Thursday 4 December 2014

The mysterious case of the missing questions in the MoJ’s Triennial Review of the ICO

Last night’s meeting of the Crouch End Chapter of the Institute for Data Protection ended with members in a state of confusion. Not intoxication, just confusion.


In October, the ICO’s Management Board were told that the ICO would be raising three specific issues with the MoJ during the review. If you don’t know what review I’m referring to, please take a look at my recent blog.

For some reason, however, the MoJ decided that only one of these issues should be specifically raised during the public consultation process.

Try as we might, no-one could offer any reason why the MOJ had decided to drop the questions on the other issues. One rational explanation was that the MoJ might not have wanted to realise that the opinions of the respondents differed from those of the MoJ officials – but surely that can’t be the real reason for the omission.

The three issues that the ICO were keen to discuss were:

     ·      Whether or not the Commissioner should become an officer of Parliament;
     ·      Whether or not there should be a commission rather than a commissioner, as suggested in the Leveson Report; and
     ·      The continued combining of the roles of data protection and freedom of information regulator.

The last two issues don’t feature as prompted questions in the public consultation exercise.

Anyway, members at last night’s meeting passed a resolution warmly inviting respondents with strong views on the last two points to make their views known to the MoJ.

Whether anyone takes any notice of said views, who knows – but at least they will have been recorded for posterity.


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