23 June 2004

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DPA fee refunds ‘on the way’

By Karl Schembri

Companies who paid notification fees to the Data Protection Commission for the processing of personal data are still awaiting refunds, more than two months since the Commission changed the prices to a flat fee of Lm10.
A spokesman at the Office of the Commissioner for Data Protection informs The Malta Financial and Business Times that more than 3,000 applications sent by companies that had paid the original, far higher fees before the new flat fee was introduced were still being processed and refunds were being sent out slowly.

Businesses who duly submitted their applications told The Malta Financial and Business Times they felt they were being penalised for having sent their applications on time, some of them paying hundreds of liri, before the fee changes were announced.
“They’re right to complain” the spokesman said, “we’re reducing the backlog.” He predicted that matters were bound to worsen when the extended deadline expired on 14 July, as more applications would have to be processed by then although the office would not have to send back refunds.
The Commission had drastically scaled down notification fees for the processing of data by businesses after criticism on the lack of consultation last April. Originally, businesses, NGOs and professionals had to pay a tariff varying from Lm20 to Lm1,000 per year based on the number of employees but the regime was changed to a flat fee of Lm10 for all employers. Self-employed who do not employ any workers and organisations exempt from paying income tax (philanthropic and Church institutions, band clubs, sports clubs, trade unions, clubs and political parties) have been exempted from the Lm10 yearly fee.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Malta Financial & Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
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