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Information sharing

Under the right circumstances and for the right reasons, information sharing between organisations can play a crucial role in providing a better and more efficient service to customers.

In order to share information more effectively, we have developed an information sharing protocol with our partners to ensure that information is being shared lawfully, appropriately and in compliance with best practice. It establishes consistent principles and practices to govern the sharing of personal and non-personal information that takes place within and between partner agencies.

It encourages partner agencies to share information to improve how we deliver services for residents and to support safeguarding, except where it would be unlawful to do so.

Background to the protocol

We share information with a variety of partners, for example, the police, fire or health services or local councils like district, borough, or City of York, for a range of services that we provide.

This is usually because these services are shared or in order to make a service more efficient and 'joined-up'. So for example, we may share information with partners in regard to a safeguarding issue.

A difficulty we face is that we often need to negotiate with partners on a repeated basis in order to share information. The protocol has been drafted to make sharing information easier and more streamlined, and includes features that are common to many services or data-sharing procedures. These features need not be renegotiated every time a piece of information needs to be shared, and only aspects of a service that are unique will need to be negotiated and agreed.

The protocol includes a template in appendix J to assist partners in identifying the points that still need to be agreed in relation to each separate element of data sharing. Where possible it offers lists of likely answers to the points that arise. 

The protocol and its template are intended to ensure that data sharing complies with the data sharing code of practice, and therefore with data protection law. The protocol governs the exchange of non-personal data as well.

Information sharing protocol documents