Correspondence between elected members and local authorities
Councillors are to undergo training on their obligations under new data protection regulation due to the “large volume of correspondence” between the Council and elected members on behalf of constituents.
A letter from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government regarding the “training needs of elected members” was sent to Kilkenny County Council in the wake of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation which came into force on May 25 of this year.
This provided a new legal framework governing the way personal data is gathered, stored and used which “raises the bar for data protection”, the missive stated.
The regulation gives data individuals more control, data controllers are more accountable, data processing is more transparent and it reduces data security vulnerabilities.
The Department’s letter said: “It is recognised that there is a large volume of correspondence that is exchanged between elected members and their local authorities in relation to elected members carrying out their public representational role.
“It is important that elected members are aware of their own obligations under the GDPR framework as well as the obligations of Council employees with whom they are interacting with the shared goal of providing essential public services.”
The Department asked the Council to facilitate elected members in attending any appropriate “in-house GDPR training courses” that may be organised to address employee training needs and the local representatives involvement in these courses would be encouraged.