Saturday 14 December 2013

John Bowman: Data Protection Hero of the Year 2013

Last night’s meeting of the Crouch End Chapter of the Institute for Data Protection focused on one main issue – that of nominating its Data Protection Hero of the Year. The winner was unanimously declared to be John Bowman of the Ministry of Justice. Why? In honour of his outstanding service to the country as lead negotiator, overseeing UK negotiations on the European Commission’s data protection proposals.

John was appointed Head of EU and International Data Protection Policy at the MoJ in November 2011. He had completed a review of Claims Management Regulation, and previously led MoJ’s engagement with Muslim communities on raising awareness of domestic and matrimonial law.  He also headed the UK delegation to the 2011 Special Commission on the practical application of the Hague Conventions on international child abduction. So he is well versed in addressing the needs of a diverse range of stakeholders.

John’s award will (hopefully) take the form of an anthem of praise, sung to him by the ICO chorus. The date and venue of this remarkable presentation has not yet been determined, but with luck it will be captured on You Tube. The ICO chorus is still working on the tune. The words of the anthem, however, are likely to be:

Let us praise
Above them all
Our man from the MoJ
Who still walks tall
He’s a star
He's going far
What devotion
Midst this commotion

Many months, nay years
Of sweat and tears
So much time and so much travel
(Will this bloody Reg unravel?)

John’s our saviour
Wants good behaviour
At a cost all can afford
He’s pragmatic
Not dogmatic
Consensus not discord

There is no one
Like John Bowman
In the DP world today
He’s the master
And thinks faster
Knows what the Minister will say

What class
Nerves of brass
Overcomes any impasse
Good suits, great ties
Well judged replies
No flashy showman
All hail - John Bowman!

The Crouch End Chapter also awarded its Data Protection Villain of the Year prize last night. Details of that recipient will be announced in due course.