The ICO is primarily funded by organisations paying the data protection fee, which accounts for around 85% to 90% of the ICO’s annual budget. This is supplemented by grant-in-aid from the government to fund the ICO’s regulation of various other laws.

Data protection fees

Under the Data Protection Act 2018, organisations processing personal data must pay a data protection fee, unless they are exempt. Personal data includes information like people’s names, addresses or telephone numbers.

Find out more about the data protection fee and whether it applies to you or your organisation.

From 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, the ICO projects that it will collect roughly £46,560,000 through the data protection fee. In 2018/19, the ICO collected £39,256,000 million in fee income.

The ICO maintains a register of everyone who pays the data protection fee.

Grant-in-aid

The ICO’s regulation of other legislation is funded by grant-in-aid. The ICO is projected to receive £4,626,000 total grant-in-aid from April 2019 to March 2020, compared to £4,300,000 in 2018/19. This is to fund the ICO’s work on the following legislation:

Fine income

The ICO does not receive any money from any monetary penalties which we issue. When paid, the ICO sends this money on to Her Majesty’s Treasury.

Other income

The ICO also receives income in relation to other miscellaneous issues. When other income is received, this is reflected in our annual reports.

The ICO is also able to receive income through the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). The ICO does not currently have the have the power to conduct financial investigations under POCA. However, we have been working alongside agencies who do have these powers and supply the services of accredited financial investigators. If these investigations lead to Confiscation Orders being issued and assets being recovered, the ICO can keep a percentage of this money in line with Home Office rules.

We recently invited views on the ICO being granted access to powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

View up to date information about our income and expenditure on our website.