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Question

65. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the establishment of a fully functioning integrated insurance fraud database; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4281/18]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Cost of Insurance Working Group's "Report on the Cost of Motor Insurance" (January 2017) includes a recommendation to establish a fully functioning integrated fraud database for industry to detect patterns of fraud managed by an independent not-for-profit body but funded by industry.
As recommendation lead, my Department established a working group to progress the related action points.  The Group is made up of representatives from my Department, An Garda Síochána’s National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB), Insurance Ireland and the Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).
The purpose of the recommended database is to reduce levels of fraud by providing access to details of incident data which can be used to detect patterns of potentially fraudulent behaviour. 
As part of its consideration of the various policy and legislative issues relating to the database, the Group consulted with the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner. The Group also considered the structure in operation in the UK and invited the UK Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) of the City of London Police and the UK Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) to attend the Group and set out how the data sharing arrangements operate in that jurisdiction.
The Group has since completed a report which includes recommended parameters for the database, who will be responsible for administering the database and disseminating data and how the database will be funded.
The application of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) with effect from 25 May 2018 and the related Data Protection Bill, which I launched last week with Minister of State Breen, will have a significant impact on any new data sharing arrangements between industry members and between the industry and An Garda Síochána. As such, the establishment of any new data sharing structures will require careful consideration against the impending changes to the legislative landscape. More generally, a critical balance will also be sought to ensure that data sharing between insurers is maximised while, at the same time, the data rights of the public are protected.  Any changes, therefore, must be proportional to their effect.
The Group's discussions with the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner and the respective UK bodies dealing with insurance fraud have been important in informing the report in respect of these data protection considerations. 
The completed report will be submitted by my Department to the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the Data Protection shortly for final consideration.