As part of our programme to increase the Society's activity in the Sector and the profile of both the Society and the profession, on July 1st I attended the Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) 2014/15 annual report launch event in London’s Whitehall on behalf of IRMS. Attended by various organisations ranging from training providers, local and central government right the way through to private sector organisations of all sizes. In total there were approximately 150 or so people attended.
This year the ICO celebrates 30 years since it was founded in its offices in Wilmslow. To mark the occasion, and immediately after the launch, the ICO was having a “party” at their HQ. A lot has changed at the ICO over the last 30 years (not just the name) and as we head further into 2015 and beyond yet more changes are coming.
The Commissioner confirmed that after discussions with Ministry of Justice the process to find a new Information Commissioner for the next term has begun. The Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, also confirmed that things are well under way with regards to recruiting a replacement Data Protection Director & Deputy Commissioner replacing David Smith.
A link to the report is below but I have included a summary for quick reference.
Data Protection & PECR:
- The ICO outlined that the total number of data protection concerns received 4,981 (down on 2013)
- The highest areas of complaint relate to Subject Access (46% of total) and data disclosure (18% of total).
- As for percentage of sectors the biggest 3 remain Lenders (12%), Local Government (11%) & Health (10%).
- £1,078,500 – total CMPs issued, £386,000 of which were for companies behind nuisance calls or texts
- 11.4% rise in number of concerns raised about nuisance calls and texts (to 180,188)
- 41 audits conducted of data controllers (as well as 58 advisory visits to SMEs)
- Of the numbers of self-reported incidents to the ICO 1,677 were received of which 439 related to Health, 125 to Local Government and 79 to education.
While the number of self-reported incidents is still heavily public sector it’s worthy of note that there are still a large proportion come from the private sector.
Freedom of Information & EIR:
- The total number of FOI concerns received by the ICO was 14,268 (down on 2013).
- The biggest areas of complaint were Local Government (46%), Central Government (18%) and Police & Criminal Justice (11%). It’s worth noting that Local Government percentage of complaints increased slightly on 2013 as did the Police but for Central Government it has dropped from 26% to 18% this year.
- Network Rail are now seen as a public authority for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act and to date it has already started to reveal some interesting information around Network Rail’s income. New figures released earlier this year show that Manchester Piccadilly’s much-maligned 30p charge for the use of its bathrooms made £435,651.30 in just 12 months.
Priorities for the coming year:
- Within the next few weeks the ICO’s views on the Council EU DP Regulation text will be released.
- Confirmation of whom the next DP Director will be from later this year and whom the next Commissioner will be from 2016.
- Discussion and review of the outcomes of the triennial review of the ICO by the Ministry of Justice. While they are not ‘counting their chickens’ the ICO is hopeful of some positive feedback from the review.
- Continuing their focus on advice and support (proactive) than the use of CMPs (civil monetary penalties).
A link to the ICO’s annual report can be found on their website here.
Scott Sammons CIPP/E, AMIRMS
Treasurer, IRMS Executive
(blog image from http://media.dods.co.uk/sites/media.dods.co.uk/files/image/Interview%20Christopher%20Graham.jpg)