Code will achieve the opposite of its purpose

first_img Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Code will achieve the opposite of its purposeOn 21 May 2002 in Personnel Today In the past, Personnel Today has campaigned for the Government to act toimprove the consultation process for introducing new legislation and thequality of employment regulations. When the Better Regulation Task Force was set up, we, along with manyemployers, hoped that the issue would finally be addressed. Last week, it wasencouraging to see the taskforce complain to the Information Commission aboutits notorious draft code of practice on the Data Protection Act. So far, so good. Unfortunately, the commission has chosen to ignore theletter from the taskforce, together with those from the CIPD and the CBI which promptedthem. It has told Personnel Today there will be no changes to the code (News,page 1). Up until now, the commission might have got away with dismissing employers’concerns with the retort: ‘Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?’. However,ignoring a letter from the chairman of the Better Regulation Task Forceindicates the commission has become a law unto itself. The commission’s rationale for producing the code is nonsense and a recipefor red tape and confusion. It justifies the length of the code by arguing itis a comprehensive reference document for employers. If this was really its purpose, the commission should have made every effortto make it easy for managers to find specific requirements within the code, andit should have been crystal clear what parts required compliance and what wereincluded as examples of good practice. The purpose of the code is to stop people from breaking data protection lawbut the way it has been written will achieve the opposite – managers will beput off by its length and lack of clarity and will actually be more likely tobreak the law as a result. As it stands, the whole episode has been a waste of time and the real scopeof the legislation will have to be decided in the courts. By Noel O’Reillylast_img read more