Data Protection Authority’s registration fees to increase from 2025

Published: 5 June 2024

The Committee for Home Affairs have approved an increase of the registration fees payable to the Data Protection Authority (DPA). Regulations will need to be drafted and laid before the States, to give effect to the changes, and are subject to the usual legislative processes. The new fees are expected to take effect in January 2025. Fees have remained the same since 2021 despite rising inflation alongside increased demand for education, outreach and enforcement activities. These fee increases fall below the inflationary rate.

The registration fee enables the DPA to fulfil its legal and political requirements to operate independently of the States of Guernsey. Independence is a necessary condition for the DPA’s effective regulatory oversight. Being able to demonstrate this independence played a critical role in the Bailiwick renewing its ‘adequacy’ status with the European Commission earlier this year. This status allows the free flow of data between the islands and the EU which is a key driver for the Bailiwick’s current and future economic success.

Ensuring our jurisdiction has a properly resourced and effective data protection regulator safeguards islanders’ rights, supports businesses’ lawful handling of personal information, and serves to underpin the Bailiwick’s digital strategy. On a practical level, the community benefits from free advice and guidance on matters related to the protection of people's data via: drop-ins, study visits, events, schools' outreach programme and other educational activities.

The DPA is a 'horizontal’ regulator whose wide regulatory mandate covers the public, private and charitable sectors. It therefore needs to leverage its limited resources to support, respond to, and enforce across all sectors. To give an indication of the breadth of activity the DPA’s team is responsible for, in 2023 it: contributed to 33 events to share knowledge with the local community, educated 1,128 children via its schools’ outreach programme, handled 56 complaints from members of the public against local controllers, processed 151 personal data breaches and published 12 new guidance notes to help organisations comply with the law.

“The domestic and global data-protection landscape is posing greater threats than ever to individuals’ rights and freedoms. Whether it is ensuring AI models are adopted in a lawful manner, or protecting our children online, the Bailiwick relies on an effective, properly resourced regulator”, said Bailiwick Data Protection Commissioner Brent Homan. “The revised fee model will enable the DPA to fulfill its statutory obligations, and serve the Bailiwick’s residents at the high standards that they deserve.”

Registered charities and not-for-profit organisations will continue to pay nothing for their registration. Fees for organisations with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent staff (including landlords and sole traders) will increase by £10, from £50 to £60 annually. The fee for organisations with 50 or more full-time staff will increase from £2,000 to £2,400 pounds per year. The largest contributor of fees will remain the States of Guernsey, however, their fee contribution will be reduced by £50,000 to £250,000.

Deputy Rob Prow, President of the Committee for Home Affairs, said:

‘The Data Protection Authority plays an important role in ensuring that the Bailiwick of Guernsey remains a safe and secure place to work and live. We live in a digital age, so it is vital that we have a robust regulatory framework that supports people’s personal data being processed appropriately. The DPA operates independently of the States for good reason and the collection of registration fees is an important element of that independence. As the largest fee payer, it was important that the amount paid by the States – and therefore taxpayers – was reviewed in line with the DPA’s fee structure to more closely align government’s fees to those of other regulated entities. I’m pleased this amount has been reduced.’