Getting ready for GDPR

Emma Sims

Data protection law reform is coming with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) taking effect from 25th May 2018.

Why does it matter?

Data protection legislation places a duty on organisations to be fair, transparent and accountable, and ensure all data they handle or store is up-to-date. It covers everyone about whom you keep personal data. Personal data in this regards refers to any information which could identify or relates to an individual. This might include information you hold on your employees, volunteers, members, supporters and other contacts.

The legislation:

  • Requires organisations to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office, unless you are exempt.
  • Governs the processing of personal data including ‘personal sensitive data’.
  • Requires organisations to comply with eight data protection principles.
  • Allows employees, service users and other contacts to request to see the personal data held on them.

Every organisation should have written policy and procedure that is specific to their context about how they handle personal data and enact privacy principles.

How can you prepare?

It’s important you make sure your organisation is, in the first instance, fully compliant with the Data Protection Act 1998, and then work towards compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations which will replace the Act on 25th May 2018.

There are financial and reputational risks associated with failure to comply with GDPR, so it’s important to make sure your organisation, in particular your Directors or Trustees, are aware of the changes in the law and support you in your work to compliance.

There are lots of helpful resources and guides available to organisations from the Information Commissioner’s Office website as well as specifically for charities on NCVO in order to help you prepare for GDPR. So instead of us attempting to become experts on Data Protection, here are our top 10 articles and resources from the experts for our members:

  1. A Guide to Data Protection, Information Commissioner’s Office: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/
  2. A Guide to GDPR, Information Commissioner’s Office: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr
  3. An overview of Data Protection for charities including a recorded webinar, NCVO: https://www.ncvo.org.uk/practical-support/information/data-protection
  4. Data Protection Self-Assessment Toolkit, Information Commissioner’s Office: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/resources-and-support/data-protection-self-assessment/
  5. GDPR Frequently Asked Questions, Information Commissioner’s Office: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/business/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr-faqs/
  6. Find out if you are exempt from registering with the ICO, Information Commissioner’s Office: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/register/self-assessment/
  7. Preparing for GDPR- 12 Steps to Take Now, Information Commissioner’s Office: https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1624219/preparing-for-the-gdpr-12-steps.pdf
  8. 12-point plan to preparing for GDPR for charities, NCVO: https://knowhownonprofit.org/how-to/how-to-prepare-for-gdpr-and-data-protection-reform
  9. Guidance on writing a Data Protection Policy (for charities), NCVO [only available to NCVO members]: https://knowhownonprofit.org/tools-resources/hr-policies/data-protection AND/OR GDPR Compliant Policy, Bates Wells Braithwaite: https://getlegal.bwbllp.com/products/gdpr-friendly-data-protection-policy
  10. Telephone Advice Service for small organisations, Information Commissioner’s Office: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/advice-service-for-small-organisations/

We are busy at CTA ensuring that our organisation is also compliant with GDPR by May and we are specifically consulting the Information Commissioner’s Office for further advice on organisations delivering MiDAS training through CTA. We will be in touch with these organisations in the New Year.

If you have any questions on the General Data Protection Regulations or Data Protection more generally, please take advantage of the Information Commissioner’s Office’s Advice Service Helpline by phoning 0303 123 1113 and selecting option to be diverted to staff who can offer support on Data Protection.

For information on accessible versions of the helpline, or to access the service in Welsh please see here: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/helpline/.

Community Transport Christmas: One Community

Community transport works across the Christmas period, even on Christmas day, to provide those who would otherwise be alone with access to family, friendship, company and independence over the holidays. This December, we’re going to be sharing the stories of our members who go above and beyond at Christmas. 

Keep checking back on our main Community Transport Christmas page for all our stories so far.

Kylie Barton, One Community 

Community transport is the heart of One Community, linking the vulnerable and elderly to their community and the services that society has on offer for them. Every day our busses go out right across the Borough to help people get from A to B who wouldn’t be able to get out and about otherwise. What is more astounding than that however, is that those very passengers are always the first to give back – moreover; they love to do it!

