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As a GP partnership acting as independent contractors to the NHS under a GMS contract, would we be regarded as a public body for the purposes of registration with the ICO?


11 June 2011

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Question in full:

Question in full:

This enquiry is about registration under the data protection act. This week we received our annual renewal notice for registration from the ICO. This contained the news that the ICO are introducing tiered fees for registration. Tier 1 appears to be aimed at small business with fewer than 250 employees, and with annual turnover of less than £29.5m. The annual fee for this is £35, which is what we currently pay. Tier 2 appears to be aimed at larger companies, with an annual fee of £500. However, tier 2 also applies to any public authority, as defined in the Data Protection Act 1998. In the supporting 'factsheet' it states that a public authority is defined by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000, and further, that the NHS is one such body. As a GP partnership acting as independent contractors to the NHS under a GMS contract, and not an NHS body, would we be regarded as a public body for the purposes of registration with the ICO?

Answer:

The higher fee only applies to organisations with at least 250 employees. This is the case whether or not the organisation is a public body. Although GPs acting under a GMS contract are included in the FOIA definition of public authorities, the lower fee will of £35 still apply, as long as the practice has fewer than 250 employees.

There is more information in the ICO's leaflet Notification fee changes – what you need to know.

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