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Operational Delivery

Head of Offender Subject Access Request Team – 42716
£30,989 - £41,095


We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit:

Job Profile

Job Title / Group / Directorate

Head of Offender Subject Access Request team

Reports To

Head of Branston Operations

Location & Terms of appointment

This is a permanent post based in Branston, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

Salary and Grade

This post is Band B (Senior Executive Officer equivalent).

New entrants to the Civil Service will be expected to join on the minimum of the pay range.

Existing Civil Servants will have their salary calculated in accordance with the Department’s pay on transfer / pay on promotion rules.


The Offender Subject Access Request team sits within the Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ) Communications and Information Directorate, which has a broad range of responsibilities including corporate communications through to information management and records compliance. As part of the Directorate’s Information Services Division, our aim is to ensure the MoJ holds information in compliance with legislation; that all information is correctly stored, accessible and shared appropriately; and our information is protected and the risks managed. We believe that knowing what information and records we have and having the right information available at the right time by those who need it or request it, is at the heart of an excellent justice system.

The Offender Subject Access Request team manage and process subject access requests (SARs) on behalf of the MoJ, liaising with its agencies to retrieve personal information held on the requestor and then prepare is for release in compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). The team receives in excess of 5,000 requests per annum.

The team is predominantly based in Branston, Burton-on-Trent with a small team in Birmingham and the remainder of the Division located in Petty France, London. This is a stretching role that will allow you to gain experience of leading a large and diverse team that is expanding. You will oversee a team that is currently made up of 57 members of staff ranging from band C/ HEO to F/ AA and will have three direct reports (band C/ HEOs).

Role Purpose

Do you have excellent leadership and collaboration skills? Are you approachable, enthusiastic and want to deliver a quality service to the Department and its customers by embracing new technology?

This is an exciting time for the team as we are seeking to make significant changes and improvements to many aspects of how we work and the service we provide, especially investigating new technology available and how this can increase efficiencies. You will also be joining the team as it prepares for an increase in work following the Probation Reform Programme. This role requires strong leadership skills to support the team through change and the challenges that come with it.

You will be joining a newly formed senior leadership team, heading up an expanding team who provide a dedicated and expert function in processing all offender SARs. The team have a strong customer service culture, providing a key service across Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) so the ability and expertise to build strong professional relationships on both an individual and team basis is very important. Close liaison with individual prison establishments and probation offices are vital to meeting our performance indicators and there will be opportunity to develop this further. The role is important as it ensures that offenders are supported through their sentence and rehabilitation by having access to the right information at the right time, by responding to requests in full and within statutory timescales.

The successful candidate will play a key role in influencing our stakeholders, both within the MoJ and externally. This will be an opportunity to hone and develop your negotiating skills. You will need to grasp and resolve a wide range of complex problems and be able to use your own judgment and analysis to bring them to a successful conclusion and manage any information risks.

This is a dynamic, high profile role that requires the post holder to have excellent communication skills, analytical skills and attention to detail enabling them to provide succinct submissions and verbal briefings to senior managers in the Department. There is also a need for clear and courteous communications with our external customers and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

This is an interesting, varied and stimulating role, leading a large team through work that is varied and challenging. There is also the potential for exposure and participation in cross government working.

Main Activities / Responsibilities

The job holder will be required to undertake the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Lead, direct and motivate the staff in the Offender SAR team and set and achieve stretching and achievable targets to ensure requests are completed within the statutory timeframe, lawfully and in line with policy.
  • Develop delivery plans and reporting structures ensuring they are robust and met and closely monitor them and instigate proactive and reactive adjustments as and when needed.
  • Identify improvements in processes and procedures within the team. The successful candidate will be responsible for leading the team’s operations and this will include investigating new technology available to increase efficiencies and deliver better value for money.
  • Recruit, train and develop staff to have the skills, competencies and experience needed to deliver a high quality service to requestors. You will join a newly formed senior management team and will have the opportunity and responsibility to influence the team, draw out improvements and embed changes so that the team becomes more dynamic and innovative in its approach.
  • Take ownership and oversight of causes of complaints and legal challenges brought against the MoJ in relation to the processing of offender SARs and represent the Department in defending the litigation action. You will work closely with Government Legal Department (GLD) and business units within the MoJ to investigate claims and provide accurate information to assist in resolving the issues. You will be responsible for instructing GLD and Counsel to protect the Department and achieve the best possible outcome.
  • Lead local and divisional employee engagement activities and encourage/ support staff to take part in Learning and Development opportunities to maintain good working relationships with staff and improve staff morale and motivation.
  • You will demonstrate and encourage behaviours which support the MoJ and Civil Service values.


  • Leadership
  • Changing and Improving
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Managing a quality service

Essential experience:

  • Effective leadership, interpersonal and communication skills and experience of building, influencing and maintaining stakeholder relationships.
  • Experience of delivering customer service excellence in a processing environment with a proven track record for identifying improvements and delivering on these.
  • Demonstrable inspirational leadership with proven ability to lead and develop teams through significant change.

Desirable Experience:

  • Working knowledge of the DPA and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Experience of leading a team in a digital environment, streamlining processes and delivering good quality services that provide value for money.

Additional Information

Working Arrangements & Further Information

Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.

Flexible working hours

The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.


The MoJ offers a range of benefits:

Annual Leave

Annual leave is 25 days on appointment and will increase to 30 days after five years’ service.

There is also a scheme to allow qualifying staff to buy or sell up to three days leave each year. Additional paid time off for public holidays and 1 privilege day. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.


The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.


The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.


  • A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
  • Access to flexible benefits such as voluntary benefits,retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
  • For any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.


The opportunity to join employee-run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order

1-     To Shared Service Connected Ltd (0845 241 5358 (Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm) or e mail;

2-     To Ministry of Justice Resourcing (;

3-     To the Civil Service Commission (details available here)

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity.

There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Grading Structure Review

The Ministry of Justice is currently undergoing a review of posts which are currently graded at Band A to realign our grading structure with the majority of the wider Civil Service.

Posts advertised at Band A may be graded at either Grade 6 or Grade 7 once the review has taken place.