Data Regulator needs more cash, or it might probably’t do its job

The Data Regulator is underfunded, and won’t be able to implement its mandate, its CEO says.

The regulator is an impartial physique empowered to observe and implement compliance by non-public and public our bodies with the provisions of the Promotion of Entry to Data Act (Paia) and the Safety of Private Data (Popi) Act.

Regulator CEO Marks Thibela addressed the parliamentary portfolio committee on justice and correctional companies on the regulator’s efficiency for the fourth quarter of 2019/20 and the primary quarter of 2020/21. He raised considerations about underfunding through the assembly.

Thibela stated when new establishments, such because the regulator, had been established, the capabilities they carry out would have been carried out by a authorities division the place there could be a switch of assets on takeover.

“It is a new operate. We begin from scratch,” Thibela stated, referring to the regulator’s position because the enforcer of Popi.

He stated the regulator’s position in guaranteeing compliance with Paia — although this operate was at the moment with the SA Human Rights Fee — would, because it stands, not obtain any price range switch when the regulator takes over the operate on June 1 2021.

The fee at the moment has R1m to observe compliance with Paia.  

“This locations strain on the regulator,” Thibela stated.

Thibela stated of the whole price range of R31.2m for the regulator, the expenditure incurred was R22.4m.

He stated the under-expenditure of R8.8m comprised R7.1m for unfilled positions and R1.7m for equipment and gear.

“The underspending was for compensation of staff. We marketed positions throughout January and March. After we had been busy with the method of shortlisting, lockdown began” Thibela stated.

He stated the regulator had fast-tracked the method of getting key staff when the lockdown was eased.

Thibela stated the underspending on items and companies was additionally linked to the lockdown.

Regulator chairperson Pansy Tlakula stated a gathering which had been deliberate with the deputy ministers of finance and justice didn’t happen.

“We now have since written to the minister of finance. We now have had a gathering with Treasury. Treasury got here to us a day earlier than yesterday searching for clarification concerning the presentation we made to them about funding. We’re crossing our fingers. We stay hopeful,” Tlakula stated.