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Minister Breen welcomes increased funding for the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner in Budget 2018

Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD today welcomed the increased allocation for the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner in Budget 2018.

Since 2014, there has been a significant programme of investment to increase the resources of the Office so that it can build on its strong track record and fulfil its expanded role and responsibilities, particularly in relation to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into effect from May 2018. In Budget 2018, the Office has been allocated a total budget of €11.67 million which represents a 55% increase on the 2017 allocation.

Speaking at Government Buildings today, Minister Pat Breen TD said: “This increase in funding to the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner underlines the Government ambition to firmly establish Ireland’s data protection regime as ‘best in class.’ A strong, credible and independent regulator is central to achieving this and the increased investment will enable the Commissioner to expand her team so that we have the skills and kind of expertise that is essential, particularly in the context of the GDPR.”

The 2018 funding increase will allow for recruitment of approximately a further 40 staffing, bringing total staff numbers to around 130. The additional funding will also facilitate the roll out of further GDPR awareness raising initiatives, with a special focus on small and medium sized enterprises, as well as the development of a new case management system and online web services for organisations and individuals interacting with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.

Welcoming the budget increase, the Data Protection Commissioner, Helen Dixon stated, “The 2018 budget increase is hugely positive and critical to preparations for our enhanced and increasingly globally prominent regulatory role. As the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner continues to prepare for the GDPR we will continue to invest heavily in building our capacity and expertise to administer our new enforcement powers and all of our additional responsibilities under the new law.”