Following my successful Subject Access Request (SAR) to the UK Government’s Cabinet Office, I have been asked numerous times for the wording I used to get the information, and also where to send the request. Below is what I used.
NOTE: This is in no way full proof, and they may deny your request on certain grounds, often time and/or cost. Nor is this official advice, it is merely what I used.
- Don’t ask for too long a time period, 3 years is a just about right
- Enclose a scan or photo of an identity document such as a passport or driving licence
- Follow up at one month if no response is forthcoming. They can extend their response time to a FURTHER 2 months of your request is complex.
- If they refuse, don’t give up. You are entitled to know what data they hold on you.
Template (Wording I Used)
To whom it may concern,
In accordance with section 94 of the DPA, I am writing to make a formal request for all information held by your organisation in relation to me, referenced EITHER as INSERT NAME AND ALIAS, including but not limited to my work for UK publications INSERT PUBLICATION(S) between INSERT DATE.
This data may be found in:
(a) Any emails, text messages, memos, WhatsApp messages or any other form of digital communication between:
(i) Cabinet Office personnel or anyone contacted or subcontracted to the Cabinet Office.
(ii) Cabinet Office personnel and/or sub/contractors and other UK Agencies or Departments.
(iii) Cabinet Office personnel and or sub/contractors and foreign officials.
(iv) Cabinet Office Personnel and/or sub/contractors and UK Ministers.
(b) Any Internal databases, “Word” documents or similar files containing my personal data including any information held by the Cabinet Office Press Office.
I attach proof of identity for the SAR and request it be provided to this email: INSERT EMAIL ADDRESS
Thank you for your time on this matter
Send the email to:
I hope you find this unofficial guide helpful. You can always use this template for other Government Departments by changing out the term “Cabinet Office”.