§ Mr.Chris Smith
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what arrangements are made by local authorities in England for allowing individuals to have access to information held about them by housing departments which may affect their entitlement to housing; what guidance he has issued on this matter; whether he proposes to take any steps to encourage them to allow greater access to information held on automated and non-automated records; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Sir George Young
Under the tenants' charter provisions of the Housing Act 1980, applicants for secure tenancies of housing accommodation have the right to check, at reasonable times aim without charge, that the information they have given to their prospective housing authority about themselves and their families is correctly recorded. It is for authorities to make their own arrangements to provide this information. During the passage of the Housing and Building Control Bill the Government said that it supported the principle of secure tenants having greater access to information and would be consulting the relevant interests.
The Data Protection Bill will create a general entitlement to access by individuals to automated personal records held on them.