The Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation will stand dissolved in law on 28th February 2021 and is due to submit its archive of records to my Department by that date. Former residents of Mother and Baby Homes will be able to make a Subject Access Request (SAR) to the Department under the GDPR for access to their record.
My Department is working intensively to ensure that it is properly resourced to handle subject access requests from people who were resident in mother and baby homes when the Commission's database and records are transferred. In this regard, the Department has established a new Unit to look after this hugely important and significant volume of work.
Everyone has the right to access their own personal data and can make a subject access request to the Department in respect of their own personal information. Subject access requests must be individually considered and in providing each person with a copy of their personal data, consideration must be given to the overarching principle that the release of personal data must not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others. It is important to acknowledge that subject access requests may not necessarily provide all of the information that the requester wishes to see.
My Department is consulting with the Data Protection Commission in relation to the Department's policies and procedures. It is my intention to publish the Department's policies and procedures later this month in line with the principle of transparency and in compliance with the Data Protection Regulatory Framework.