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Utility Billing
Privacy Policy for Social Security Numbers

Dear City Utility Customer,

This Privacy Policy for Social Security Numbers has been adopted by the City of Lockhart and describes how the City maintains the confidentiality and security of your Social Security Number, as required by the Texas Business and Commerce Code, Section 35.581. The question and answer format of the policy is designed to provide you with the information you need to understand the policy.

1. How is my personal information collected?

Your personal information is required in order for utility service to be provided to you. The City requires two forms of identification from its utility customers:

a) A picture ID such as a driver's license, state ID card, passport, or employee identification card, and 

b) The customer's social security number on a Social Security card, payroll stub, or health insurance card.

If the customer cannot provide one of these forms of identification, the City Utility Department may accept a copy of the customer's birth certificate in lieu of the unavailable form of identification.

2. How and when is the personal information used?

Your personal information is used for four purposes:

(a) Initially, it is used to confirm your identification for purposes of connecting your utility service and creating a customer file for you.

(b) Once your identification has been confirmed and your utility service is connected, the personal information is used to confirm your identification when you request information about your utility service account. When a person requests information about a utility service account, the City requires the requestor to confirm his or her identity as the customer by providing personal information. The Utility Department then compares the requestor's information with the personal information in the customer account to confirm the requestor's identity as the customer. If the requestor gives incorrect information, the City will not release the utility service account information, except as required by state or federal law, or court order.

(c) In some circumstances, the identification information may be used by other City departments/staff, such as the police and fire departments, public works department, municipal court and E.M.S.

(d) When a customer closes his or her utility account, the City may use the customer's personal information to locate the customer to settle the account.

3. How is the personal information protected, and who has access to it?

Only Utility Department employees are permitted to access the files, except (a) in circumstances that warrant access by other City departments/staff as noted above, (b) as required by state or federal law, or by court order, or (c) when a properly identified customer asks to view the file.

Customer personal information is located in two places.

(a) In the customer paper file, which includes the customer's completed application for utility service, photocopies of the customer's identification documents, and paper copies of the customer's utility consumption/billing and correspondence. The Utility Department customer paper files are kept in a secure location within the city hall, with no public access to the files.

(b) In the Lockhart Utility Department computer database. There is no public access to these computers, which are located in the Utility Department at city hall, and the use of the utility software program requires special training provided by the software manufacturer. However, in the future customers will be able to access their individual account information, and make payments, by computer. The Utility Department software program will include security programming designed so that customers can only access their own account information. Customers will be given notice and instructions regarding this access, once it becomes available.

4. How is the customer personal information disposed of?

City records are disposed of in accordance with the state law, the provisions of the Local Government Code (Texas Library and Archives Commission), and the administrative rules adopted under its authority.

If you have questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact the City of Lockhart Utility Department at 512/398-3461, or come by the Utility Department office at City Hall, 308 W. San Antonio St., Lockhart, Texas 78644.

Copyright © 2016, City of Lockhart, TX

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