When fully commenced, the Data Sharing and Governance Act will provide the legal basis for public bodies to share data. Certain sections of the Act have already been commenced. There is a phased approach to commencement of the remaining sections of the Act.
Phase 1 was implemented on the 7th July 2021 when remaining sections of the Data Sharing and Governance Act 2019 were commenced with the exception of subsections (2), (3) of s.6. The Order, with a commencement date of the 7th July 2021, also set a commencement date of March 31st 2022 for subsections (2) and (3) of s.6. This allows for establishment of the Data Governance Board and the introduction of a comprehensive new Data Sharing and Governance Framework for the Public Service. This represents a significant development in the Government’s drive to provide transparency on the efficient use of citizen data to deliver public services. The Order also sets a commencement date of March 31st 2022 for commencement of subsections (2) and (3) of s.6.
These sections overlap with the Data Protection Act 2018. This approach to commencement will allow for a smooth transition of public bodies from reliance on the Data Protection Act 2018 to the Data Sharing and Governance Act 2019.
Phase 2 will commence ss 6(2) and (3). This commencement will take place when public bodies worked through the new Data Sharing process and have transitioned from s38 of the Data Protection Act 2018 to the new legislation. When subsections (2) and (3) of s.6 are commenced, it will prevent s38 from being relied upon as a legal basis for the disclosure of information by one public body to another public body. Section 38 will remain a valid legal basis for all other forms of processing which fall within its scope.