Monday 29 September 2014

Changes at the ICO

ICO watchers (of whom there are many) are generally keen to track subtle changes that occur within the organisation. Thanks to the ICO’s transparency agenda, the published minutes of internal meetings are always a useful source of intelligence. Significant ICO initiatives are usually accompanied by a press release, but every now and again other stuff happens which, in a more opaque organisation, might never have been disclosed to the public at large.

Did you know, for example, that the ICO’s Information Rights Committee meets regularly to exchange views on relevant issues?

If you were to glance at the minutes of its meeting held on 12 August, you may be interested to learn that it has carried out a review of its priority action groups and other cross-office groups.

Deputy Commissioner David Smith introduced a paper aimed at ensuring the various ICO internal groups with an information rights agenda are clearly defined, effective and able to deliver relevant priorities. Evidently, there is a risk that if groups are not established in the correct way, then opportunities may be lost or some duplication of effort may occur.

After some deliberation, the following recommendations were agreed:

·       Priority Area Groups concept will be retained, albeit with the groups being renamed as Priority Area Action Groups (PAAGs)
·       Tasking and Coordination Groups, (TCGs) Hot Issues Groups and Cross Office Information Exchange Groups (COIEGs) will continue unchanged.
·       An update on the activities of relevant TCGs will be included in the Management Board information rights report.
·       The Health PAG will become the Health and Social Care PAAG.
·       The Internet and Mobile Services PAG will be renamed as the Emerging Technologies and Applications PAAG.
·       The SME COIEG will become the SME PAAG.
·       A new Support to Individuals PAAG will be established. It will include representation from the E&D Committee.
·       The Information Rights Committee will annually review the effectiveness of each PAAG.

So, now we know.