That Dáil Éireann approves the following Regulations in draft:
Data Protection Act 2018 (section 60(6))(Central Bank of Ireland) Regulations 2020,
a copy of which was laid in draft form before Dáil Éireann on 28th October, 2020.
I bring this motion before the House today to seek a resolution to agree the draft Data Protection Act 2018 (section 60(6)(Central Bank of Ireland) Regulations 2020, as provided for under section 6(5)(a) of the Data Protection Act 2018. Members may gather already that we are dealing with quite a technical issue. In October 2019, the draft Data Protection Act 2018 (section 60(6))(Central Bank of Ireland) Regulations 2019, SI 537 of 2019, known as the 2019 regulations, were agreed by both Houses of the Oireachtas. However, due to the incorrect formatting of the agreed text at printing stage, regulations 3, 7(1) and 7(2) were formatted and indented incorrectly. The incorrect indentation change in respect of the Roman numerals below regulation 3(c) meant that the qualification set out in the Roman numerals applied only to subparagraph (c) and not to subparagraphs (a) and (b).
I will conclude soon. I have a long script but, essentially, there was an error at the printing stage only and everything came through this House before that. The regulation was agreed by the Central Bank, the Data Protection Commissioner and the Department of Finance after full consultation, was passed by the Houses of the Oireachtas and was signed by the Minister. Everything was correct, but when it came off the printing press, there was a mistake in the indentation of three of the subparagraphs which meant it may have been possible to come to a different legal interpretation of those paragraphs because of the way the regulation was printed, not because of how it was when passed by the House and signed by the Minister. In simple English, it is necessary to seek a motion through the House to correct this mistake because the regulation relates to data protection. Normally, when there are errors in a statutory instrument, a Minister would have the authority to re-sign it, but because of the data protection issue, it is necessary to bring it back to the House to correct what is essentially a printing error.
This came to our attention early this year. The Department of Finance got legal advice and felt it was necessary to clarify the regulation and redo the statutory instrument. That involved a full consultation between the Central Bank, the Data Protection Commissioner and the Department of Finance. All of that has been done and a motion is now required in the House to approve the regulation.
We have checked if any adverse effects might have occurred due to the error in the printing since the original statutory instrument was signed, and the Department of Finance has absolutely confirmed with the Central Bank, whose data protection regulation this relates to, that in no case was there any untoward or unforeseen circumstances as a result of the printing error. People would have relied on the printed document, which was not quite the version that passed through the House. I will conclude a very long technical speech by giving it to Members in straightforward English. We are here to correct a printing error. We have redone the entire process and we are back here seeking the approval of the House.