News

Committee to draw up implementation framework for Data Protection Bill

BY Pamodi Waravita 

The Technology Ministry has appointed an implementation committee headed by President’s Counsel Sanjeeva Jayawardena (PC) to finalise a framework to implement the Data Protection Bill which was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers this week. 

“We finalised the draft of the Bill in July this year. Since then, two key decisions have been made. Firstly, a committee has been appointed by the Technology Ministry, headed by Jayawardena PC, which will come up with a framework to implement this piece of legislation,” Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) General Counsel Jayantha Fernando told The Morning yesterday (16).

The implementation committee includes Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Viraj Dayaratne PC, Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) Director General and ICTA Chairman Oshada Senanayake, and the Legal Draftsperson, and is supported by experts from the Data Protection Bill Drafting Committee, he added. 

“Secondly, the Drafting Committee and Senanayake also had several discussions with key international and local stakeholders over the past two months, where we examined the Bill’s benefits and impediments. It is difficult to get a perfect piece of legislation and we recognised areas of improvement which led to minor amendments, which will be introduced at the committee stage in the Parliament. These amendments are being formulated based on the feedback we received from the technology and business communities and other stakeholders,” noted Fernando.

He added that another important consideration would be the grace period for the implementation of this Bill. 

Speaking at the weekly Cabinet of Ministers’ media briefing held yesterday to announce cabinet decisions, Cabinet Co-Spokesman Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said that this piece of legislation would aid in the creation of a digital economy in Sri Lanka. 

“We hope that this would result in quality and convenient services to the public,” he stated.

The Committee which drafted the piece of legislation was chaired by Fernando and included representatives from the Legal Draftsman’s Department, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, SLT-Mobitel, Dialog Axiata PLC, and the ICTA.