Every year, passengers of One Community Transport are the single biggest group to donate a whole range of goods for our Young Carers project at Christmas time. Project staff, families, and the children themselves are constantly overwhelmed year on year at the generosity and thoughtfulness of this group of people, who themselves are also in need. This year passengers have donated 5 huge moving boxes, and countless carrier bags worth of toiletries, candles, chocolates, treats, and other edible delights for the team to make up special Christmas hampers for the families attending the annual Young Carers Christmas Party, this year to be held at Pavilion on the Park in Eastleigh.

The initiative which is led by One Community Transport driver Debbie Moore, started back in 2014. It started with a request for selection boxes to hand out to all of the Young Carers and their siblings at the Christmas celebrations, which was a resounding success with over 200 selection boxes donated in 2015. This year, the team tried to do something different by expanding the remit, and the transport passengers were super excited to get shopping! Manager of the Family Carers Service, Joanne Miles said:

“Each year we think they couldn’t possibly outdo themselves, and every year they do! The spirit of these wonderful people is what Christmas is all about – sharing what you have even if what you have isn’t a lot. The whole thing from start to finish perfectly encompasses what community, and One Community is about, and it really does have such a positive impact on all of the families we work with. For so many of our families Christmas is a tricky time, what with the children off school and the stresses that brings when there is a cared for person in the home, a little time out and a treat makes all the difference. And the passengers of One Community Transport help us make that a reality every year”.

The spirit of Christmas doesn’t end there for Debbie either, as this year she is volunteering her time on the big day itself to run the bus to get vulnerable and isolated people to the Salvation Army Christmas dinner. Without her, these people would face the holiday season alone, but with the help of Community transport and one very dedicated, kind-hearted driver they will enjoy a hot meal and some great company with those in a similar situation.

So you see, Community Transport is really the gift that keeps on giving in both directions – to the passengers, and from them. It is important to recognise such generosity and positivity in times of adversity, and it is also good to highlight that the true spirit of Christmas is very much alive and well.

 

Community Transport Christmas: Green Community Travel

Community transport works across the Christmas period, even on Christmas day, to provide those who would otherwise be alone with access to family, friendship, company and independence over the holidays. This December, we’re going to be sharing the stories of our members who go above and beyond at Christmas. 

Keep checking back on our main Community Transport Christmas page for all our stories so far.

Jenny Bright, Green Community Travel

We had a passenger who didn’t have any family living locally to him so when his spouse was admitted to hospital it was very difficult for him to visit her.

I know we all think about getting older, but I can’t imagine how difficult it must be after spending every day with someone for 50+ years then having to find ways to see them or not being sure if you can see them!

The gentleman was getting anxious as Christmas was approaching since it would have been the only Christmas they’d spend apart since they met! I mentioned to one of our volunteers, Stuart, that it must be terrible not to see your spouse on Christmas day to which Stuart replied ‘well I can take him, I don’t mind at all! What time would be best for him?’

So, on Christmas morning, Stuart took this gentleman to visit his wife for a couple of hours. I know medical appointments are so important, but not all hospital visits are for an appointment, and this was an incredibly valuable visit.

People’s generosity never ceases to amaze me in this line of work, but I have to say hats off to Stuart for always going the extra mile and for offering to make a couple’s Christmas happier than it might have otherwise been.

Community Transport Christmas: North Coast Community Transport

Community transport works across the Christmas period, even on Christmas day, to provide those who would otherwise be alone with access to family, friendship, company and independence over the holidays. This December, we’re going to be sharing the stories of our members who go above and beyond at Christmas. 

Keep checking back on our main Community Transport Christmas page for all our stories so far.

Emma Mullan, North Coast Community Transport

At this time of year, where it is most often taken for granted that everyone has a family to spend time with or that each household has the money to prepare a delicious Christmas dinner, one of our group members The Causeway Coast Vinyard understand that this is not always the case.  This group provides a place for free dinners to be distributed to anyone needing one regardless of their religion, age, sex or race and we at North Coast Community Transport assist in their generosity by providing the free minibus transport to bring these individuals to this venue.  We appreciate the kind and selfless deed they offer at Christmas and enjoy rewarding that in whichever way possible.

