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Letter from UKBA re losing information PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 18 December 2011 13:56

Below is a letter received by a member of the Vigil management team in response to her request for access to the contents of her file held by the UK Border Agency.  She paid £10 for this service. The letter is from the UK Border Agency’s Resource Management Group, Data Protection Unit, Lunar House, 40 Wellesley Road, Croydon CR9 2BY. 

“Disclosure from UKBA records under the Data Protection Act 1998 

Thank you for your Subject Access Request concerning yourself. We have now completed the processing of that request, but, unfortunately, we have been unable to locate all of the UKBA records relating to yourself.  

We have searched across our IT databases, identified the records in question and requested these records from our file storage unit. We have further chased for these records on a number of occasions, but with no success. We are therefore satisfied that we have made all reasonable efforts within the statutory time limits of  the Data Protection Act to locate these records and that, regrettably, it is now simply not  possible to supply copies of records that we can’t locate. 

The enclosed disclosure bundle therefore represents a disclosure of all the available records we have managed to locate. 

For your information, in your particular case, we have been unable to locate the following records: Home Office file (number supplied). 

As we have said above, supplying copies of the above-mentioned records is not possible because the records are missing and should be shortly be designated as lost by the Agency. To continue to try and locate the records for the purposes of our obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998 would, in our opinion, be unreasonable and involve disproportionate effort as per Section 8 (2) (a) of that Act. 

Please note that the enclosed disclosure of records you have received may have data blacked-out – this is because UKBA records sometimes include other information that we are not able to release to you under the Data Protection Act 1998, (for example another person’s data), so this is blacked-out. The document bundle may also contain copies of rough notes that may lack clarity, but this is because we aim to provide the fullest disclosure we can by making available copies of the original records whenever possible. 

Why do we hold your data? Because we are responsible for securing the UK border and controlling migration in the UK and we manage border control for the UK, enforcing immigration and customs regulations. We also consider applications for permission to enter or stay in the UK, and for citizenship and asylum. Therefore the data we hold, including your data, may be used for any, or all, of these functions. 

Any information / data provided to the UK Border Agency may also be disclosed to other government departments, agencies, local authorities, the police, foreign governments and other bodies for immigration purposes or to enable them to perform their functions. Personal information may also, in certain circumstances, be passed to fraud prevention agencies to prevent fraud and money laundering.  

The UK Border Agency will only ask for the data we need to fulfill the above functions and we will not collect too much or ask for irrelevant information; we will protect your data and make sure nobody has access to it who shouldn’t; we will only share it with other organisations when the law allows; we will make sure we don’t keep it longer than necessary and we will not make your personal information available for commercial use without your permission. 

Please quote the DPU reference at the top of this letter in any future correspondence, but please be aware that general enquiries regarding the handling of your immigration status with UKBA, or any comments regarding the missing files, should not be directed at this office – we cannot comment upon points regarding case handling nor why files have gone missing. 

For such questions, if you know the name of the Unit handling your case, then you should write to them at the UK Border Agency, Lunar House, 40 Wellesley Road, Croydon CR9 2BY, quoting any Home Office reference and giving the name of the Unit in the first line of the address. For other general contacts, you should use the contact avenues as detailed on the UK Border Agency website. 

We request that should you send correspondence to the Unit, you do not send both hard copies and fax copies, it only serves to double the amount of correspondence we have to handle and, as a result, expends resources that can be better used on caseworking activities and providing a better service overall. We thank you for your understanding in this matter. 

We are sorry that we have been unable to give you a complete disclosure of the records held by the UKBA in this instance, but trust that the above explains that we have made all reasonable efforts to do so.”

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