Automated decision making FAQs
Automated decision making happens when an important decision is made about you, and the processing of your data by an automated system without involving a human. The automated system is programmed to use the same logic and rules as Council Officers do when they carry out these processes manually. Within Council Tax these rules are set by Council Tax law. Within School Transport the rules are set by Education law and Council Policy.
It will mean we can process certain type of changes and applications faster. The Council Tax team receives a high volume of correspondence and as a result applications and information which is processed manually can take up to 4 months for us to deal with. Having your application processed automatically should allow a decision to be taken within a few days. We hope to speed up our other processes because this will free up officers.
At the moment not all applications can be decided by the automated system. If the automated processor decides that it can’t process your application, it will pass the application on to one of our officers who will process it in the normal way.
Links to flow charts which explain how the system deals with the automated processing can be found in the “related documents” section below
The information you provide for automated processing is held in the same way as the information that is provided for manual processing. More information about this is available on our Privacy Notice.
The Council carried out a Data Protection Impact Assessment when developing these automatic processes, which assessed the tool we use to carry out automated processing to make sure it meets our security requirements. The Council Tax and School Transport Privacy Notice has been updated to show that we are carrying out automatic processing in some circumstances.
As part of the development of the automated processes, extensive testing was carried out by the Council Officers and this should mean that mistakes are extremely rare. However, we realise that mistakes can sometimes happen and as such, a percentage of the decisions that are made by the automated processor are checked for accuracy by our Council Officers in the same way that manual processing is checked. Where a mistake is found, your account/application will be amended within 24 hours. We will stop automated processing and will check the logic that is used in the process so that we can understand why the mistake happened. The process will be amended if necessary, tested and only resumed when we are happy that the correct decisions are being made.
If you disagree with any decision that has been made which affects your Council Tax/School Transport application, you have the right to ask for this to be looked at again. For Council Tax, you can also appeal to the Valuation Appeal Committee. This applies to both manual and automatic processes. We will always tell you if a decision has been made about you based on solely automated processing and you will always have the right to ask a Council Officer to reconsider it.