UK Ministry Begins Review of Info Commissioner’s Office

4 December 2014

The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Justice has announced a triennial review of the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Such reviews are standard for non-departmental public bodies.

The ministry has asked for the public to submit “evidence” by Jan. 16, and the website includes a four question survey.

Commissioner Christopher Graham said:

“I am confident that the ICO has a good story to tell – very much at the centre of events around information rights. But we must always listen to our stakeholders and we can always learn from the best. I look forward to exploring the best ways of delivering information rights for citizens and consumers, while working with organisations and businesses to meet statutory obligations efficiently and effectively.

“I urge all those with an interest in information rights and the ICO to contribute to the Ministry of Justice’s consultation.”

At a Nov. 26 event celebrating 10 years of FOIA, some thoughts about the ICO’s future are contained in a talk given by Steve Wood, head of the Policy Delivery at the ICO. The commissioner also delivered a speech.

Survey Text

  1. With regard to the ICO’s functions to enforce and oversee the following:
  • Freedom of Information Act 2000
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Environmental Information Regulations 2004
  • Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003
  • INSPIRE Regulations 2009

(a) Do you consider, in relation to any or all of the above, that the provision of their services to individual users and to organisations remains necessary?  Please explain your reasons for your answer.

(b) Do you consider that services provided by the ICO in these areas could be improved? Please explain your reasons for your answer.

(c) Do you consider that services provided by the ICO could be delivered differently? Please explain your reasons for your answer, including any examples from other regulators or comparable international bodies.

  1. Is the independence of the ICO best supported by reporting to Parliament or to a government department such as the Ministry of Justice? Please explain your reasons for your views.
  1. With continually changing technology, an increased use of social media and the internet, do you believe the ICO will continue to be fit for purpose?
  2. Do you have any additional comments you would like to submit as evidence to the review?
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