Privacy notice

Introduction

This Privacy Notice (the “Notice”) provides you with information regarding the personal data about you which is held by the Standards in Public Office Commission in respect of its statutory functions under the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015.  

The Standards in Public Office Commission (or the ‘Commission` in this notice) fully respects your right to privacy.  Your personal data will be treated with the highest standards of security and confidentiality, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (“Data Protection Legislation”). 

This Notice uses certain terms which have a particular meaning under Data Protection Legislation. See the Definitions section of the Notice for an explanation or definition of the relevant terms.

 

Who we are

The Register of Lobbying is maintained by the Standards in Public Office Commission.

The Regulation of Lobbying Act provides that the Commission will be the Registrar of Lobbying and will establish an online Register of Lobbying. The Commission will oversee the implementation of the register, monitor compliance, provide guidance and assistance and where necessary investigate and pursue breaches of legal requirements in due course.

The Secretariat to the Commission is provided by the Office of the Ombudsman.

Shared services

Certain ‘in house’ services or facilities are jointly shared by the Ombudsman and the Office of the Information Commissioner, the Commissioner for Environmental Information, the Standards in Public Office Commission, the Commission for Public Service Appointments, and the Referendum Commission. These services include accommodation, finance, human resources, communications, legal and information technology (ICT).  The Commission and the Office of the Ombudsman is a joint controller in so far as personal data relating to such shared services is concerned.

We may be contacted at:

Office of the Ombudsman, incorporating the Ombudsman and the Office of the Information Commissioner, the Commissioner for Environmental Information, the Standards in Public Office Commission, the Commission for Public Service Appointments, and the Referendum Commission.

6 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2, DO2 W773. 

Telephone: (01) 639 5600. 

Email:  info@ombudsman.ie

Data Protection Officer

We have appointed a Data Protection Officer who can be contacted in relation to the details of the Notice.  The Data Protection Officer may be contacted at:

Email:  dataprotection@ombudsman.ie

Telephone: (01) 639 5760 

Postal Address: 6 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2, DO2 W773. 

The Data Protection Officer is designated for the Office of the Ombudsman, and has responsibility for data requests for the Office of the Ombudsman, the Office of the Information Commissioner, the Commissioner for Environmental Information, the Standards in Public Office Commission, the Commission for Public Service Appointments, and the Referendum Commission.

Your personal data and how we collect it

The personal data we hold and where it comes from will depend on the type of interaction you have with the Commission. 

A large amount of the personal data which we hold about you is provided by you in your phone calls, letters, emails or other communications with the Commission. 

We also hold your personal data where it has been provided by someone else or by someone on your behalf, known as third parties or representatives, respectively.  Further details on this are provided below.

People who contact us

We hold information (personal data) about people who contact the Commission. This personal data includes, for example, your name and contact details, details relating to the purpose of your contact and any other personal data which you provide. 

Registrants (including administrators of the account) and potential registrants

We hold information (personal data) about people who contact us to make an enquiry as to whether they are required to register as carrying out a lobbying activity and/or how to register. This personal data includes, for example, your name and contact details, details relating to your enquiry, your business or community activity, your registration details and your lobbying activity details.

If you are a registrant who has failed to comply with some aspect of your obligations under the Regulation of Lobbying Act then we may hold additional personal data about you such as financial information related to the payment of a Fixed Payment Notice. Sometimes you will send us additional personal data, including special categories of personal data, for the purposes of an application to delay publication or to hide information, or in order to explain something to us. 

Designated Public Officials

We maintain a list of Designated Public Officials which we harvest from the details publicly available on public bodies’ websites.

Third parties

Where personal data is about a person who did not make the complaint, we call that person a ‘third party’.  As a third party, your personal data can be contained in the records provided by the public service provider in relation to a complaint. Personal data about you, including special category person data, could also be contained in other documents which the Ombudsman receives, such as submissions, letters or emails.

Appeals Officers

We hold contact information for persons appointed as Appeals Officers by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in order to contact them if an appeal is received under one of the relevant provisions.  We also hold financial information required for payment of invoices.

