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Question

415. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has received requests for additional staff or extra resources from the Data Protection Commission; his pans to review the adequacy of the staffing levels and resources at the Commission, particularly in view of a recent announcement by a company (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54224/18]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): In recognition of Ireland’s commitment to deliver effective data protection regulation and protection of the data privacy rights of EU citizens, the Government has made clear that the existence in Ireland of a professional and competent data protection regulator is a critical enabler to the development and growth of our digital economy. Consequently, the Government has demonstrated this commitment by providing significant additional resources, in terms of funding and staff resources, to the Data Protection Commission (DPC) in recent years.
In Budget 2019, the DPC was allocated €15.2 million which is an increase of more than 30% over its allocation in 2018. The 2019 budget allocation is approximately eight times the €1.9 million allocated to the then Office of the Data Protection Commissioner in 2014 and a doubling of the DPC's 2017 allocation. This very significant increase in budgetary provision demonstrates the Government’s continuing commitment to meeting the funding requirements of the Irish data protection authority.
The DPC will have approximately 130 staff by the end of January 2019. It is envisaged that its staff numbers will grow to circa 170 by the end of 2019; this is in line with the budgetary submission that the DPC made to my Department in late 2018 which my officials then considered in conjunction with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
The Government is committed to keeping the resourcing of the DPC under on-going review. My Department will continue to monitor the impact of implementation of the GPDR, the impact of any possible future regulatory changes as well as any changes within industry, in conjunction with the DPC, to ensure that the DPC continues to have the resources required to fulfil its important, statutory objectives.