Is Data Protection Act registration necessary for local councils?

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Some people have been saying town and parish councils must register under the Data Protection Act (DPA), but is it really required?  Is a local council a not for profit organisation (one would certainly think so)?  If so, that relaxes the registration requirement considerably.

The exemption that provides for "past, existing or prospective members or those who have regular contact with the organisation" seems to cover most council activities, doesn't it?

And if that is not enough, things like "past, existing or prospective customers or suppliers" are permitted.  If people are registering, why?

asked by (27.1k points)
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1 Answer

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The simple answer is yes, the parish or town council has to register. The council is custodian to a large amount of data and should also include data such as the voters role etc (how else do you determine who may speak at the annual parish meeting?). The council has a duty to protect this data and to register that it holds data. The not for profit reason does not come into it! The council should also have a displayed publication scheme a sample for PC' & TC's is provided by the Information Commissioner.
answered by (360 points)

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