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Privacy Notice

The Department of Environment, Food & Agriculture takes the protection and correct use of your personal information very seriously. The Department is a controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018 and is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The Department of Environment, Food & Agriculture is responsible for protecting the environment from the people and the people from the environment. We also manage most of the plantations, upland areas, glens, Sulby Claddagh and the Curraghs Wildlife Park for the benefit of our residents and visitors.

In addition, we provide financial and legislative support to the Agriculture and Fisheries industries, and provide Pest Control and Dog Warden services.

This is a Departmental Privacy Notice but a Privacy Notice for each area of the Department, each containing more specific detail, can be found on the front web page for each business area.


  • Personal data means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’). An identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.

  • Processing means any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction;

  • Controller means the natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data.

  • Processor means a natural or legal person (other than an employee of the agency or body), public authority, agency or other body which processes personal data on behalf of the controller.

Collecting your Personal Information and the legal basis for doing so

We collect and process information including your personal information, in order to perform tasks carried out in the public interest with their bases in various legislation as listed in the individual areas linked above in order:

  • To provide effective and efficient services, both statutory and discretionary
  • To provide effective and efficient regulation
  • To help prevent and detect crime
  • To contact you when the need arises

Some information may also be collected on the basis of:

  • your consent – we will request your consent at the time of collection. If it is provided you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time using the contact details below.
  • Compliance with a legal obligation to which the Department is subject. Such as the Health & Safety at Work Act if an accident occurs on DEFA property.
  • The performance of a contract between you and the Department to which you will be subject.
  • Protecting the vital interests of a data subject or of another natural person.

Further detail is available in the individual Privacy Notices linked above.

How your Personal Information is collected

Further information is available on the individual Privacy Notices linked above but basically your Personal Information is collected:

  • On the various application forms, both paper and electronic, issued for reasons such as Planning applications, support payments, licence and permit applications, regulatory activities etc.
  • Via our websites.
  • Telephone conversations when you speak to any of our Officers to request assistance or advice.
  • Email contacts when you contact any of our officers to request assistance or advice
  • Interviews and conversations in relation to regulatory and investigation activity. These may be contemporaneous notes or voice recordings if the interviews are needed for potential legal action;
  • From the internet and social media when officers may be searching for background public information to support an investigation.
  • There are CCTV cameras on Department buildings (IOM Sawmill, Thie Slieau Whallian) that collect images for crime prevention and investigation reasons.
  • Information may be collected from third parties when it will help to provide a service to you that you have requested or if it will progress an investigation that we have a statutory duty to conduct.

How and why your Personal Information is shared and who with

Further information is available on the individual Privacy Notices linked above but basically your Personal Information may be shared:

  • Within the Department to provide effective and efficient services and regulation. Your information will only be used for purposes that align with the original reason for collection.
  • With other Government Departments, Statutory Boards and Offices, where there is a statutory requirement, to provide effective and efficient services, regulation and crime prevention, detection and prosecution
  • With other bodies, stakeholders and partners (where we have your consent), which the Department may engage to further its aims and regulatory activities
  • To online registers that we have an obligation to maintain and make available.

Where there is a legal obligation to do so, the Department will check and verify the information you provide to us. This may include checks of publically available information (e.g. at the Companies Registry) but in some cases, where it is necessary and relevant to your application, the information you provide may be disclosed or shared with other organisations in order to complete these checks. 

This is to allow us to verify the information and documentation you have provided is correct and will also help prevent and detect crime. Again, further information is available on the individual Privacy Notices linked above.

Types of personal information that are collected

Further information is available on the individual Privacy Notices linked above.

  • Contact details such as names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses
  • CCTV will collect your image when you visit our sites and offices
  • Our websites will record details of your visit such as duration and pages visited
  • Bank details
  • Professional and personal references
  • Your views and opinions in response to consultations
  • Your relationships to any businesses the Department may support or investigate


Length of time your Personal Information is kept

Your Personal Information will be kept in compliance with the Department's Retention Schedules and in all cases for the minimum time necessary in order to both complete the service you have requested (or that we are required to investigate or supply) and to fulfil our record keeping obligations.

The Public Records Act 1999 determines the need for the Department to retain information for historical or archiving purposes by the Public Record Office (PRO) and we engage with the PRO to decide what should be retained for the island's permanent archive and what can be destroyed.

How your Personal Information is kept safe

The security and confidentiality of your information is very important to us. 

We will ensure that: 

  • Safeguards are in place to make sure personal information is kept securely
  • Only authorised staff are able to view your information and only when it is relevant to their role.
  • Your personal information will not be retained any longer than absolutely necessary.