Persons making a complaint or a report under section 10

We hold personal data about people who make a report under section 10(5) of the Act or a complaint of unrecorded lobbying activity. This personal data includes, for example, your name and contact details, details in relation to your enquiry or the purpose of your contact and any other personal data which you provide, which can include special category personal data.

Representatives

We hold personal data about representatives, including legal advisers, who act on behalf of people interacting with the Commission. This data includes your name, contact details and details relating to the representative capacity or relationship with the person on whose behalf you are acting. It also includes any other personal data which you provide.

Investigations

The Commission has the power to carry out investigations into possible contraventions of the Act.  In conducting an investigation, we could get personal data about you which is contained in records or submissions received by us from third parties such as Designated Public Officials.  As part of an investigation we get personal data from publicly available sources (such as public registers or information available on line).

The Commission also has the power to compel you to provide information and to produce documentation for the purposes of an investigation and this may include personal data of Registrants, their employees and others.  This information is used only for the purposes of the investigation and any subsequent prosecution.

Visitors to our website

When someone visits www.lobbying.ie we collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this for statistical purposes to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the lobbying website.

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.

Emailing our office 

We are part of Government Networks, which connects public service agencies on a data, voice and video capable network. Any email sent to us, including any attachments, may be monitored and processed by us for security purposes.  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.

Statutory requests to this office

We hold personal data about people who make statutory requests to the Commission, including for example, people who make a Freedom of Information (“FOI”) request, a under the AIE Regulations  or a data access request looking for records or information from the Commission, or an access request under Access to Information on the Environment(AIE) Regulations .  The personal data held includes your name and contact details and information relating to the statutory request you have made. 

A statutory request made to the Commission could also include personal data about someone other than the person making the request.  Whether they contain personal data and, if so, the type of personal data will depend on the request.  This information comes from the person making the request.

People on our Mailing List

We have a list of people we communicate with to inform them of publications, current developments and other matters of interest.  This contains your name, email address and/or contact details.

Staff of public bodies

We hold personal data about staff of public bodies in relation to their dealings with the Commission in the handling of Commission enquiries or in conjunction with the Commission’s outreach activities or as part of consultations with other public bodies.  The personal data includes the name, contact details, grade/role and information relating to the performance of their functions.  This personal data comes from the public body or from the individual.

The Commission maintains a list of contacts within public bodies responsible for maintaining the list of Designated Public Officials on their organisation’s website. This includes the name, role and contact details of the liaison/contact person.

Suppliers / service providers / other people in contact with the Commission

We hold personal data where there has been contact between you and the Commission in relation to various matters, including contact regarding the provision of goods or services or invitations to the Commission to make presentations, seminars, or attend conferences.  Personal data held includes your name, contact details and information relating to the goods or services, the seminar, conference etc.  The personal data is obtained from your interactions with us.

Visitors to our office

We ask all visitors to sign in and out at reception for security and safety reasons. Closed-circuit television (CCTV) operates in public areas of the building for security purposes.

We have Wi-Fi on site for the use of visitors. We provide the address and password. We record the device address and automatically allocate an IP address whilst on site. We log traffic information in the form of sites visited, duration and date sent/received. We don’t ask you to agree to terms, just to the fact that we have no responsibility or control over your use of the internet while you are on site, and we don’t ask you to provide any of your information to get this service.

Webinars & video conferences

When the Office hosts webinars or video conferences, it will require the name, contact number and email address of attendees to facilitate their attendance. Delegate lists will not be published by the Office but attendees' names may be visible to others during the event. We request that attendees use their work contact information where possible, to avoid the unnecessary collection of personal contact details. Similarly, attendees should avoid sharing personal data in any shared ‘chat’ facility as that data may be processed by the service provider. The Office may record webinars for information purposes. It will provide advance notification when an event is being recorded. Recorded events capture the image and audio of any presenters. Attendees may have the option of sharing their image and audio during the session. If they choose to do so, this will also be captured in the recording. Where events feature a moderated Q&A, attendees who choose to interact with the Q&A may have their comments published and viewed by others at the event and they will also form part of the recording. Attendees should ensure that they follow their own organisational policies and guidelines for video-conferencing, so they know what rules to follow and steps to take to minimise data protection risks. They should also familiarise themselves with the online service provider’s privacy policy to inform themselves as to how that provider processes personal data.

