PL&B UK E-news, Issue 82

1. ICO will get more funding and new powers but will not conduct mandatory private sector audits

The Government has decided that no sweeping changes are needed to the data protection regime. The Information Commissioner will gain some new powers and more funding, but no powers to conduct mandatory audits in the private sector.

The Government proposals on the ICO’s powers and funding, published yesterday, will put more pressure on public sector compliance instead. The Government proposes to legislate to allow the ICO to undertake a Good Practice Assessment (GPA) of public sector data controllers without requiring consent from the organisation in question.

The Government also proposes to exempt data controllers who consent to a Good Practice Assessment from the civil monetary penalty under section 55A of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) (once in force) for a breach discovered in the process of a Good Practice Assessment.

Also, the Government says that when the ICO enters premises with a warrant, it should be able to require any person on the premises to provide the ICO with any information relevant to that investigation.

It is also proposed that the ICO will gain additional funding by introducing a tiered notification fee based on size of organisation.

In addition, the Government suggests that the ICO simplifies the registration process and creates a Good Practice Forum on its website for the purpose of organisations exchanging experience on good compliance practice.

Read more about this issue in the December P&B UK Newsletter, to be published next week.

2. Your priorities for the year ahead?

Are you responsible for deciding how your data protection budget is spent? What are you top three priorities for the year ahead? We would like to get a clear picture of what UK DP managers regard as the most pressing data protection issues, so that we can make sure these topics are covered in the PL&B newsletters, workshops and conferences.

Send us your views by e-mail to

For further details on the Privacy Laws & Business UK Newsletter, please click here.

Copyright Privacy Laws & Business 2008