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Privacy and cookies

What are cookies?

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the Internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • enabling a service to recognise your device so you don't have to give the same information several times during one task
  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don't need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there's enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with government services so we can make them better

If you'd like to learn how to remove cookies set on your device, visit: allaboutcookies.org

Our use of cookies

Our feedback and complaints form

The form that we use for feedback and complaints on both the English and Welsh language sites sets a cookie - considered essential to the functioning of this form - that recognises when the form is open and ensures that it only stays open for a limited time. This is similar to those used by secure banking websites, to ensure your security.

This cookie is:

Name Purpose Expires
ASP.NET_SessionId Closes form after set period of time When browser closes

Our procurement section

The procurement section of our site links through to another site, http://www.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/, which uses the following cookie - considered essential to the functioning of the site - that recognises when the form is open and ensures that it only stays open for a limited time. This is similar to those used by secure banking websites, to ensure your security.

This cookie is:

Name Purpose Expires
ASP.NET_SessionId Closes form after set period of time When browser closes

Measuring website usage (Google Analytics)

We use Google Analytics software to collect information about how you use cps.gov.uk. We do this to help make sure the site is meeting the needs of its users and to help us make improvements.

Google Analytics stores information about:

  • the pages you visit on cps.gov.uk - how long you spend on each cps.gov.uk page
  • how you got to the site
  • what you click on while you're visiting the site

We don't collect or store your personal information (eg your name or address) so this information can't be used to identify who you are.

We do allow Google to use and share our analytics data, but we anonymise each IP address (the unique 'signature' of each computer), so it can't be used to identify you either.

Google Analytics sets the following cookies:

Name Purpose Expires
_utma Determines the number of unique visitors to the site 2 years
_utmb This works with _utmc to calculate the average length of time you spend on our site 30 minutes
_utmc This works with _utmb to calculate when you close your browser when you close your browser
_utmz This provides information about how you reached the site (eg from another website or a search engine) 6 months

You can opt out of Google Analytics cookies.

Our user survey (SurveyMonkey)

We use SurveyMonkey to collect responses to our survey. If you take part, SurveyMonkey will save extra cookies to your computer to track your progress through it.

Name Purpose Expires
mbox This is used to keep your progress through the survey 30 minutes
SSOE This is used for testing different content and features on the survey website to help make it better When you close your browser
TS5159a2 and TSd0b041 These are used to manage survey traffic by sending your computer to a specific server When you close your browser
ep201 This is used to help us identify how you use the survey 30 minutes
ep202 This works with ep201 to help us identify how you use the survey 1 year

We have requested that our blog, blog.cps.gov.uk, which is hosted by www.typepad.com and is linked to from our site, does not place cookies.

How to control and delete cookies

We will not use cookies to collect personally identifiable information about you.

However, if you wish to restrict or block the cookies which are set by our websites, or indeed any other website, you can do this through your browser settings. The 'Help' function within your browser should tell you how.

Alternatively, you may wish to visit allaboutcookies.org which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of browsers. You will also find details on how to delete cookies from your machine as well as more general information about cookies.

Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of our website.

If you wish to view your cookie code, just click on a cookie to open it. You'll see a short string of text and numbers. The numbers are your identification card, which can only be seen by the server that gave you the cookie.

For information on how to do this on the browser of your mobile phone you will need to refer to your handset manual.

To opt-out of third-parties collecting any data regarding your interaction on our website, please refer to their websites for further information.

Updating information about cookies

Whenever we update our website to include new cookies, we will update this page. This ensures that you know about the cookies that are present on the site and can make an informed decision about giving us consent to place them on your computer or other device, using the settings on your browser.