Others

We have described above all the main categories of people whose personal data we hold.  We can hold data about people who do not fall within these categories.  For example, from time to time we hold personal data about people attending meetings or events with the Office.  We confirm that all personal data is treated with the highest standards of security and confidentiality, in accordance with the Data Protection legislation. 

What we use your data for and the legal basis

Functions under the Regulation of Lobbying Act

We use your personal data in the course of carrying out the Commission’s functions under the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015, related primarily to maintaining the Register of lobbying activity.

In legal terms, our use of personal data is:

  • necessary for the performance by the Commission of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the Commission
  • necessary for reasons of substantial public interest, on the basis of the Data Protection legislation which is proportionate, respects the essence of the right to data protection and provides suitable and specific measures to safeguard your fundamental rights and interests.

General administration & compliance with legal obligations

We also hold information about you for the purpose of responding to statutory requests made to the Office (such as access requests under the FOI Act 2014, Data Protection legislation, and the Access to Information on the Environment Regulations).  Doing this is necessary for compliance with the Office’s legal obligations. 

We use the mailing list of people we communicate with in order to inform them of publications, current developments and other matters of interest.  We will send you such communications if you consent to us doing so.  If you wish to be removed from this list, please let us know and we will remove you from the list without delay.

We also compile and publish statistics showing information like the number of reviews we receive, but not in a form which identifies anyone.

Who we share your information with

As a registrant your information is available on the public Register.

We share personal data with: Designated Public Officials; Appeals Officers; previous and potential employers of Designated Public Officials; legal representatives of the Office.

We share information with service providers who maintain technical aspects of the Register; payment service providers, who provide the SMS service; who manage the Fixed Payment Notification facility and who provide translation services.

In processing payment of Fixed Payment Notices to this Office, your personal data in relation to such payments is shared with a service provider whose Headquarters is outside of the European Union.

On occasion, where necessary, we share your information with service providers, including, for example, translators.  The transfer will be done within the requirements of the Data Protection Legislation.

Shared services

The Standards in Public Office Commission shares resources with the Office of the Ombudsman, the Office of the Information Commissioner, the Commissioner for Environmental Information, the Commission for Public Service Appointments, and the Referendum Commission.  These services include accommodation, finance, human resources, communications, legal and information technology (ICT). 

Due to the shared ICT resource, a limited amount of your personal data (your contact details only) can be processed by the other bodies listed above. 

Processing outside the European Economic Area (EEA)

The Commission will not ordinarily transfer personal data outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) or third countries with an adequacy decision unless, for example, we are corresponding with a customer or person related to an enquiry or complaint who resides overseas. In the event that this position changes, the Commission will comply with its obligations under Article 46 of GDPR by adopting one of the appropriate measures approved by the Data Protection Commission and the European Commission to ensure that such transfers are lawful.

How long we keep your personal data

The personal information you have provided will be processed by the Commission for the purposes outlined in the Notice and will be kept according to our retention policy, which can be found on our website.  The retention policy sets out the time periods for how long information is kept by the Commission for different purposes, and as a result of our legal requirements. The length of time we hold your personal data for will depend on the type of document or record which contains the personal data.

Your data protection rights

You have certain rights under Data Protection Legislation.  Your rights are:

Your right of access

You have the right to ask us for copies of your personal information. This right always applies. There are some exemptions, which means you may not always receive all the information we process.

Your right to rectification

You have the right to ask us to rectify information you think is inaccurate. You also have the right to ask us to complete information you think is incomplete.

Your right to erasure

You have the right to ask us to erase your personal information in certain circumstances.

Your right to restriction of processing

You have the right to ask us to restrict the processing of your information in certain circumstances.

Your right to object to processing

You have the right to object to processing of your personal data under certain circumstances. If your personal data is held by us on the basis of your consent, you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time.

Your right to data portability

You have the right to request that personal data be given to you or another person in a transferable or machine readable form.

Your right to object to automated decision making

You have the right to object to automated individual decision making (i.e. making a decision solely by automated means without any human involvement) and profiling (i.e. automated processing of personal data to evaluate certain things about an individual). The Commission does not make any decisions using wholly automated means.

