• Simple and affordable steps can and should be taken by local authorities towards GDPR compliance

        • Local authorities concerned about their abilities to fund the changes needed to support GDPR, should not be deterred and instead capitalise on simple and affordable steps, which demonstrate that reasonable measures are being taken to become compliant. This is according to Tim Waterton, Senior Director of UK Business at M-Files.

          The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) recently brought to attention the financial strains facing local authorities in becoming compliant with GDPR. Tim stresses that while these concerns are understandable, there are also simple and affordable steps that can and should be taken to demonstrate compliance.

          He said, “the Cloud Industry Forum last year found that just 10 per cent of public sector respondents were completely confident that they understood the regulation, and only six per cent stated that their organisation was completely prepared for it, indicating the scale of work needed to ensure compliance. The ongoing squeeze on public sector budgets won’t be helping this situation, but while some level of investment will be needed to support GDPR, this doesn’t need to be unduly expensive. It really boils down to sound data hygiene practices and there are some relatively simple and cost-effective actions that public sector organisations can take to close the compliance gap.

          “Local authorities are typically responsible for a huge volume of information, with data spread across multiple systems and used in a variety of ways by many departments. By creating a centralised personal data registry or information asset registry, it allows you to understand what data exists within your systems, where it is located, who has access to it and who it is shared with.

          “Once you understand what data you have in your possession, you can then see how that information links to your different systems, processes, policies and procedures. That is the starting point for the transition to GDPR compliance.

          "This information asset register is a hugely valuable resource and the very act of producing it will identify gaps in your data controls that need to be closed with more process improvements and stronger staff training.

          “With the deadline for GDPR looming, scaremongering is sure to shift into overdrive. In truth, few companies will be 100 per cent ready by 25th May, but even for public sector organisations currently struggling, it’s important they can demonstrate to the ICO that reasonable steps are being taken. Understanding where your data sits and how it is managed is a great starting point. 

          “The question we should perhaps ask is whether using that information to close a few key gaps with process improvements is likely to be viewed positively by the ICO? My guess is that it will be; alongside enhanced staff training on information management responsibilities and ensuring that everything you do is thoroughly documented. Ultimately, the GDPR should be seen more as an opportunity for renewal and improvement, and less of a compliance tax.”

        • Stay up to date - Click here and register for FREE OEN online membership and enjoy unlimited access to a host of benefits including the exclusive members area of the website, downloadable business tools, current and back issues archive, priority breaking news alerts, weekly e news summary and the OEN app

        • Related Articles

        • Remote security top concern for decentralised procurement

          Remote security top concern for decentralised procurement

          Thursday 23rd Sep 2021 by clareb
          IT heads say data leaks in the home will cause the biggest security headache over the next two years as hybrid working arrangements see employees buying and installing their own technology, according to new research by Brother UK.  More than a ...Read More...
          Research finds IT support positively transformed by pandemic

          Research finds IT support positively transformed by pandemic

          Tuesday 14th Sep 2021 by clareb
          The perception of IT support has dramatically improved thanks to the successful response of service desks to the pandemic, lockdowns and working from home. According to new research from the Service Desk Institute (SDI), sponsored by&n...Read More...
          Satisfaction in the workspace linked to increased productivity

          Satisfaction in the workspace linked to increased productivity

          Tuesday 14th Sep 2021 by clareb
          Fellowes Brands has announced the results of its survey of over 6,000 employees across Europe, 1,000 of which are from the UK, revealing 9 in 10 (91%) of all European employees and 89 per cent of UK employees say satisfaction is important to the...Read More...
                • About Us

                  OEN is the leading source of business news and information for buyers of office equipment, supplies and services within mid tier and up sized organisations. Our multi-platform approach delivers relevant, engaging and focussed content via our main printed magazine, bespoke guides and supplements, website, digital editions, apps, and newsletters with an unrivalled reach across the industry. A highly trusted and respected brand for many years, the print version of OEN last year celebrated its Diamond anniversary.

                  For our latest Media packs and more details on our range of services click here

                • View Latest Issue