back to article Where's the money, Lebowski?! UK data watchdog says £7m in fines unpaid since 2015

The UK's data watchdog has confirmed it failed to collect up to £7m worth of fines dished out in the past four years. Since 2015, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has issued 152 penalties totalling £16.6m, of which 47 remain unpaid, according to Freedom of Information responses issued to SMS API company The SMS …

  1. BigSLitleP Silver badge

    Unlikley to get paid by the liquidators....

    I can't see Keurboom Communications paying their fine as they are in liquidation. Looks like the directors all ran away after they got hit with the fine. A case of "take the money and run".

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: Unlikley to get paid by the liquidators....

      They certainly can have applied to Companies House to be struck off, but I didn't think liquidators were allowed to actually dissolve a company until it had met all of it's liabilities.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Put the fines in the hands of HMRC, those rottweilers never give.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Unless your name is Amazon, Starbuck, Vodafone....then they'll roll over and beg for belly rubs.

      1. Symon Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Well the Vodafone one isn't necessarily so, if you're referring to the Hartnett thing as reported in Private Eye. Apparently, they got out of their tax bill by using the law. I noticed your man Tim Worstall was commenting here the other day, which explains your down vote!

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/02/18/once_more_into_the_tax_breach_dear_friends/

  3. not.known@this.address Bronze badge
    Big Brother

    Public Sector = Easy Target

    Because your local authority or other public body CANNOT simply dissolve the company and reform with a slightly different name and do the whole dodgy deal again next week, like these slimeballs do.

    Also, Public Sector = funded by the Taxpayer, so who are the ICO really punishing there? I'm not saying let the public sector off, but maybe a little consideration for the people who are really getting hit when someone else leaves a laptop or USB stick on the train...

  4. Jellied Eel Silver badge

    Also, Public Sector = funded by the Taxpayer, so who are the ICO really punishing there? I'm not saying let the public sector off, but maybe a little consideration for the people who are really getting hit when someone else leaves a laptop or USB stick on the train...

    Although there is sovereign immunity in some cases, the public sector doesn't have blanket immunity from legislation. Especially non-UK legislation, ie complying with EU Directives where the EU can fine the UK for breaches or non-compliance. Otherwise, it can be a bit of circular accounting. So ICO fines PSO and fines go to the Treasury. If the ICO keeps the money, that could create fun. Depending on the breach though, PSOs could potentially sue suppliers to recover costs I guess.

    1. A K Stiles Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      non-UK legislation

      Like the Data Protection Act, 2018? Which implements the requirements of GDPR within UK legislation?

      1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

        Re: non-UK legislation

        Nope, the Eel meant like any transposition of GDPR into an EU-country national law, which could apply to a UK public service if said service failed to protect the Personal Data of the citizens of this country.

        Trying to find an example: say HMRC holds financial data for German residents who happen or happened to be UK tax residents, and that data is leaked. Germany's Data regulator could impose a fine to HMRC. That would be UK taxpayer money going to another country's public finances.

  5. TRT Silver badge

    It's like, you know...

    That Uncollected Revenue Group really brought the room together.

  6. Flywheel Silver badge
    FAIL

    Another useless watchdog

    It's about time we actually gave watchdogs some teeth in this country! If these scumbags don't pay up, send the bailiffs in or take them to court and send them down.

    1. David Roberts

      Re: Another useless watchdog

      Well, "take them to court and send them down" is running 2-3 years behind schedule at the moment, allegedly, mainly due to lack of funding for the courts.

      So plenty of time to re-offend enough times to get the dosh to skip the country.

    2. IGotOut

      Re: Another useless watchdog

      It's at the end of the article, I know a stretch for many on here.

      Directors can now be made personally liable for unpaid debts and go to prison if they fail to comply.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019