The work of the Information Commissioner: appointment of a new Commissioner - Justice Committee Contents

Conclusions and recommendations

1.  We are not persuaded by the case for changing from an Information Commissioner to an Information Commission. We welcome Mr Graham's recognition that it is important that the branding of communications from the ICO leaves no room for confusion about the personal responsibility of the Commissioner. We view the personal responsibility of the Information Commissioner for the regulation of data protection and freedom of information as the main value of the way in which the role is constituted. (Paragraph 28)

2.  We recommend that the Ministry of Justice take the appropriate steps to ensure that there are sufficient resources available to the Information Commissioner to enable the backlog of freedom of information cases to be resolved within a reasonable timescale. (Paragraph 36)

3.  We endorse Mr Christopher Graham's suitability for appointment as Information Commissioner and his preliminary view of the priorities of the role and its supporting organisation. We look forward to a continuing dialogue on progress both in protecting people's personal information effectively and sensitively, and in securing implementation of the letter, and the spirit, of the Freedom of Information Act. The Information Commissioner needs to be an independent and fearless champion of both data protection and freedom of information, backed by a well-led and well-managed organisation. We wish Mr Graham success in this role. (Paragraph 38)

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Prepared 9 February 2009