On 21 February, the Government announced a new charging structure for organisations to ensure the continued funding of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
The new structure will come into effect on 25 May 2018, to coincide with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). To help organisations understand why there’s a new funding model and what they’ll be required to pay from 25 May 2018, the ICO has produced a Guide to the Data Protection Fee.
The Government, has proposed the new funding structure based on the relative risk to the data that an organisation processes. The model is divided into three tiers and is based on a number of factors including size, turnover and whether an organisation is a public authority or charity.
For very small organisations, the new fees won’t be any higher than the £35 they currently pay (if they take advantage of a £5 reduction for paying by direct debit). Larger organisations will be required to pay £2,900. The fee is higher because these organisations are likely to hold and process the largest volumes of data, and therefore represent a greater level of risk. There will continue to be financial penalties for not paying fees, but these will be in the form of civil monetary penalties rather than a criminal sanction.
The new fees will be:
Tier 1 – micro organisations. Maximum turnover of £632,000 or no more than ten members of staff. Fee: £40 (or £35 if paid by direct debit)
Tier 2 – SMEs. Maximum turnover of £36million or no more than 250 members of staff. Fee: £60
Tier 3 – large organisations. Those not meeting the criteria of Tiers 1 or 2. Fee: £2,900
Most organisations (there are some limited exemptions) must register with the ICO. Organisations are prohibited from carrying on data collection and processing without notification (registration). There are certain details and categories of information required to be registered. If your organisation makes any changes to its registered details, these must be updated in the register. Registrations also need to be reviewed and (currently) annually renewed.