115. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the preparedness of An Garda Síochána in the context of the incoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) EU 2016/679; if civilian staff and Garda officers have undertaken or been offered specific training and-or briefing in relation to GDPR; the number of data protection officers (DPOs) that will be appointed within An Garda Síochána; if there will be a monetary allowance attached to the newly assigned role of DPO; if An Garda Síochána has undertaken a survey and or review of all its databases; if risks were identified; if so, the nature of the risks identified; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8873/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will be aware that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) EU 2016/679 will come into force on 25 May 2018. The transposition date for the new EU Data Protection Directive, which relates specifically to law enforcement, is also May 2018.
As the Deputy will be aware, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the overall business and administration of An Garda Síochána, including the arranging of training for Garda members and civilian staff, and I, as Minister, have no role in the matter.
To facilitate compliance by An Garda Síochána with the requirements of the GDPR, sanction has been given, following the approval of the post by the Policing Authority, for the organisation to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO), which is a mandatory requirement of the GDPR. There is no specific monetary allowance attached to the position, which will be at Principal Officer level and will be remunerated according to the standard civil service pay scale for that level. The DPO will have responsibility for a number of tasks, including ensuring compliance with the GDPR and providing appropriate advice to the organisation. I am informed that the selection process is at an advanced stage.
An Garda Síochána is also establishing a dedicated Data Protection Section to support the DPO in advance of the GDPR implementation date.
I am further informed that, in preparation for the commencement of the GDPR, An Garda Síochána has commenced a review of all Garda databases with a view to ensuring compliance.
In addition, I understand from the Garda authorities that there will be an awareness campaign throughout An Garda Síochána to inform all Garda personnel of their rights and obligations under the GDPR.
Advanced GDPR training will also be provided to those members of staff who will be required to perform more specific tasks with regard to data protection policy and procedures. The training provider is currently being sourced through an Office of Government Procurement tendering process and this training is expected to commence shortly.