The Information Commissioner's Office is the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights. The Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport is the ICO’s sponsoring department within Government.
Under the Data Protection Act, the Information Commissioner is appointed by Her Majesty on the basis of fair and open competition and on the recommendation from the Secretary of State for Digital Culture, Media and Sport.
Back in August the Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said that pursuing a world-class data strategy would mean "having the leadership in place at the Information Commissioner’s Office to pursue a new era of data-driven growth and innovation. John Edwards’s vast experience makes him the ideal candidate to ensure data is used responsibly to achieve those goals."
John Edwards’ appointment as Information Commissioner was approved by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee after a pre-appointment hearing on 9 September 2021.
Ministers were assisted in their decision-making by an Advisory Assessment Panel which included a departmental official and a senior independent panel member approved by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.
James is the Editor of Government Transformation magazine, and has been covering digital government and public sector reform for 20 years. He also oversees the development of the UK's biggest network of public sector transformation conferences.