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Data Commissioner seeks Sh3b budget

By Frankline Sunday | October 28th 2021

Data Protection Commissioner Immaculate Kassait. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Data Protection Commissioner Immaculate Kassait says her office requires about Sh3.6 billion in the next three years if it is to effectively execute its mandate.

She said the regulatory scope of the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner was extensive and required at least Sh1.3 billion this financial year alone.

“The main business of data protection extends to companies in all sectors because, at some point, a majority of them operate as both data controllers and data processors,” said Ms Kassait.

The office has been in operation for less than a year, with Kassait becoming the first Data Protection Commissioner on November 12 last year. 

She said the bulk of the resources would go towards recruiting new staff in the next two financial years. The office currently has 10 employees.

“A staff establishment of 92, comprising 57 officers for technical officers and 35 support service officers has been identified and approved by the Public Service Commission for implementation,” said Kassait.           

Earlier this year, she said Treasury’s allocation of Sh11 million in the 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 financial years paled her office’s request of Sh50 million for the first year.

She said the office intended to have a presence in all counties by 2024, noting that they were engaging local and international firms on the need to comply with the Data Protection Act, 2020.

“As a result of complaints from members of the public, we wrote to political parties and we got feedback from the registrar that they have been removed from the register of political parties,” she said.

Liquid Intelligent Technologies Chief Technology Officer Ben Roberts said the regulator should ensure the registration fee for data controllers and processors is not prohibitive to the private sector.

“The budget of Sh3.6 billion over three years is quite a lot of money, and maybe it needs to be thought about in terms of where it will come from,” said Mr Roberts.

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