I would also like to tell you a story about two members belonging to North Coast Community Transport whom I have most recently learned spend not only Christmas, but their whole year round working tirelessly to prepare backpacks for the children in Malawi and various deprived areas of the world.  These backpacks could be the only gift these children receive and contain basic learning tools such as a pencil, notebook and also other basic need items such as spoon and soap.  These ladies spend hours of their day, dedicating their time to help the most needy in our world and we are very proud to be associated with them.

Community Transport Christmas, CHEXS

Community transport works across the Christmas period, even on Christmas day, to provide those who would otherwise be alone with access to family, friendship, company and independence over the holidays. This December, we’re going to be sharing the stories of our members who go above and beyond at Christmas. 

Keep checking back on our main Community Transport Christmas page for all our stories so far.

Julie Cottenden, CHEXS:

On Tuesday, 5th December, Goffs Academy hosted the CHEXS annual Christmas Senior Citizens meal where CHEXS provide funding and coordination of the care homes and the staff and students organise the whole event. What a great job they did with everyone being able to take part in all of the activities and every dietary need catered for. Eighty senior citizens from Cheshunt and Waltham Cross independent living and care homes along with some other elderly who are isolated due to life circumstances joined the Goffs Academy community and the CHEXS team to enjoy a fun filled festive evening.

20171205_190232

CHEXs and Goffs staff collected the elderly in minibuses and the 6th formers welcomed the elderly to the seasonally decorated hall, helping them to their seats accompanied by students playing the piano. The Goffs singing club run by Tamara, a 6th former, then sang Christmas carols to them followed by the dance group putting on a short but energetic display. Then younger students came to sit with the visitors for a short conversation to exchange festive stories and to bridge the gap between the ages. They all sat happily chatting away.

The 6th formers then served up the Christmas meal that was superbly cooked by Goffs chef and school kitchen staff. The meal of roast turkey with all trimmings, Christmas pudding and custard, mince pies, tea, coffee and after dinner mints was absolutely delicious which everybody loved!

After the meal bingo was played, a raffle with loads of prizes was held and the evening was rounded off with everybody getting up on the dance floor, dancing to Christmas favourites.  At the end of the evening, as the senior citizens left, they were given gingerbread biscuits cooked by the students to take home. Everyone, young and old, had a great time building friendships and having fun!

 

Community Transport Christmas: Access Plymouth

Community transport works across the Christmas period, even on Christmas day, to provide those who would otherwise be alone with access to family, friendship, company and independence over the holidays. This December, we’re going to be sharing the stories of our members who go above and beyond at Christmas. 

Keep checking back on our main Community Transport Christmas page for all our stories so far.

Lesley Hargreaves, Access Plymouth

We at Access Plymouth are very busy in the run up to Christmas, taking people to Christmas parties, social gatherings, and of course shopping! P1030898.JPG

On Monday 11th December our fleet of busses bought our customers to our Annual Christmas Coffee morning where we hold our Grand Christmas Draw.  Our Customers are very generous and really enjoy contributing to the prize table, from hampers to gift vouchers and scrummy tins of biscuits!

The Coffee morning is a really lovely and festive event, and we are aware that for many people this is the closest they will get to a Christmas Day celebration. We will be offering a couple of late night shopping dates for our Scooter users, some of whom come in on our transport, and the overall ambience is already very festive!

Community Transport Christmas: SEDCAT

Community transport works across the Christmas period, even on Christmas day, to provide those who would otherwise be alone with access to family, friendship, company and independence over the holidays. This December, we’re going to be sharing the stories of our members who go above and beyond at Christmas. 

Keep checking back on our main Community Transport Christmas page for all our stories so far.

Sue Leighton, SEDCAT

Every year we organise a Xmas outing for our members where they can get together, have a 3 course Xmas meal and of course door to door transport provided by our cheerful drivers who dress up as Santa and his Elves and hand out small gifts!SEDCAT 6.JPG

It has become increasingly popular and it is great to see how much the members value and enjoy it; we usually have 3 full buses and numbers of people wanting to join in seem to increase year on year. We introduced another Xmas event 2 years ago, touring around the Xmas lights in Bournemouth in the early evening and ending up with refreshments and mince pies at a local hotel.  Our members are looking forward to both events again this year.

