Are you prepared for the new EU General Data Protection Regulation which comes into force on May 25th 2018? All organisations which hold personal and private data, from their customers or members, such as mailing addresses, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers, are required to comply with the terms of the regulation.
Although the UK is exiting the EU, the advice of UK regulators, the Charity Commission and the Information Commissioner’s Office is that all relevant UK bodies should still ensure that they have robust systems in place that meet the standards of the regulation. This is particularly important as the UK is in the process of transposing the EU regulation into UK law. Non-compliance may mean you risk facing fines imposed by regulators. The EU regulation will therefore have an impact on all charities including literary societies because we maintain lists of our members with contact details. Of course you may be already familiar with the 1998 UK Data Protection Act and will already have fulfilled requirements aimed at securing the careful handling and storage of personal data and can demonstrate you apply good practice.
The following news was issued by the Charity Commission and the Information Commissioner’s Office in December 2016: ‘The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, and the Fundraising Regulator, are issuing an alert to all charities. It reminds trustees that they must, in addition to following charity law requirements, ensure that there are systems in place at their charity to identify and comply with any data protection laws and regulations that apply to its activities.’ For more information see the UK government’s information website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/regulators-issue-joint-alert-about-compliance-with-data-protection-law and the Information Commissioner’s Office at: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/charity/
Also see relevant guidance issued by the Charity Commission on fund raising at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charities-and-fundraising-cc20
Chris Thomas, Hon. Secretary, The Powys Society
(article dates from Autumn 2017)