Lobbying is maintained by the Standards in Public Office Commission (Standards Commission).
This privacy notice tells you what to expect when the Standards Commission collects personal information. It applies to information we collect about:
- visitors to our websites
- complainants and other individuals in relation to a data protection or freedom of information complaint or enquiry
- people who use our services, eg who subscribe to our newsletter or request a publication from us
Visitors to our websites
When someone visits www.lobbying.ie we collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. We collect this information in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website. We will not associate any data gathered from this site with any personally identifying information from any source. If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, we will be up front about this. We will make it clear when we collect personal information and will explain what we intend to do with it.
People who email us
The Standards Commission is part of the Government Services network. Any email sent to us, including any attachments, may be monitored and used by us for reasons of security and for monitoring compliance with office policy. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used. Please be aware that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email you send to us is within the bounds of the law.
People who make a complaint to us
When we receive a complaint from a person we make up a file containing the details of the complaint. This normally contains the identity of the complainant and any other individuals involved in the complaint.
We will only use the personal information we collect to process the complaint and to check on the level of service we provide. We do compile and publish statistics showing information like the number of complaints we receive, but not in a form which identifies anyone.
We usually have to disclose the complainant’s identity to whoever the complaint is about. This is inevitable where, for example, the accuracy of a person’s record is in dispute. If a complainant doesn’t want information identifying him or her to be disclosed, we will try to respect that. However, it may not be possible to handle a complaint on an anonymous basis.
We will keep personal information contained in complaint files in line with our retention policy. This means that information relating to a complaint will be retained for two years from closure. It will be retained in a secure environment and access to it will be restricted according to the ‘need to know’ principle.
Similarly, where enquiries are submitted to us we will only use the information supplied to us to deal with the enquiry and any subsequent issues and to check on the level of service we provide.
When we take enforcement action against someone, we may publish the identity of the defendant in our Annual Report or elsewhere. Usually we do not, identify any complainants unless the details have already been made public.
People who use Standards Commission services
The Standards Commission offers various services to the public. We use a third party to deal with some publication requests, but they are only allowed to use the information to send out the publications.
We have to hold the details of the people who have requested the service in order to provide it. However, we only use these details to provide the service the person has requested and for other closely related purposes. For example, we might use information about people who have requested a publication to carry out a survey to find out if they are happy with the level of service they received. When people do subscribe to our services, they can cancel their subscription at any time and are given an easy way of doing this.
Complaints or queries
Standards Commission tries to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information. For this reason, we take any complaints we receive about this very seriously. We encourage people to bring it to our attention if they think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate. We would also welcome any suggestions for improving our procedures.
This privacy notice was drafted with brevity and clarity in mind. It does not provide exhaustive detail of all aspects of Standards Commission’s collection and use of personal information. However, we are happy to provide any additional information or explanation needed. Any requests for this should be sent to the address below.
Access to personal information
Standards Commission tries to be as open as it can be in terms of giving people access to their personal information. Individuals can find out if we hold any personal information by making a ‘subject access request’ under the Data Protection Act 1998. If we do hold information about you we will:
- give you a description of it;
- tell you why we are holding it;
- tell you who it could be disclosed to; and
- let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.
To make a request to the Standards Commission for any personal information we may hold you need to put the request in writing addressing it to our Data Protection Officer, or writing to the address provided below.
If you agree, we will try to deal with your request informally, for example by providing you with the specific information you need over the telephone.
If we do hold information about you, you can ask us to correct any mistakes by, once again, contacting the Data Protection Officer.
Disclosure of personal information
In many circumstances we will not disclose personal data without consent. However when we investigate a complaint, for example, we will need to share personal information with the organisation concerned and with other relevant bodies.
Links to other websites
This privacy notice does not cover the links within this site linking to other websites. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit.
Changes to this privacy notice
We keep our privacy notice under regular review. This privacy notice was last updated on 30th April 2015
How to contact us
Standards in Public Office Commission
18 Lower Leeson Street
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