New information commissioner?


New information commissioner?

Tony Collins

Christopher Graham, director general of the Advertising Standards Authority, is expected to take over from Richard Thomas as the UK's data protection watchdog.

Graham is a non-executive lay representative on the Bar Standards Board, which regulates barristers.

Jack Straw, secretary of state for the Ministry of Justice, is inviting the House of Commons Justice Select Committee to hold a pre-appointment hearing and to report on Graham's suitability for the post.

This follows proposals announced last year to increase democratic scrutiny of important public appointments.

Richard Thomas, the current information commissioner, retires on 30 June. Thomas has taken a firm line against government departments that have breached the terms of the Freedom of Information Act. He has fought for Gateway reviews to be published. He has issued warnings about the database state and data losses.

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