I am a career civil servant, joining the Home Office in 2018 to take up post as one of three newly appointed Deputy Data Protection Officers.
Every day as a Deputy DPO in the Home Office is different; My role means that I have to advise and be responsive to the varying demands of this huge department, managing the expectations of senior managers and those accountable for how the department uses the data that is entrusted by our customers, colleagues and partners. At the heart of what we do is the customer, the data subject, and their rights and making sure that as a great department of state we do the right thing at the right time for our customers – some of whom are very vulnerable to exploitation
The Home Office is one of the most flexible government departments in the working patterns available to staff. It has had a tradition of home working and made devices more generally available than some other departments. The pandemic saw a fantastic and immediate response to greater demand to ensure work continued unaffected by the need for more people to work at home. As someone who has been shielding for most of the last 20 months it has meant that I have been able to give my full attention to work and not to the limitations that the pandemic presented. I have worked full time and been able to be more flexible for my customers due to working from home.
I think the Home Office is a great place to work. It is all too easy to be hoodwinked into thinking that the Civil Service is dull and the work is either monotonous or boring and done by unskilled and uncaring people. That is what the media would have you believe. Behind the scenes it is very different. The Home Office is a department of great opportunity for a wide variety of people with differing backgrounds, experience and expertise and a single purpose – to help and serve our customers and colleagues with respect.