On Friday (29th January) Paul Gibbons and I returned from Brunei after delivering data protection audit training to government staff. We had a truly memorable trip. The hospitality, generosity and warmth of the Brunei people ensured that we made some fantastic new friends.
We delivered a two-day course to twelve staff (Information Security Officers (ISOs)) working in various government agencies including education, health and immigration. Whilst Brunei does not have data protection legislation, it does have a Data Protection Policy which applies to all government agencies. This is loosely based on the UK Data Protection Act and has been signed off at the highest level. All agencies are required to comply with the policy but there is no regulator like our Information Commissioner. Having said there was a real commitment on the part of the delegates and the organisers to implement best data protection practice.
Having successfully completed the course, the ISOs will now audit government agencies to assess levels of compliance. They have been trained to consider DP policies and procedures as well as staff knowledge and awareness. They will produce a report which will be considered by the head of each agency.
The delegates seemed to really enjoy the course and even laughed at Paul’s jokes! Feedback was very positive with some encouraging testimonials :
“An inspiring workshop. The presenter was well understood, friendly and approachable.” HBHM, Health Technology Dept., Ministry of Health
“The experienced tutor and facilitator provided me with clear knowledge and awareness of Data Protection. I’m truly grateful for this experience.” NK, Public Services Department
“An eye-opening course…I am glad I attended this course.” HNHA, Department of Labour, Ministry of Home Affairs
“Good and interactive explanation/briefing on the Data Protection Policy.” DPHAI, Land Transport Department
In addition to the formal training there were some lively discussions during the breaks about the different approaches to Data Protection in the UK and Brunei. Other important subjects for discussion included the relative success of Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United!
This training was phase 2 of our Brunei consultancy project. Phase 1 involved developing a Data Protection Audit Manual, drafted by our colleague Tim Turner, based on the Brunei Data Protection Policy. This included guidance on DP audit planning, preparation and the use of DP audit templates. Many delegates commented that the manual was clear, comprehensive and very easy to follow.
This is one of many recent consultancy projects we have conducted. It enhances our reputation as one of the UK’s leading providers of in house training and consultancy in information law and information management. As more countries enact data protection legislation, we hope to be at the forefront of developing products and services that will enable those working in this field to develop their skills. Watch this space!
But all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Whilst the tourism industry in Brunei is not as developed as its neighbour Malaysia, there is still plenty to see and do (and eat). There are some stunning mosques which will impress people of all faiths and none.
The food is a tasty mix of traditional Malay cuisine as well as dishes influenced by the many Chinese and Indians who have settled in Brunei. You can enjoy the delicious (and very cheap) street food in the Night Market or dine in style in the many upmarket restaurants. There is something for all tastes and budgets.
We also took the opportunity to ride a water taxi to the historic water village of Kampong Ayar. Over 1000 years old it boasts 500 houses built on stilts in the river. A further trip up the river allowed us to see a few monkeys and the odd (less cuddly) crocodile!
Brunei is a fantastic country and well worth an inclusion on a Far East holiday itinerary. Want to see more photos? See our Twitter feed or search the hashtag “#ActNowinBrunei”.
Finally we would like to thank all our friends in Brunei who organised and attended this training and made us feel so much at home. Keep in touch.