Chapter 9 - Information handling and sharing
9.1. Under the new licensing system local authorities will be collecting, and holding, more information in relation to site owners and those involved in running sites (such as site managers) than previously. It is important that this information is collected and held in line with a local authority's responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011. This includes measures around the secure storage, appropriate access, and processing of information. We encourage local authorities to review the measures they have in place in relation to handling information in the site licensing system, and to put in place any additional measures necessary.
9.2. A local authority's Data Protection Officer should be informed of the greater amount of information that will be collected by authorities in running the new mobile home site licensing system, and their advice sought as appropriate. A local authority may also wish to carry out a privacy impact assessment on how they will hold, process and share the information, given that under the new system a local authority will be collecting, and potentially sharing, more information on site owners than they have previously held.
9.3. While many site owners will only have one site (or more) in one local authority area, there are some site owners that have sites in two or more local authority areas. To help ensure consistency in decisions across the country, and to enable local authorities to have all the information they need in taking decision on site licensing, the new licensing system therefore allows local authorities to share information related to making decisions under the new site licensing system.
9.4. Under Section 32Q of the 1960 Act  one local authority may provide another local authority with information relevant to the fit and proper person test. The sort of information that could fall within under this provision would be, for example:
- information about a breach of licence conditions;
- information about any enforcement action a local authority has had to take;
- information about an unlicensed site.
9.5. The information can be shared even if there is a duty of confidentiality owed to the person the information is about. This enables local authorities to share relevant information even though it may contain information that would normally be confidential. However it should be noted that a local authority can only share the information if another local authority is applying the fit and proper person test, and that it can only be shared for that purpose.
9.6. The purpose of this measure is to enable local authorities to share relevant information. This is so that in deciding whether or not someone is a fit and proper person under the licensing regime (for example when renewing a licence) a local authority is aware of relevant issues or problems in another local authority area. Effective use of this measure will therefore depend on a local authority making other local authorities aware that they have received an application, so that information can be shared. One way of doing this may be for a local authority which has received an application contacting other local authorities where the applicant has a site, so they can share any relevant information.
Email: Ged Millar
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House