SEDCAT also helps the local churches transport homeless people on Xmas day to a venue where they can have a traditional Xmas meal. The driver is given details of the general location where a person may be sheltering and it has saddened us to hear of people sheltering in bushes and other ‘open’ spaces in the cold weather. It has taken a great deal of sensitivity on the driver’s part to coax people onto the bus so that they can have a hot meal and something warm to drink and allowed them to store their few belongings on the bus in safety.

 

Transport Select Committee publish Community Transport Report

bill-blog-banner

Transport Select Committee Report -‘the Department must not use a sledgehammer to crack a nut’

Following the submission of nearly 300 pieces of evidence and two oral evidence sessions the Transport Select Committee has today published its report on Community Transport

In its report today, The Transport Select Committee has published its findings and recommendations on community transport and the Department for Transport’s proposed consultation.   The report is definitive in stating that community transport is invaluable to our communities, that it should be protected, and importantly that there is no evidence of widespread permit abuse, or that community transport operators are any less safe than commercial operators.

As we await the impending consultation from the Department for Transport it’s important that the Department reflect on its scope, and as the Committee state they ‘must not use a sledgehammer to crack a nut.’

Since the DFT letter of 31 July 2017, and in our evidence to the Transport Select Committee, we have time and again warned that the impact of these changes will go way beyond larger operators and challenged the view that most CTOs will be unaffected.  In particular, from speaking to and advising our members and reading their submissions to the Committee it is clear that these proposed changes are not only a threat to community transport operations, but a threat to the well-being of their service users; a view which the Committee has validated.

The Transport Select Committee’s response makes it clear that they share the concerns of CTA and its members.  You can read their report in full here. There are five key messages which should give us some encouragement as we await the Department for Transport’s consultation:

  • The Committee have acknowledged that there is a ‘notable lack of reliable evidence against which to assess where the practices of community transport organisations create widespread unfairness or the geographical extent of the problem.’

 

  • They further acknowledge that ‘Local authorities and CTOs have acted in good faith, and generally in accordance with the longstanding official guidance. Moreover, many CTOs have acted with the acquiescence and encouragement of successive governments to deliver public sector contracts and become more self-sufficient and “professional” in outlook. They also deliver considerable wider social benefit’

 

  • We have always believed that widespread regulatory change is an over-reaction inspired by a commercial litigant. This sentiment reflected in the report which states ‘The Department should consider whether a satisfactory outcome may have been achieved earlier had it tackled relatively localised issues head on several years ago, and learn the lessons for its future regulation of policy areas which are its responsibility’

 

  • We welcome the Committee’s support for CTA’s view that the DFT consultation must address wider public policy issues and not only look through the narrow prism of simply settling a legal matter. They agreed that ‘The consultation must also be used as an opportunity to consider reforms designed not only to achieve compatibility, but also to continue to achieve the key public policy objective of the sector—the provision of high quality, safe and secure local community services for people who might otherwise be left isolated’

 

  • Finally, as we approach exiting the European Union we are encouraged that the Transport Select Committee has stated ‘In the context of exiting the European Union, we recommend the Department for Transport, alongside its forthcoming consultation, begin to consider longer term legislative change to maintain and foster the UK’s unique approach to community transport’

 

It is now the responsibility of the DfT to consider this report in light of their upcoming consultation and their next steps in ensuring the viability of community transport.  As we approach 2018, it is now up to them to not only consider how they can satisfy the European Commission but how public policy interventions can ensure community transport can thrive in all parts of the UK.

We have no doubt that the Department for Transport values the difference community transport makes for communities and people facing isolation and loneliness and it wants this to continue. The Committee’s report shows them the strength of feeling for taking a more sensitive approach that leaves the CT sector in good shape and gives them some good ideas for that. We hope they listen and we are happy to work with them to achieve a better settlement.

The Transport Select Committee has confirmed what we always knew; that community transport is invaluable, safe, and for many, the only way to get to where they need to be.  As we await the consultation from the DfT we need to continue to make these arguments to protect our services, and to ensure our communities can stay connected

If you have any questions about the report you can contact us at hello@ctauk.org

You can read the report in full here.

