It is a legal requirement for organisations to register with the Information Commissioner if they process personal data relating to living individuals. As the definition of “processing personal data” is wide enough to include holding of names on customer lists and employee payroll details, every business is “data controller”. The registration is renewable annually.
Effective 1 October 2009 there will be two rates for the annual notification fee levied by the Information Commissioner for registration as a “data controller”.
Since 2000 the notification fee has been a flat rate of £35. For all new registrations or renewals of registrations occurring on or after 1 October 2009, with very limited exceptions any organisation that has 250 or more employees and a turnover of £25.9 million or more in their last financial year will be required to pay a “Tier 2” fee of £500 per annum. Public sector organisations with 250 or more staff will also be assessed as liable for Tier 2 fees. Organisations that fall below the employee and turnover thresholds will fall within “Tier 1” for which the fee remains £35.
Businesses that are already registered with the Information Commissioner need do nothing at this stage; notification of the changes will be advised at the normal annual renewal date. However if you normally pay the annual fee by direct debit you should be aware that Tier 2 fees can only be paid by cheque this year. Tier 2 organisations will be required to complete a declaration and return it with a cheque for the £500 fee.
For further information or to discuss the issues raised, please contact Colina Greenway (firstname.lastname@example.org) on +44 (0) 203 051 5711.
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