PARCS complaints procedures

When we receive a complaint from a person we will 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 four 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.

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.