Automated processing

DEFA will only undertake automated processing when explicit consent is obtained from the data subject.

Individual rights and choices when sharing Personal Information with the Department, Board or Committee

You have a right to access your personal information to ensure that it is accurate, and to request that it is rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed if it is inaccurate.

To make any request relating to your data held by us, please contact the Data Protection Officer for the Department using the details below.

Guidance on how to exercise your rights, including how to make a Data Subject Access Request, is available.  

Thie Slieau Whallian,
Foxdale Road,
St John’s,
Isle of Man, 

Phone: +44 1624 686781
Fax: +44 1624 685851

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you may also complain to the Information Commissioner, whose details can be found on, or the relevant supervisory authority. You may have a right to other remedies.

Privacy notice in relation to Freedom of Information requests

Isle of Man Freedom of Information Act 2015 ('FOIA')

The Freedom of Information Act 2015 (FOIA) gives Isle of Man residents a legally enforceable right to obtain access to information held by a Public Authority.  This is subject to certain exemptions and practical refusal reasons.

Find out more information on the FOIA including how to make a request to us. You can also use this link to view previous requests and their responses.

We are the controller for the personal data you provide to us when making a FOI request to the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA).

Legal basis for processing your information

We need your personal information (such as your name and contact details) to process and respond to you about your Freedom of Information request. In some cases, we may ask for proof of identification, and proof of residency, so that we can comply with the FOIA.

We must have a legal basis (a lawful reason) to process your personal data, which is submitted by you when you make a Freedom of Information request. The legal basis for processing your information when you make a request is that it is necessary for us to comply with the law (FOIA), or that it is necessary for us to perform a public task in the public interest. This is set out in Articles 6(1)(c) and (e) of the Schedule to the Data Protection (Application of GDPR) Order 2018 – this legislation is sometimes called 'the Applied GDPR').

Sharing information

FOI requests have to be submitted on a form prescribed by the Chief Executive Officer (Isle of Man Government) in order to be valid and accepted under the FOIA. You can either submit a request using the form online or a paper version, which is available by contacting our Data Protection Officer (see below for contact details).

When we process FOI requests made using the Online Services Portal on the Isle of Man Government website, a system called iCasework is used to process your request. iCasework is provided by a company called Civica UK Limited. iCasework stores information such as:

  • Your name and address
  • Your telephone and email address
  • Your company name, if you are requesting information on behalf of an organisation
  • Your request – we do not recommend putting any personal information into your request
  • If requested, proof of residency from you

If you are not sure what to include in your request, please contact us on for assistance.

Civica UK Limited act as a Processor on behalf of all the Public Authorities. Civica UK Limited use the information held in iCasework for the purpose of providing a system to manage freedom of information requests and to transfer this information to the relevant public authority. The information you provide to Civica UK Limited will be kept secure and confidential.

Access to your information is limited to authorised staff members within the Department. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA), through the Office of Cyber Security & Information Assurance (OCSIA), has been contracted by the Public Authorities to manage system access on their behalf. The DHA through OCSIA will only access personal data held on the iCasework system when explicit written instructions are provided by a Public Authority.

If you are unhappy with the response to your Freedom of Information request 

If you have been unhappy with a response we have provided you may complain about your request to the Information Commissioner's Office.

In this case we will need to share information we have sent or received from you with the Information Commissioner's Office so that they can investigate the complaint.

Storing your information

Your personal information will be held in iCasework for 12 months after we have closed your request. If you have requested a review of your request, your personal information will be held in iCasework for 36 months after we have closed your request. After this time, the request will remain on the iCasework system, but all your personal information you provided at the time of the request will be deleted.

Your rights

The Applied GDPR (data protection legislation) provides you as a data subject with some rights to be informed of the processing of your personal data, including the right to access that data and information about the purposes for processing.

This includes a right to correct (rectify) any information a public authority holds, or to restrict it in certain circumstances.

As the public authority is processing your data in order to comply with its legal obligations, certain data protection rights do not apply, including the right to have your data deleted (erasure), transferred to another provider, the right to object to the processing, and be informed about automated decision making. When using the iCasework site or dealing with FOI requests, a Public Authority does not make automated decisions or profile your data.

Data Protection Officer

If you have any questions about how we process your personal information, you can speak to our Data Protection Officer regarding your rights.


Phone: +44 1624 685854

In writing to: 

Data Protection Officer
Thie Slieau Whallian,
Foxdale Road,
St Johns,

Details of rights under the data protection legislation can be found in our general privacy notice.

Additional information 

Isle of Man Government Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information Act 2015 - legislation

Information Commissioner’s Office – Freedom of Information guidance page

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