The United Kingdom Information Commissioner’s Office ("ICO") has announced that with effect from 1 October 2009, a new notification fee of £500 will be payable by some larger organizations. This is the first change to the fee structure since the Data Protection Act 1998 became law in 2000.
Notification is the process by which data controllers register with the ICO. It is a mandatory requirement for organizations which process personal information in the UK.
The new £500 per annum fee will apply to a higher tier of:
• data controllers in the private sector with a turnover of £25.9 million and 250 or more members of staff; and
• data controllers in the public sector with 250 or more members of staff.
The standard notification fee is otherwise £35 per year and this will remain so for organizations in the lower tier category. The ICO has also confirmed that registered charities will not pay the higher fee, regardless of their size.
The increase in fees for larger organizations will, according to the ICO, help increase activity in terms of audits and investigations. An interesting comment, which should be noted by data controllers.