Merseyside Police paid £2,900 annual data registration fee to ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) late for 2nd year running and only after being threatened again with a £4,350 Monetary Penalty Notice
By John Brace (Editor) and Leonora Brace (Co-Editor)
First publication date: 4th January 2021, 11:50 (GMT)
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who guards the guardians?)
As emails published below show, Merseyside Police failed to pay their annual data protection registration fee of £2,900 to ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) in 2019 and their registration as a data controller lapsed on 8th September 2019. Although Merseyside Police did pay the £2,900 fee on 26th September 2019, this was only after ICO emailed Merseyside Police stating that ICO could issue a £4,350 Monetary Penalty Notice (on top of the £2,900 data protection fee) if the £2,900 payment was not made within 14 days of the reminder email.
This also happened at Merseyside Police in 2018 (their data protection registration fee was paid late and their registration as a data controller lapsed), as was previously reported on this blog at Were Merseyside Police processing some personal data unlawfully between 9th September 2018 and 25th September 2018 due to late payment of £2,900 fee to ICO?
Emails below show what happened.
Sent: 18 September 2019 10:03
To: Corporate Support,
Subject: FW: Data protection fee – Expired registration ICO:00012489437
Attachments: RE: Data Protection fee – Reminder to renew ICO:00012257882 – [OFFICIAL]
I have received the mail below from the ICO which suggests that the annual fee has not been paid even though I put this in process on 01/08/2019.
Could you look into this as a matter of urgency to confirm whether or not this has in fact been paid. As mentioned below, failure to pay the fee attracts a large fine.
Please keep me posted.
Data Protection Officer PR
Direct Line Tel: +441517778412
Please consider the environment – do you really need to print this email?
From: Information Commissioner’s Office <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: 18 September 2019 03:26
Subject: Data protection fee – Expired registration ICO:00012489437
CAUTION: This is an external email. Do not click links or open any attachments unless you are sure they are safe.
Organisation name: Chief Constable Merseyside Police
Order reference: 04a96072055a
Registration reference: Z4888071
Dear Graham Thomas
Data Protection Fee – your registration has expired. Urgent action required.
If you have already sent us your payment, please ignore this email.
Your registration as a data controller under the Data Protection Act expired on 08/09/2019. You are no longer registered to hold or process personal information.
Within the next 14 days you must either:
- pay your data protection fee of £2,900.00
- let us know if your circumstances have changed (for example if you are no longer processing personal data or if one of thee exemptions from payment now applies).
If you don’t pay when you need to, or you don’t pay the right amount, you will be breaking the law and could be issued with a Monetary Penalty Notice of up to £4,350 (on top of the data protection fee).
If we don’t receive a response to this email within 14 days, we will send notice of our intention to issue a Monetary Penalty Notice. This will be sent by post to the proper officer at the principal office of your organisation. This may be the Company Secretary or Chief Executive, depending on your organisation. Information about action we have taken in similar cases is available on our website.
You can pay in any of these ways:
Direct Debit – the best way to make sure you pay on time in future. Just complete the direct debit instruction we sent to you previously and post it to the address below with a copy of this email. We’ll do the rest. You will receive an annual £5 reduction each time you pay by direct debit.
Online – you can pay securely with a debit or credit card. Just visit our website at ico.org.uk/registration/payment. Please make a note of your order reference and registration reference shown at the top of this email before going to the payment page.
Cheque – make your cheque payable to the Information Commissioner. Put your registration reference on the back – it’s at the top of this email.
Please send cheques and direct debit instructions to: Data Protection Fees, Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
If you need to contact us please call us on 0303 123 1113, or email email@example.com. You’ll need your registration reference and your security number, which we sent you when you first applied.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office
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