Information charter This charter sets out the standards you can expect when we ask for, or hold, your personal information. We collect data to: • Ensure the advice we give you is correct. • To retrieve your information if you need another service. • To provide anonymous statistics to our stakeholders. • To share with...

Our Information Charter and Client Agreement

Information charter
This charter sets out the standards you can expect when we ask for, or hold, your personal information.
We collect data to:
• Ensure the advice we give you is correct.
• To retrieve your information if you need another service.
• To provide anonymous statistics to our stakeholders.
• To share with our partners who provide services to you.

When we ask you for personal information, we promise to:
• Make sure you know why we need it.
• Ask only for what we need.
• Not collect too much or irrelevant information.
• Protect it and make sure nobody has access to it who should not.

We adhere to the following codes of practice:
• We abide by the law including the Data Protection Act of 1998 when handling personal information.
• We ensure that if your information is shared with another organisation, this is only done with your permission.
• We follow the Information Commissioner’s Office’s ‘Data Sharing Code of Practice’ when we share information to ensure the other organisation treats your information with the same level of care as Citizens Advice.
• Citizens Advice does not sell personal information about our clients, staff or volunteers to commercial organisations.
• We provide training to staff who handle personal information and respond appropriately if personal information is not used or protected properly.

Access to personal information

You can find out if we hold any personal information about you by making a ‘subject access request’ under the Data Protection Act. 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.
• Let you have a copy of the information.

We handle all information in a manner that respects the rights of individuals and which complies with the requirements of the Data Protection Act.

To request any of your personal information held by the bureau please email or write to us.

If you are unhappy with how we hold your data please speak to the manager of your bureau and/or follow the complaints procedure (see: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/aboutus/complaints_policy/complaints_procedure.htm or ask at reception for more information).

 

Client agreement

We will provide you with:

  • Confidential advice. The written records kept of your interview(s) are for Citizens Advice only. We will not tell anyone about your case and will not pass on anything from our records (which are, however, subject to supervision and quality control) to anyone outside the Citizens Advice service without your permission. You can inspect these records at any time and have a copy of them.
  • Follow-up work, as agreed between your adviser and yourself. This may include negotiating by letter or phone on your behalf with other bodies. Unless we have specific instructions from you, we shall discuss any offer with you before accepting it. We are unable to offer representation at tribunals or court.
  • A complaints procedure, if you are not satisfied with the service we have provided. If you wish to complain, please ask for the leaflet on how to do so.

We cannot guarantee to take on all our clients’ cases.  We have limited resources and funding to assist with direct negotiation with creditors and will ask you to undertake what you are able to do as part of the advice process.  We have limited resources and funding to help prepare cases for Tribunal or Court and we will always let you know if we do not have the level of technical skills or experience to be able to assist you.

We support people applying for a Debt Relief Order but it is important that you are able to comply with the requirements to help us to do this otherwise we will not be able to present your application.

We may also have to stop advising you if we consider little likelihood of further progress or further benefit, or if you fail to comply with what we expect of you (see over).

 

In return, we expect you:

  •  To keep to any pre-arranged appointments you have made with us (or let us know in advance if you can’t).
  • To inform us of any changes in your circumstances (such as change of address, birth of a child, additional income etc) which may be relevant to your case.
  • To bring in all the papers relevant to your case which your adviser asks for. This includes notification of court/tribunal dates etc.
  • Not to negotiate on your own behalf without discussing it first with your adviser.
  • Not to turn down an offer from the other party which your adviser considers reasonable in the circumstances in order to have a tribunal or court hearing.
  • To provide written evidence of your income, debts or other financial matters where appropriate. Your adviser will let you know what is needed.
  • To follow our advice – unless you and your adviser agree you should do something different.
  • To be honest with us –  by telling us about all your debts and income or what led up to your being asked to leave your employment.
  • To always treat our staff and volunteers with courtesy and respect.

If we are helping you present your case to Court or Tribunal and you fail to keep to these undertakings, Citizens Advice may decide it is no longer able to support you.

You should also remember that if a tribunal or court considers that you have pursued your case in an unreasonable way or without any real chance of success, or you have failed (without good reason) to meet its deadlines, it can make you pay the other side’s costs.

 

 

 

 

September 2016