The Malta Independent 31 October 2014, Friday

Minister, PN write to data commissioner hours after he is appointed

Malta Independent Wednesday, 16 April 2014, 11:51 Last update: about 5 months ago

Saviour Cachia has been appointed the new Commissioner for Information and Data Protection. He took the Oath of Office earlier this morning by the Attorney General Peter Grech at the Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties.

Saviour Cachia joined the Public Service in 1976 where he was assigned to the Ministry for Commonwealth and Foreign Affairs, serving successively at the Department of Information, the Government Computer Centre (GCC), eventually integrated with Management Systems Unit (MSU) and subsequentlyMITTS Ltd and MITA. He embarked on a new field at that time – Data Management, where the mandate was to introduce data sharing protocols and mechanism as well as data architecture standards.  This activity developed to an Information Resource Management (IRM) function.

Due to his experience in IRM, Mr Cachia lead an inter-ministerial working group in 1998 to review and assess a proposed draft Bill entitled Information Practices Act and make a counter proposal with a new draft Bill in line with Government Policy at that time.  The Draft Information Practices Act consisted of Data Protection, Freedom of Information and Computer Misuse. 

For 2000 – 2001 he was appointed a member of an Inter-ministerial Committee on Cyber Legislation to draft a legal framework to regulate and enable information practices.  During this time, Mr Cachia participated actively in the vetting process of the draft Data Protection Act by the European Commission, to bring it in line with Directive 95/46.This legislation consisted of the Data Protection Act (DPA) as well as the Electronic Commerce Act which also included provisions to amend the Criminal Code in cases of Computer Misuse. 

During the past years, Mr Cachia was appointed member on various working groups, in particular to draft Data Protection Regulations in the Police Sector, based on requirements for the Malta Police Corp to become a member with Europol an also in the Telecommunications Sector.  During the negotiations of the Acquis, Mr Cachia was the point of reference to deal with DP requirements.  Malta, through the Office of the Commissioner for Data Protection (ODPC), became a member of the International Commissioners of Data Protection and Privacy.

When the DPA was enacted, Mr Saviour Cachia was commissioned to identify a strategy to implement the Act at national level.  In this regard, he set up the Data Protection Unit (DPU) within MITTS and as from 2001 to date, he has been assigned the management of a corporate project to implement data protection compliance in the Public Service, incorporating all line ministries and government departments, through OPM and now MSDC. 

During his carreer in the civil service, Mr Cachia participated in various Data Protection conferences, while in this capacity, he also briefed the minister/s concerned attending the Council to discuss this proposed regulation.

With regard to Freedom of Information (FOI), Mr Cachia was involved to give advice on the structures within line ministries and departments and papers were submitted to streamline processes to bring together FOI, DP and records management.

The appointment of Mr Saviour Cachia as Information and Data Protection Commissioner is with effect from 25 March 2014.

Minister requests new commissioner to review LN

Education minister Evarist Bartolo has requested newly appointed Commissioner for Information and Data Protection, Saviour Cachia, to review the legal notice which empowers him to collect data on students, from ability reports to their identification card number.
Stressing that the government had “consulted” the commission’s office at all stages before the legal notice was issued, Mr Bartolo said that he asked Mr Cachia to “work hand in hand with your office in order to be guided to ensure protection of the data subjects.”
The opposition motion presented in parliament calling for the revocation of the legal notice was rejected in parliament after the government outnumbered the Opposition in a vote taken related to the motion.
In his letter to Mr Cachia, the minister acknowledged that he would like to “address these genuine concerns” and asked the commissioner to review the legal notice and provide his feedback.

PN writes to new data commissioner

The PN today wrote to newly appointed data commissioner Saviour Cachia regarding Legal Notice 76, arguing it is a threat to the dignity and privacy of students and their families.

The PN also said that the LN was published at a time when the country was without a data commissioner and the Opposition could not file an official complaint related to the LN.

The letter is in pdf below:

/uploads/filebrowser/PN Complaint to Data Protection Commissioner (160414).pdf

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