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Data Protection Commission moves premises

Data Protection Commission moves premises

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Data Protection Commission moves premises

Wednesday 20 August 2014

The Data Protection Commission has moved to new premises in town as they prepare to take on the job of regulating the new Freedom of Information Law from 1 January.

The Commission has moved to premises in Old Street – the mostly pedestrianized street that runs straight between the Town Hall to the Magistrate’s Court – from its former offices with the States Greffe and Law Officer’s department in Morier House in order to underline its independence from States departments.

Data Protection Commissioner Emma Martins said that it was important that the Commission could demonstrate to the people that approach it with queries and complaints that they were independent from the States.

“We take our role as a regulator very seriously, and these additional responsibilities have marked a good point to move away from the States building in Morier House,’ she said.

“People who have dealt with us understand that we are an independent regulator and that we take that independence very seriously, but it’s something that we want to underline. It’s particularly important that when we are dealing with issues about very personal and critical information about people – as we do every day – that it is absolutely clear that we will treat everything on its merits and that we’re not going to be shy of criticising elements of the States when they have not lived up to their obligations and responsibilities.

“Fortunately for all of us, States departments are very clear about those responsibilities and take them seriously – but as the last line of defence, it’s crucial that we demonstrate our independence and impartiality.”

Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst said: “It is a timely move for the Data Protection Commission. In readiness for the introduction of the new Freedom of Information law, the States has made considerable investment of time and money across the public sector to manage the information we hold consistently and reliably, and, as importantly, we can make that information accessible to the public in compliance with the law.
 The Data Protection Commission, as a separate and impartial body, has a crucial role to play in holding us to account for our responsibilities under the new law, and its move to new premises reinforces its independent status.”

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