Information is Key to Public Confidence

Liberal Vannin is deeply concerned by the gap left by the recent resignations of both the Island’s Information Commissioner, Iain Macdonald and his Deputy, Nicola Whiting.

As the independent authority responsible for monitoring and enforcing the Island’s data protection legislation, the Unsolicited Communications Regulations, the Freedom of Information Act and the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, the fact that the Information Commissioner’s two most senior postholders have announced their resignations, leaves questions to be answered, that we don’t feel have been satisfactorily covered in their letters of resignation.

Confidence in the security of information, particularly personal data, is currently at a low ebb amongst many on the Island, and it is vital for the good governance of our public bodies and all organisations holding data, that we have that confidence restored and that they are being properly held to account.

We therefore seek assurances that properly and adequately staffing the Information Commissioner is seen as a priority by government and that the oversight of how our government, private firms and other organisations handle information held about us is professionally and robustly scrutinised. While welcoming the speedy appointment of Stuart Haynes as Interim Information Commissioner, we urge that this temporary role is not extended beyond the agreed six months and that the post is filled on a permanent basis as soon as possible.