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Introduction

As part of our commitment to monitor existing policies and to develop new ones, information about non-domestic properties is required. The information local authorities hold on non-domestic properties for non domestic rates (NDR) billing purposes is transferred to the Welsh Government on an annual basis. This includes information on the rateable value, business or organisation type, and rates reliefs associated with individual properties.

This privacy notice explains which information we collect, why we need this information, how we use it and what we do to protect the information supplied to us.

Why do we need this data?

NDR income collected from properties in Wales amounts to over £1 billion per year (net of reliefs). It is vital the Welsh Government has sound evidence on the tax-base, income generated, and other aspects of NDR. This information is required to maintain a robust evidence base on NDR, which contributes to analysis, informs policy development and enables accurate monitoring.

Analysis of the data covered in this privacy notice is largely undertaken internally by Welsh Government analysts. However, we may also on occasion share all or part of the data provided to it with non government agencies working on behalf of the Welsh Government, for research purposes.

Which data will be transferred?

A complete list of the information that the Welsh Government holds about non-domestic properties in Wales is in the full list of data items.

Annual billing data

Name of the ratepayer (liable business, organisation or individual) for each non domestic property in Wales along with details about the property itself. These include, but are not limited to, address, rateable value, description of the use of the property and any non domestic rates reliefs awarded for the property. This information is submitted to the Welsh Government annually by local authority Revenues and Benefits departments.

The names and addresses of businesses are required for the following purposes:

  • to distinguish between different ratepayers in order to monitor existing relief schemes and develop new ones
  • to analyse differences in the tax base over time (especially where there are gaps or errors in unique reference numbers assigned to properties)
  • to identify different property types within the tax base for policy development (where property categorisations in the data are too imprecise)

COVID-19

Information is also being gathered from local authorities on properties awarded a grant under the COVID-19 Business Support Fund Grant Scheme (address, property reference number and type of grant awarded). This information is being provided on an occasional basis by local authorities and is linked to the annual billing dataset, using property reference numbers.

Why is the data personal and who is the data controller?

Some of the properties on the valuation list will have proprietors, tenants or occupiers that are sole traders, business partnerships, or citizens. It is the personal information about this subset of properties and their proprietors, tenants or occupiers which this privacy notice covers.

The data controller is defined as the public authority which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data.

Each local authority holds and processes information on businesses and other non-domestic properties for NDR billing purposes. As such, the local authority is a data controller.  

However, when the NDR billing datasets for all local authorities are transferred to us, this gives rise to a new Wales-wide dataset, and we determine the purpose to which this wider dataset is put. As such the Welsh Government is the data controller for the dataset which this notice refers to.

Lawfulness

The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) requires a lawful basis for processing personal data. This notice relates to data on non domestic properties and the associated rates liability. However, certain records may contain data which falls within the definition of personal data. Where this is the case, Article 6(1)(e) applies: “processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller”.

In this case, the performance of a task in the public interest is the role of the Welsh Government in both monitoring existing policy and developing new policy.

Individuals’ rights

The UK GDPR lists certain rights which apply to individuals in the context of storing and using their personal data. The rights extended to individuals under the article quoted above are as follows.

  • the right to be informed (this notice)
  • the right to access the personal data Welsh Government holds on you
  • right to rectify any inaccuracies in that data
  • right to (in certain circumstances) object or restrict processing of your information
  • right (in certain circumstances) for your data to be ‘erased’

The Information Commissioner’s Office has more information on these rights.

What are the security arrangements and who is responsible for transferred data?

The datasets will only be transferred through methods requiring appropriate authentication, with access limited to a small number of specific users. No data will be shared via a standard open email connection or by standard postal methods.

The Welsh Government becomes responsible for this data once it has been transferred to it, although local authorities will retain responsibility for any data they continue to hold on their own systems. The transferred data are stored in a secure database with access limited to approved Welsh Government users and locations.

How long will data transferred be held?

Data will be retained by the Welsh Government for as long as it remains useful for policy development and, because historical data can be very useful in this context, this is likely to be a considerable number of years.

Data that are shared with third parties for research purposes will only be shared for the duration of the project, and there will be a requirement to destroy the data after that period.

Who to contact for further information and complaints

If you have any further questions about either this notice or individuals’ rights please contact:

Non Domestic Rates Policy Team
Local Government Strategic Finance Division
Welsh Government
Floor 1 North
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF10 3NQ
Email: LocalTaxationPolicy@gov.wales

Information Commissioner’s Office (Wales)
Churchill House
17 Churchill Way
Cardiff
CF10 2HH
Telephone number: 029 2067 8400 or 0303 123 1113
Email: casework@ico.org.uk
Website

The Welsh Government’s Data Protection Officer can be contacted at:

Data Protection Officer, Welsh Government, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NQ
E-mail: DataProtectionOfficer@gov.wales

Full List of Data Items

Information held by the Welsh Government about non domestic properties, their proprietors, tenants and occupiers and their billing information.

Variable name Description Example (dummy data)
AutoKey ID number for record 57
YearCode Year code for example 201901=2019 to 2020 finanical year 201901
AuthCode Local authority code for example 552 = Cardiff 552
Uprn Unique Property Reference Number from Ordnance Survey 111003355169
VOA reference number The VOA's UARN (Unique Address Reference Number) 8000970540
Ratepayer 1 Owner of building or ratepayer (person or company) Bill's Butchers
Ratepayer 2 Alternative name of business (for example trading as........) Bill Jones
Pin number Unique ID for ratepayer 5489
BA reference Local Authority's own unique reference number for the address 230201002021000257
Property Address Full property address (minus postcode) 123 Butcher road, Old Town, Cardiff
Postcode Property postcode CF8 2PL
Account Reference Precursor to PIN number (no longer used)  
VOA Code Categorisation code for business for example CO=Office CS
VOA Description Description of category Shop and premises
2010 RV Rateable value in 2010 0
2017 RV Rateable value in 2017 3850
Gross Liability  Amount due before reliefs are applied 1979
Mand Relief Total amount of mandatory relief applied (£) 0
Disc Relief Excl HSRR Total amount of discretionary relief applied (£) 0
SBRR Relief Amount of small business rates relief applied (£) 1979
Empty property relief: snapshot at point in time This is the amount of relief the property had for being empty at the time of submission 0
Trans Relief Transitional relief (as a result of the 2017 revaluation. Not applicable after 2019 to 2020) 0
Mandatory relief:  charities Split of mandatory relief 0
Madatory relief: community amateur sports clubs Split of mandatory relief 0
Discretionary relief: s44a partly occupied Split of discretionary relief 0
Discretionary relief: charities Split of discretionary relief 0
Discretionary relief: high street and retail Split of discretionary relief 0
Discretionary relief: community amateur sports and clubs Split of discretionary relief 0
Discretionary relief: non-profit making bodies Split of discretionary relief 0
Discretionary relief: rural businesses Split of discretionary relief 0
Discretionary relief: hardship Split of discretionary relief 0
Discretionary relief: charges on property Split of discretionary relief 0
Void  Whether property is void No
S44a Whether the property is only partly occupied (Section 44a is legislation) No
COVID-19 grant Amount of grant support for COVID-19 (£10k or (£25k) 10000

 

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