Inspection reports

After each inspection, our Inspectors complete a report summarising their findings, observations and recommendations. The report identifies any areas of vulnerability or non-compliance, as well as good practice which may be of interest to other similar organisations.

We revised our approach to inspections reports on 5 July 2021. As of this date, inspection reports categorise areas of vulnerability into two groups:

  • Areas of non-compliance: this signifies a vulnerability which requires immediate action
  • Observation: this signifies an action to be taken at the discretion of the relevant Senior

Areas of non-compliance identified during IPCO inspections indicate issues with the relevant law or Code of Practice that require addressing. They are graded to help a public authority prioritise what actions should be addressed most urgently:

Critical: this indicates a significant vulnerability. Immediate action is required.

Priority: this indicated an area where action must be taken to address the issue within a timescale outlined by IPCO.

Action: this indicates that action must be taken to address the deficiency before the next IPCO inspection takes place.

The Investigatory Powers Commissioner reviews all inspection reports before they are sent to the Chief Officer of the public authority. If appropriate, the findings will also be shared with the relevant Department of State.

The Commissioner may choose to conduct a post inspection visit to the head of the public authority or the authority might be inspected again, earlier than planned, to ensure that particular issues of concern have been addressed.

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