Information sheet and consent form

Closes 2 Jan 2023

Opened 20 Sep 2022

Overview

  1. What is The Department for Levelling Up (DLUHC)?

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is a central UK Government department that supports communities across the UK to thrive, making them great places to live and work. DLUHC is operating in collaboration with Softwire and Valtech, non-partisan digital organisations to deliver the 'Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate' service.

 

  1. What is the project about?

Our aim is to learn about the usability and the functionality of the 'Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate' service, so we can make improvements before it is officially launched.

 

  1. Type Of Research 

Our research is focused on conducting a live trial of the service, which will involve some trial participants making simulated applications for a Voter Authority Certificate, and Electoral Registration Officers processing the applications using local government systems. 

We will collect cookies stored on your device during the application exercise. Cookies are small pieces of data sent to your browser by the website you visit, which help that website to remember information about your visit. We will gather the cookies via your browser and use them to help us to understand your experience. We will gain access to your device solely for the purpose of gathering the cookies and will do this by creating a connection between your computer and our network server. We will provide you with more detailed instructions on this process within the task itself, before the trial begins. After participating in the trial you will be able to delete unwanted cookies. Instructions on doing so in relation to a range of different browsers are available at www.AboutCookies.org.

We will also collect information you provide in response to the survey, to be completed following the conclusion of the task.

 

  1. Participation Is Voluntary 

Participation in the research is voluntary. Participants can withdraw their consent and stop their participation at any time by making a request to our data protection officer (details can be found below).

 

  1. Benefits and Risks of Participating 

Findings from the research will be used to enhance the 'Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate' service. Risks from participating in the user research are low as data is securely processed and stored. If you complete all of the steps outlined below, we will provide a £10 Giftpay voucher for taking part. 

 

  1. Collection and Storage of Research Data

Data collected via cookies and the follow-up survey will be stored on a secure cloud platform accessible only by the research team for review and analysis. Extracted aggregated data will be anonymised and stored on systems of Softwire and DLUHC in a form which does not permit identification of participants. Following the completion of the project all data that is not extracted aggregated data will be deleted. The aggregated anonymised research data will be stored indefinitely.

 

  1. Collection and Storage of Submitted Data

As part of the beta trial, you may be asked to provide copies or details of:

  • Your registered voting address

  • A recent, digital photo of you

  • Your National Insurance number

In certain circumstances, we may ask for some of the following:

  • Birth certificate

  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate

  • Adoption certificate

  • Firearms licence (granted under the Firearms Act 1968)

  • UK-issued driving licence (not photocard)

  • Police bail sheet

  • Bank or building society statement, or account confirmation letter

  • Utility bill

  • Credit card statement

  • Benefits (or benefits entitlement) statement

  • Mortgage statement

  • P45 or P60 issued by employer/former employer

  • Pensions statement

  • Council tax demand letter or statement

For the purposes of processing your application, your local Electoral Services Team will process your details to determine a simulated result. This will involve:

  • Checking that you are registered to vote in the local area they administer.

  • Checking the National Insurance Number you have provided to see if it matches a record on the Department for Work and Pensions’ National Insurance database. 

  • If you were not able to provide a National Insurance Number or it did not produce a match to any records they could find, they will instead verify your identity by requesting and reviewing some of the documents listed above.

  • Checking the digital photo you have submitted to see if it meets requirements. 

  • Contacting you by email, phone or letter if they need additional information or documents from you, or need to request a different photo.

At the end of this process you will receive a message by email or post telling you about the outcome of your application. This will tell you whether a genuine application of this type would have been accepted or rejected.

All data and documents provided by you will be deleted by the Electoral Services Team at the end of the trial period, which is due to conclude by the end of November 2022. No data will be retained by them, DLUHC or partner organisations.

To be clear, as this is a service trial, we will not be issuing a real Electoral ID document to any participants. Should you need an Electoral ID document, you will need to make a genuine application once the service launches properly in 2023. 

 

  1. Sharing Research Extracts

The aggregated anonymised data will be accessed by staff from Softwire and DLUHC, so they can learn from the results of the research in order to improve the 'Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate' service.

 

  1. Legal Disclosure

DLUHC and Softwire may release some or all of the research data if required by law or by any competent authority.

 

  1. Processing of Personal Data

The data controller in relation to the research is DLUHC. 

The personal data collected from a participant as part of the user research will be processed on the basis of the informed consent of the participant. A participant may withdraw their consent for the processing of personal data. A participant has the right to request access to their personal data and correction or removal of such personal data. If the data controller has a legitimate reason not to fulfil a participant’s request, this will be communicated to the participant.

If a participant believes that DLUHC or Softwire has not complied with their data protection rights, the participant can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office. Participants wishing to contact the Data Protection Officer of DLUHC in relation to the user research may do so using the following contact details:


Email: dataprotection@levellingup.gov.uk

Complete the consent form