This Charter is reviewed periodically to take into account any changes in legislation or relevant policies.
Policy commitment to openness and transparency
One of the fundamental values of the Planning Inspectorate is its commitment to openness and transparency in its statutory role dealing with planning, national infrastructure and other casework. We are committed to proactively publishing information and operate an overall presumption in favour of disclosure.
Management and storage of information
The Planning Inspectorate will manage, retain and protect all information in a secure manner to comply with legislation, the Cabinet Office’s Security Policy Framework, ICO policies and best practices. Security measures and procedures are in place and will be maintained to safeguard the confidentiality, integrity and availability of our data handling and storage systems and we will ensure that all of our staff are aware of their responsibilities as set out in this Charter and PINS’ records management policy.
Protection of personal information
We will meet our obligations in the Data Protection Act 1998. When we request or handle personal information which we receive about you we will:
- only ask for what we need
- make sure you know why we need it
- make sure we don't keep it longer than necessary
- store it securely and make sure nobody has access to it who shouldn't
- make sure you know whether any personal information you give us will be published on our website or be made available for others to see (for example we are required by law to publish on our website a record of the advice we provide in relation to national infrastructure projects and to record on our website the name of the person or organisation who asked for the advice)
- remove details of individuals for example telephone numbers, email addresses and signatures before publishing information on our website (although there is a legal requirement to make certain documents available for public inspection and copying and these documents will still contain personal information which you have given us such as names and telephone numbers)
- make sure your personal information is not available for commercial use without your permission.
Proactive publication of information
The Planning Inspectorate is committed to the proactive dissemination of information, such as board minutes, procurement information and notes of meetings with national infrastructure applicants. You can see the categories of information we will publish routinely in our publication scheme. We will keep our publication scheme under review.
Access to information
The public has a general right of access to information held by public bodies, subject to certain conditions. If you ask us for information which we do not routinely publish or we are not required to publish we will disclose information having regard to our Openness Policy unless to do so would be in breach of legal obligations such as data protection principles or would not be in the public interest because, for example, disclosure would be likely to undermine the effective operation of our statutory functions, to damage the proper conduct of our business as a joint executive agency or to threaten environmental protection
If you would like to request information see our access to information page
The Information Commissioner
Telephone: 08456 306060 or 01625 545745
Fax: 01625 524510
Website: www.ico.gov.uk (external link)