Working with data, using standards, GDPR compliance and publishing information according to predefined schema are all tasks for planning departments now. And it has always made sense to understand your service's performance - both to try to improve it each day but also to prepare for the changes on the horizon. For these reasons we publish guides on GDPR and good data management and every year or two try to get a productivity benchmark together.
Planning and GDPR
In June 2021 we have published an updated guide to managing data in planning departments and the requirements of the UK GDPR. The guide also contains a template "privacy notice" for planning that councils may wish to refer to and localise.
The guide has been one of the most difficult and protracted pieces of work undertaken at PAS. Partly this reflects the learning journey we ourselves have been on, but also in part because of the wide variation in practice in local authorities. These are cultural as well as legal decisions, and each comes with a resourcing implication.
Our guide tries to steer a course through a potentially complex subject, and where possible makes some clear recommendations. It is likely that we will need to keep it under review as some of the underpinning regulations change along with the rest of the planning system. For this reason we recommend people sign up to the GDPR knowledge hub (which requires registration and a .gov email address). We receive notifications when people post questions and will do our best to answer them.