 

CTA’s response to the Department for Infrastructure’s consultation on the use of Section 10B Permits in Northern Ireland

Tim Cairns

Last week the consultations on updated guidance on driver licensing and the use of Section 10B Permits in Northern Ireland closed. You can read CTA’s response to the consultation here.

CTA’s challenge to the Department for Infrastructure (DfI)

This has been a challenging time for members in Northern Ireland. Unlike the rest of the UK, Northern Ireland does not have a government in place to oversee the implementation of changes to guidance or regulation. As a result, community transport operators in Northern Ireland have been excluded from the national debate currently taking place in the rest of the UK.

CTA had argued that Northern Ireland, given the lack of political oversight, should follow the process underway in Great Britain. This would give a level of confidence to the process. Unfortunately, the Department for Infrastructure followed a different path. We have continued to press the DfI to refrain from implementing the guidance in the consultation documents until the GB process has concluded. The DfI are currently considering that request. It is important that, whatever happens across the UK, users and operators of community transport are clear about the law and its interpretation. CTA will continue to press the case for members in Northern Ireland to ensure that their voice is not lost in the national debate.

In our response to the Department for Infrastructure CTA contends:

  1. That the DfI re-examine their legal advice. The definition of non-commercial is not clearly established in law and the DfI have a choice to make in how they define this term. CTA contends that they should examine alternative ways of giving effect to regulation 1071/2009.
  2. That the impacts of any guidance change be properly assessed. Before the guidance can be issued, the DfI should fulfil their legislative obligations under the Northern Ireland Act.
  3. No mitigation measures have been brought forward. CTA has challenged the DfI to bring forward their proposals to properly compensate groups who relied upon their guidance and to support the vulnerable members of society who will inevitably be left without access to transport.
  4. The guidance as currently drafted does not provide the necessary level of clarity and transparency. It is still unclear who can and cannot drive a minibus, or how this guidance relates to the private hire market.
  5. CTA is concerned that the consultation process has been predetermined. The DfI must be open to question whether there are better public policy options to bring about the necessary changes required.

What are the next steps?

The DfI should consider carefully the responses it has received to the consultation process. CTA will continue to press the DfI to ensure that any changes to its guidance will ensure that the community transport sector in Northern Ireland is left in better shape and that the most vulnerable in Northern Ireland will continue to receive the transport they need.

CTA will continue to press other Executive Departments (Health, Education and Communities) to meet their obligations to organisations affected by these changes.

2017 has been a challenging year for community transport in Northern Ireland. In 2018 CTA is committed to ensuring that people are afforded access to the transport solutions they require and that the people who rely on community transport in Northern Ireland are not placed in a disadvantageous position compared to the rest of the UK.

Community Transport Christmas: Little Green Bus

Community transport works across the Christmas period, even on Christmas day, to provide those who would otherwise be alone with access to family, friendship, company and independence over the holidays. This December, we’re going to be sharing the stories of our members who go above and beyond at Christmas. 

Keep checking back on our main Community Transport Christmas page for all our stories so far.

Donna Atkinson, Little Green Bus:

The snow had started to fall very heavily just before Christmas and it continued for a good three weeks.  We contacted all of our passengers thdownloadat we knew had no family members, at all in some cases, or close by in others, to firstly check that they were ok and secondly to enquire whether they were ok for food and other essential supplies.

We found that about a dozen of our passengers were unable to get out of their houses for safety reasons and I contacted our local supermarkets: Booths on week one, Tesco on week two and Sainsbury’s on week three and asked them whether they would be able to contribute 12 bags of emergency supplies such as tea bags, sugar, milk, butter, bread, eggs, cooked meat, a winter veg pack, a tin of corned beef and toilet rolls.

All of the supermarkets supported our efforts and gave us bags of produce beyond what we had suggested and our wonderful volunteer drivers worked with us to deliver the packages to our passengers that were in need of them.

We now purchase a couple of sacks of grit each year and our volunteers are quite happy to grit the paths or drives of our passengers if it helps them to get out of the house safely.