The Data Protection Bill 2017 is currently going through Parliament. This means that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation is still to be finalised before it is implemented across the UK in May 2018.

For those who are worried about the upcoming changes in relation to Brexit, the government has recently confirmed that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not affect the commencement of the GDPR. However, what is still unclear is the full impact of the introduction of this legislation, and the possible implications which might affect the UK private sector investigation industry.

Implementation of a Working Group

Due to the uncertainty of how GDPR could impact the Association and its members, Chris Booth has been appointed by the Governing Council as GDPR Chairman. He has been appointed to lead a working group called the DPA17 Consultation Group which is made up of representatives from similar minded organisations and trade bodies.

The group’s main strategy is to work towards providing clarity, wherever possible, on sections of the legislation that are perceived as having a potential negative impact on our industry. They will also work on smoothing out any grey areas and strive to provide clarity where it is lacking.

What are the Headline Objectives?

The following headline objectives have been agreed for the benefit and clarity of ABI members:

  1.     Consider the likely implications of GDPR for members of the Association of British Investigators and provide outline guidance
  2.     Provide data flow case management guidance on how members meet their obligations under GDPR
  3.     Update the ABI Model Terms and Conditions and/or provide a model template ‘Contract of Engagement’ for ABI members
  4.     Provide guidance/examples on how to complete a Privacy Impact Assessment and/or a Legitimate Interest Assessment
  5.     Create an ABI policy for dealing with Data Breaches

There will also be key areas what will be addressed on behalf of members. These include providing clarity on the relationship and DPA obligations between a member and its end client when accepting instructions.

Backing the Sector

Due to the short lead time, the association has set an objective of appointing a member of the House of Lords who will champion the sector, and offer support by lobbying any suggested amendments on the association’s behalf. Those who feel that they are well positioned to offer support are asked to contact Chris Booth.

The Governing Council (GC) is currently obtaining proposals and quotations from a number of leading national law firms in anticipation of the future requirement to seek legal advice. This is to ensure that the Association maintains GDPR compliance and offers its members the correct guidance by way of suggested model documents.

The GC is constantly committed to providing its members with timely and accurate guidance to help support their compliant and ethical investigation activities. With this in mind, guidance updates will continue to be published on the ABI website over the coming months.