This Notice concerns the personal information of members of the International Election Observation Roster (the roster) and also the personal information of people who apply to join the roster. The current roster was formed in 2019 and is due to last until the end of 2023. The Department does not plan to launch the next applications process before sometime in 2022.
1. Why do we process your personal data?
The Department’s Election Observation Desk processes personal information for the following purposes:
- Shortlisting applications from members of the public who wish to join the roster;
- Conducting security and other background checks on persons who have been shortlisted to the roster;
- Sending roster members information about international election observation and “Calls for Observers” from the Organization for Security Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union (EU);
- Reviewing, and shortlisting, applications from roster members who wish to be nominated for OSCE or EU missions;
- Confirming that potential nominees do not have a negative EU or OSCE evaluation from a previous mission;
- Nominating observers for the consideration of the OSCE and the EU;
- Making practical arrangements to allow nominees to participate in a mission;
- To facilitate roster members participation in a mission, providing practical information to the third parties which arrange mission logistics, flights and insurance;
- Providing accountability and transparency in the administration of the roster by attaching to the public record a list of names of roster members;
- Providing accountability and transparency in the administration of the roster by providing anonymised reporting on mission participation and costs;
- Complying with our statutory obligations including the Freedom of Information Act, 2014.
2. What information do we collect?
- The Department will collect and retain the following data on members of the roster: Name, date of birth, gender, address, contact telephone number(s), contact email address(s); applications to specific election observation missions and related correspondence; foreign language assessment details, security vetting disclosures and, where applicable, police reports; deployment on specific missions and any other correspondence relating to election observation.
- In addition, the following information may be requested if a member of the roster is nominated to participate in a mission: Name and contact details of emergency point of contact; passport details and scanned copy of passport; other details relevant to the observer’s travel arrangements and where relevant, correspondence from the sending agency or the observer during or post mission.
- The personal data will be held electronically and hard copy and will be processed by the Department for the above purposes.
3. What is our lawful basis for processing your personal data?
The Department has identified Article 6(1)(e) of the GDPR and Section 38(1)(b) of the Data Protection Act 2018 as lawful bases for processing your personal data. Section 38(1) provides that processing of personal data is lawful to the extent that it is necessary and proportionate for the administration of any non-statutory scheme, programme or funds where the legal basis is a function of a controller conferred by or under an enactment or the Constitution.
The roster exists so that the Department has a pool of suitably skilled, trained and pre-vetted persons to whom it can circulate EU and OSCE calls for observers. Nominating observers to EOMs contributes to Ireland’s foreign policy objectives of promoting democratisation, human rights and the rule of law. This public task represents a small statement of Ireland’s friendly cooperation with the EU, the OSCE and the wider UN community of nations. Further information on Ireland’s foreign policy priorities and guiding principles can be found in: The Global Island: Ireland’s Foreign Policy for a Changing World and in article 29 of Bunreacht na hÉireann/the Constitution of Ireland. In addition to the provisions of the Constitution and the International Treaties which guide Ireland’s foreign policy work, the power to collect and process data, such as the personal data of roster members and the personal data of people who apply to join the roster, is bestowed to the Department by The Ministers & Secretaries Acts 1924 to 2017.
Ancillary to the public task of nominating observers to overseas missions, the Department has identified a legitimate interest under Article 6(1)(f) of the GDPR for the processing of personal data in order to demonstrate accountability and transparency in the administration of the roster. For this reason, for as long as the Department has maintained the roster, the names of roster members have formed part of the public record. Providing this information demonstrates accountability and transparency in the administration of the roster. However, in accordance with Article 6(1(f), publication of the names of roster members will only occur after the Department has balanced the legitimate interest against your interests, rights, and freedoms. As part of this process, the Department will consult with roster members before making a determination. Any disclosure of the personal data of roster members is limited to what is necessary and to what is proportionate to a voluntary roster established from public funds.
The Department will receive personal data for the specified purpose as set out in paragraph 1. This information is shared, as appropriate, with the National Vetting Bureau; other national vetting bodies; insurance provider; travel management company; and the EU and the OSCE in order to nominate and deploy volunteers for election observation missions. Personal data may also be shared where the Department must do so in order to comply with its statutory obligations, including obligations arising under the Freedom of Information Act, 2014. Where the Department is required to share your personal data to comply with a statutory obligation it will, where possible, inform you in advance.
5. Transferred outside the EU:
On occasion data may be transmitted outside of the EU, including by third parties (e.g. EU, OSCE) for the purposes of observer accreditation and immigration clearance. In the event that your data is to be transferred outside the EU by the Department, the Department will alert you in the call for applications and request your explicit consent for this transfer in accordance with Article 49(1)(a) of the GDPR.
6. Retention Period:
The data collected will be held by the Department only as long as there is a business need to do so in line with the purpose(s) for which it was collected subject to the Department’s obligations under the National Archives Act 1986. Information no longer required by the Department will be destroyed without notice.
7. Data provision being statutory or contractual obligation:
8. Automated Decision Making:
No automated decision making is carried out during the process.
9. Information from Third Parties:
The Election Observation Desk receives information from the EU and the OSCE in relation to observers applying for and deployed on EOMs. The OSCE and EU provide (via different methods including their respective election observation databases) an evaluation of observers, which includes the name of the observers, nationality, gender, deployment details, and review of the observer’s performance and conduct.