DPC said planned new structures for commission could hamper speed of large-scale inquiries into big tech

The Data Protection Commission (DPC) warned the government that new proposed structures for the organisation could slow down the pace of major data protection inquiries involving high-tech companies and other multinationals.

In a pre-budget submission, the DPC said there “simply aren’t enough people” if plans for a new system of governance involving multiple committees were implemented.

In the document, the commission claimed it was “by far the most agile and expeditious” data protection authority in Europe when it came to large-scale inquiries and that this could be compromised by increased procedural bureaucracy.

It said: “The new form of administration which has been prescribed … [will require] more rigidly structured, multi-layered protocols that have the potential to decelerate the rate at which the DPC concludes its regulatory inquiries.”

The submission also warned of chronic difficulties in recruiting suitable staff, and said there were long waiting times in getting jobs advertised through the Public Appointments Service.

They said this had “inevitably caused significant delays to all of the DPC’s 2023 recruitment campaigns and onboarding of new hires”.

The document also outlined how the DPC had run into unforeseen delays in moving to a new headquarters in Dublin city centre.