Monday, 16 June 2014

David Smith gets his MBE

Congratulations, David Smith, for your magnificent achievement in being awarded an MBE in this year's  Birthday Honours List. I'm sure its to mark a lifetime of devoted and public service, and it must be most richly deserved.

For those that don't know, David is a Board Member of Robust Details Ltd, and President of the Consortium of European Building Control. His citation commemorates his services to building control and voluntary service in Suffolk.

I wondered why the powers that be were minded to offer a gong to "that" David Smith, rather than to the Deputy Commissioner with responsibility for the data protection supervisory functions of the ICO.

Could it be the case that the Consortium of European Building Control is a more respected body than the ICO? According to its website, the CEBC focuses on the Directives and Regulations issued by the European Union concerning all topics related to buildings, building products, building standards, professions or regulations about professions. Impressive stuff. Or perhaps it is the case that his voluntary work has made a real and lasting contribution to the local community. 

The ICO’s David Smith probably hasn’t had sufficient time to devote much voluntary service to citizens in the North West, given the time he spends travelling to meetings all over the UK on domestic data protection matters, the current demands of representing the UK on the Article 29 Working Party, and the extremely demanding task of chairing the data protection and supervisory body for Europol between October 2006 and October 2009.  

Hopefully the ICO’s David Smith won’t have to wait too much longer before he gets that all important letter from one of the Committees that meet to consider suitable applicants.

After all, it’s been ages since anyone from the ICO has been given a gong – and it is only former ICO staff that ever get public honours in recognition for their services to data protection. DP practitioners have never been deemed worthy of any official recognition.


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