Data protection should be privatized

Martin Schäfer (UWG), the mayor of Gröbenzell , would like to privatize data protection in the town hall. If it prevails, the municipality would outsource a mandatory administrative task to an external service provider. The project was recently on the agenda of a meeting of the municipal council’s vacation committee. Two factions, the Greens and the SPD, categorically rejected the planned privatization. They managed to ensure that Schäfer had to advertise the position of data protection officer internally again before he was allowed to tackle an external solution.

However, at the same time, the holiday committee authorized the head of the town hall to at least prepare the tender for the award of an external service provider. Schäfer put the costs of an external data protection officer, who is responsible for compliance with data protection in internal administrative processes and in communication with citizens, at around 50,000 euros a year.

Previously, an employee of the municipal administration performed the duties of data protection officer alongside other official duties. However, since he is retiring at the beginning of September, a new data protection officer must be appointed. When asked by the SZ, Schäfer justified the privatization he was aiming for by saying that the municipality had to fulfill this task and that the municipal council had to fill this position. If no applicant is found despite repeated internal job advertisements, “there is only an external solution,” says the head of the town hall. The question of whether the community, which was already operating at the limit of its financial circumstances and was therefore warned by the municipal supervisory authority to exercise budgetary discipline, could afford the additional costs of a private service provider, he answered with the following note: Despite the tight budget situation, there is an obligation to protect data protection in the required manner to ensure shape.

In view of the costs of 50,000 euros for an external service provider, Peter Falk (SPD) speaks of a “cost explosion” as a result of external procurement. And he thinks that it will not stay with the amount mentioned by Schäfer. Falk had initiated the debate in the run-up to the meeting with an SPD motion. In this he pointed out that the position had been vacant for a long time and that the mayor had so far failed, despite the high priority attached to data protection, to deal with the competent municipal council to dismiss the old data protection officer and appoint a new one.

Anton Kammerl (CSU) also describes an internal award as the more sensible solution. Especially since the data protection officer does not require a full-time position. The CSU politician accuses the mayor of failing to transfer the additional task of data protection to the new town hall lawyer. That would have been the most elegant and cost-effective solution. Kammerl admits that it is currently almost impossible to find qualified administrative staff. The market was empty. He also points out that Schäfer stated that he had advertised the position internally four times without success.

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