Next UK Information Commissioner announced

The UK government announced this morning that Elizabeth Denham, Information and Privacy Commissioner, British Columbia, Canada, is the preferred candidate to be the UK’s next Information Commissioner. She is well known for her work internationally in the privacy and open government fields and was a speaker at PL&B’s Annual International Conferences in Cambridge in 2014 and 2015.

The next step is a pre-scrutiny hearing by the Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee, approval by the Privy Council, and final approval by Her Majesty The Queen. This process is seen as a formality as the government says in its statement that ‘Ms Denham will take over from current incumbent Christopher Graham in summer 2016.’ His term of office ends on 28th June.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister for Data Protection, said: “The work of the Information Commissioner is vital for public and business alike. I’m pleased that we are recommending Elizabeth Denham to take on this role. She has a track record of working with business and other stakeholders, as well as a proactive approach to enforcing data protection law.”

Information Commissioner designate, Elizabeth Denham, said: “I am honoured to be nominated for the position of Information Commissioner for the UK. I believe the rapid pace of technological change we face will continue to accelerate and present challenges to information rights – we must ensure access to information while maintaining high standards of data protection. The Information Commissioner’s Office has a global reputation for practical, innovative and responsive regulation. I look forward to contributing to this work.”

Duty to document: FOI lessons from Canada, an article on Elizabeth Denham’s decision in a complex Freedom of Information case with useful lessons for the United Kingdom was reported in Privacy Laws & Business UK Report November 2015 pp.14-16. Contact for a copy of this article.