The recent Public Services Card customer satisfaction survey, as with every research survey conducted on behalf of my Department by a contracted survey research company, was conducted in full compliance with national and EU Data Protection legislation. In line with these requirements, the survey process was as follows:
1. The Department's Chief Statistician, a senior member of the Irish Government Statistical Service, created a representative stratified random sample of potential survey participants (in this case, 5,000 people who had recently applied for a Public Services Card).
2. The Chief Statistician then sent a signed letter to each potential participant, in order to
- tell them about the purpose and confidential statistical nature of the survey;
- supply a link to the dedicated webpage about the survey for further information (https://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Public-Services-Card-Survey-FAQ.aspx); and
- let people know how to opt out of participating in this or future surveys.
3. Several weeks later (in order to allow time for people to opt out of participating), the Chief Statistician supplied a minimal set of personal contact information for the survey participants to the survey research company. No information whatsoever was sent to the company about people who chose to opt out of taking part in the survey.
4. The survey research company then contacted people from the supplied survey sample by phone until enough responses were received to ensure that results were statistically representative of the wider population of recent Public Services Card applicants.
The only personal data (verified at SAFE level 2) supplied to the survey company was the following:
- Customer Name
- Customer Contact Number
- Customer Sex (Male/Female)
- Customer Age Group (18-24, 25-39, 40-59, 60+)
The name and contact numbers were provided in order to be able to contact participants, while sex and age group were supplied to ensure that representative results for these dimensions were achieved.
Under the terms of the survey contract, the survey company must delete all this personal data at the end of the survey.