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Home Office on the lookout for £80k data protection officer ahead of May 2018 GDPR deadline

The Home Office is recruiting a data protection officer in a bid to help the organisation ensure compliance with the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The role is one of a flood of data protection officer roles opening up in the public sector in response to the GDPR.

“The GDPR requires all public authorities to designate a data protection officer (DPO) to oversee compliance and embed a ‘privacy by design’ culture, and this newly created post will put you at the heart of the new legal framework,” explains the advert.

It continues: “The new framework puts greater emphasis on public authorities being able to demonstrate compliance with the data protection regime. This will be key to any data sharing arrangements post the UK’s exit from the European Union.

“All areas of the Home Office deal with citizens, other individuals, and their personal data. Rapid technological developments and globalisation have brought new challenges for the protection of personal data – this post will be central to ensuring the Home Office is successful in meeting these.”

The new data protection officer will sit within the Directorate for Data and Identity, part of the Crime, Policing and Fire Group.

“The post-holder will have a key assurance, compliance and advisory function on data protection matters within the Home Office, facilitating compliance across all business functions for both general personal data processing matters as well as those that fall under our law enforcement responsibilities.

“This will include leading a programme of audits of personal data processing activities, and reporting key findings and recommendations direct to the permanent secretary. The post holder will need to engage with a range of senior stakeholders both internally and externally.”

However, the combination of responsibilities and the range of senior staff that the data protection officer will need to liase will also make it a highly challenging role – and it also comes with legal responsibilities that could see the holder of the post in court if a series data breach were to occur.

Furthermore, while the role requires a technical understanding, the data protection officer will also need to have an in-depth understanding of data protection law, rights and responsibilities. The officer will also need to keep abreast of both UK and EU data protection law as the two diverge post-Brexit.

Indeed, this is explicit in the job advert, which demands a “good knowledge and understanding of national and European data protection laws and practices including the DPA, GDPR and DPD and a willingness to become an expert in the resulting related UK legislation” as well as a “good understanding of information technologies and data security and the relationship between these and data protection”.

The Home Office may therefore need to raise the remuneration on offer from the £80,000-£85,000 range it is currently advertising, especially given the competition across both the public and private sectors to recruit data protection officers right now.

Nevertheless, interested candidates have until 8 September to apply for the role.  

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