BID’s Letter of Authority
1. BID requires authority from its clients to be allowed to hold information about your legal immigration detention or deportation case, and to be able to obtain necessary information and documents from other organisations such as the Home Office, medical professionals, Social Services, the Probation Service, etc.
2. The letter of authority that we ask you to sign gives BID authority to hold information on your behalf and/or to disclose confidential information regarding your case where necessary (for example to the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner, the Immigration and Asylum Chamber or the Home Office).
3. However you have rights to the information that is held by BID about your case. These are detailed below.
4. BID must always make sure it does not act contrary to its ethical duties and its professional duties to the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).
BID’s Duty to Keep your Information Private
5. BID will protect your information so that it remains private and that it is only seen by those either working on your case on behalf of BID, or only where necessary and with your consent, by third parties connected to your case such as partners, the Home Office, the OISC, doctors, the Probation Service etc.
6. You can ask the Legal Manager who is responsible for your case at any time for details and copies of communications with third parties.
Your Right to Information About Your Case and to Request the Destruction of Your Documents
7. BID will ensure that you always receive copies of all the important communications it has with the First-tier Tribunal and the Home Office (such as copies of bail applications, grounds for bail, applications for release, grounds of appeal, applications to the Home Office, etc.) and copies of any reports from experts, for example, doctors.
8. You can obtain a copy of all or any of the documents BID holds about your case from BID at any time from the moment BID begins representing you until BID destroys your file (at least 6 years after your case has been closed).
9. At the end of your case BID will keep a copy of your file for 6 years and this will be available for the Office for Immigration Services Commissioner to inspect should it wish to review your case as part of a review of BID’s work.
10. When BID closes a file it scans and stores the file electronically. The hard copy or paper version of the file is immediately destroyed. The electronic copy is destroyed after 6 years.
11. You can also request BID to destroy copies of all your documents at any point during your case. However BID may first need to ensure that such a request is approved by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner in case it wishes to review your documents before they are destroyed.
12. Should you wish to destroy documents that BID considers central to your case, it may be necessary for BID to review if this is compatible with its duty as a legal representative (ethically and professionally as an OISC-regulated organisation) to ensure that it can continue to represent you. In such circumstances BID will explain your rights and its duties to you so that you can make an informed decision as to how you might wish to proceed.
13. As your legal advisors BID requires copies of many documents relating to your case, some of which it might decide not to rely upon. It may however keep the documents in your file as the nature of detention and deportation cases is that some documents may become relevant at a later date when they may not be required immediately.
14. You can ask BID to correct any information that it holds on you at any time.
15. Subject to points 4, 11 and 12 above, you can ask BID to delete any information that it holds about your case at any time.
16. You have a right to refuse to provide information to BID at any time. BID may need to advise you as to the significance of certain information it may seek from you and the extent to which the denial of this information may prevent it from representing and advising you properly, if at all.
17. BID may also need to seek advice and/or permission to retain or to destroy information regarding third parties to your case that it holds in relation to your case. For example, children over whom you do not exercise parental control.
BID’s Use of Anonymised Information About Your Case
18. BID uses information arising from its casework to influence its policy, research and campaign work and it uses ‘anonymised information’ from its casework for this purpose.
19. ‘Anonymised information’ is information that does not identify you, or your case or anyone connected to your case.
20. ‘Anonymised information’ is such that the identity of persons or the sources of the information are not identifiable to the Home Office or to members of the public.
21. Anonymised information is aimed at helping BID to identify issues that are of concern to all detainees or that serve as examples of the impact of Home Office or Government policies.
22. Anonymised information may be held electronically and it may be used in research reports, briefing documents, press reports, or as sources of information for the courts and to help a legal case.
23. Should BID be requested to disclose the source of anonymised information, it will not agree to such disclosure without clear instructions from you that such disclosure it acceptable to you. In such circumstances BID will first ensure that you understand the reason for the request for disclosure and the potential consequences of such disclosure before you make a decision.
24. You can inform the Legal Manager at BID at any time if you do not wish BID to use anonymised information about your case for its campaign, research or lobbying purposes.
Who to Contact About Information About Your Case
25. While your case is open with BID you can contact the Legal Manager or caseworker who may be responsible for your case. Alternatively you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our Legal Managers will reply.
26. If your case is closed you should contact us at email@example.com and one of our Legal Managers will reply. Please provide your BID reference number as our files are stored electronically using clients’ reference numbers.
If You Have a Complaint
27. If you have a complaint about the information that BID is holding about you, or about BID’s work, you can also contact BID’s Assistant Director, Pierre Makhlouf at the following address: Bail for Immigration Detainees, 1b Finsbury Park Road, London N4 2LA.
28. Alternatively, you may also contact the organisation that regulates BID, the Office for the Immigration Services Commissioner, 5th Floor, 21 Bloomsbury Street, London, WC1B 3HF.
29. The Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) is responsible for monitoring and enforcing data protection compliance in the UK. They may be reached at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, telephone 0303 123 1113, www.ico.org.uk.