Ministry of ICT&NG and NITA-U Officials appear before the ICT Parliamentary Committee

The Ministry of ICT & National Guidance has this morning presented the Data Protection and Privacy Bill to Information Communication Technology (ICT) Parliamentary Committee.

Led by the Cabinet Minister, Hon Frank Tumwebaze, the cross-functional team that included officials from the Ministry of ICT & National Guidance and the National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U), interacted with the members of Parliament that constitute the Parliamentary ICT oversight committee.

In his remarks to the ICT committee, Hon Frank Tumwebaze stated that ‘The objective of the Bill is to protect the privacy of the individual and of personal data by regulating the collection and processing of personal information. Additionally, it will provide for the rights of the persons whose data is collected and the obligations of data collectors, data processors and data controllers. Lastly, it will regulate the use or disclosure of personal information; and for related matters.’

NITA-U’s Acting Executive Director, Peter Kahiigi, added that ‘The Data Protection and Privacy Bill will provide the much-needed protection for personal identifiable information which is key in this digital age. As we move to digitize the Ugandan economy, this bill will provide important safeguards that will protect Ugandan citizens as they use online services. These safeguards will be enforceable by the law enforcement agencies in the country.’

The Data Protection and Privacy Bill has a number of objectives, namely:

  • To protect the privacy of the individual and personal data;
  • To regulate the collection and processing of personal information;
  • To provide for the rights of the persons whose data is collected;
  • To provide obligations of data collectors and data processors;
  • To regulate the use or disclosure of personal information and for related matters
Hon Members of Parliament on the ICT committee and officials from the Ministry of ICT and NITA-U seen deliberating

If approved by the ICT Committee, Data Protection and Privacy Bill will be presented on the floor of Parliament for the Second reading. It is at this point that the House will then proceed to receive the committee report and the debate is opened to other members to debate the merits & demerits.

When the house accepts and adopts the committee report then the Bill is considered read for the second time. When a motion for a second reading is adopted, the house proceeds with the debate at the committee stage or fix another date for discussion. The Bill is examined in detail, considering one clause or subclause at a time, agreed to, amended or rejected based on the majority votes without altering the main principle of the Bill.

This is when the Speaker leaves the chair and assumes the chairmanship presiding over the committee of the whole house which includes all other members. (Thus a committee of the whole house). The process of passing the Bill Rule 23(1) of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament provides for the required quorum of Parliament which is one-third of all members of parliament entitled to vote.

The speaker will put a question that the Bill be read the Third time. Parliament at the final stage passes the Bill as an Act of Parliament, it is then sent to the President for assent where it becomes an Act of Uganda

The Ministry of ICT & National Guidance and its agency, NITA-U, pledge to keep all our stakeholders updated as the Data Protection and Privacy Bill goes through the various stages, as shared above, of becoming a Law.