Please note the above rights arise in certain circumstances and are subject to certain exemptions. Please note this may restrict the scope of your rights. In particular:   

  • your rights may be limited by the legal requirements in the Data Protection Act 2018,
  • where we are using your data to carry out our statutory functions, because there are strong public interest reasons for us to process personal information in order to carry out our functions,
  • your data protection rights may be restricted by the rights and freedoms of third parties,
  • we have another legal requirement to use your personal information in a particular way.

If we cannot comply with your request, we will let you know why this is the case.

 

If you would like to exercise any of your rights, please contact the Data Protection Officer:

Email:  dataprotection@ombudsman.ie

Telephone: (01) 639 5760 

Postal Address: 6 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2, DO2 W773. 

Your right to complain

We try to meet the highest standards when collecting and processing personal information. If you have a query or complaint about the use of your personal information by the Commission, the Data Protection Officer is available to assist you in the first instance.

You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Data Protection Commission.  The Data Protection Commission can be contacted at:

Website: www.dataprotection.ie

Email:  info@dataprotection.ie

Telephone:  (0761) 104 800; Lo-Call 1890 25 22 31. 

Postal Address: 21 Fitzwilliam Square South, Dublin 2, D02 RD28. 

 

Requirements to provide personal data and possible consequences of failure to provide

It is a statutory requirement for persons subject to the Acts the Commission administers to provide personal data. Failure to comply with the statutory obligations set out in the Acts may be an offence and liable to prosecution.

The Commission has power in certain circumstances to direct the provision of information under the Regulation of Lobbying Act. Where this power is exercised and a person fails to comply with the direction then that person may be guilty of an offence and liable to prosecution.

The Commission also has the power in certain circumstances to direct discovery of documents in accordance with the Rules of the High Court

Further information

This Notice is does not provide exhaustive detail of all aspects of the Commission’s collection and use of personal information. However, we are happy to provide any additional information or explanation needed. Please feel free to contact us.  Please note the Notice may be updated from time to time. 

Use of cookies

We use a cookies tool on our website to gain consent for the optional cookies we use. Cookies that are necessary for functionality, security and accessibility are set, and are not deleted by the tool. You can read more about how we use cookies, and how to change your cookies preferences, on our Cookies page

Definitions

Consent of the data subject means any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject's wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her.

Controller means the natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data; where the purposes and means of such processing are determined by Union or Member State law, the controller or the specific criteria for its nomination may be provided for by Union or Member State law.

Data Protection Act 2018  Amongst other things, this Act gives further effect  to the GDPR (see below) in areas where Member State flexibility is permitted.  The Act is available online.

Data Protection Officer  GDPR requires some organisations to designate a Data Protection Officer (DPO).  Article 39 of the GDPR states that the data protection officer “shall have at least the following tasks:

  1. to inform and advise the controller or the processor and the employees who carry out processing of their obligations pursuant to this Regulation and to other Union or Member State data protection provisions;
  2. to monitor compliance with this Regulation, with other Union or Member State data protection provisions and with the policies of the controller or processor in relation to the protection of personal data, including the assignment of responsibilities, awareness-raising and training of staff involved in processing operations, and the related audits;
  3. to provide advice where requested as regards the data protection impact assessment and monitor its performance pursuant to Article 35;
  4. to cooperate with the supervisory authority;
  5. to act as the contact point for the supervisory authority on issues relating to processing, including the prior consultation referred to in Article 36, and to consult, where appropriate, with regard to any other matter.”

Data Subject means the identified or identifiable natural person to whom the personal data relates – see also the definition of personal data below.

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) is an EU Regulation relating to data protection which came into force on 25 May 2018.  The Regulation is available online.

Joint Controller.  Where two or more controllers (see above) jointly determine the purposes and means of processing, they are joint controllers.

Personal Data means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject ’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.

Processing means any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction.

Special Categories of Personal Data means personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, genetic data, biometric data, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person's sex life or sexual orientation.

 

Created: May 2018         
Modified: October 2019
Modified: November 2020