Article 48*

Article 48 – Mutual assistance

Commission Proposal

1. Member States shall provide that supervisory authorities provide each other with mutual assistance in order to implement and apply the provisions pursuant to this Directive in a consistent manner, and shall put in place measures for effective co-operation with one another. Mutual assistance shall cover, in particular, information requests and supervisory measures, such as requests to carry out prior consultations, inspections and investigations.

2. Member States shall provide that a supervisory authority takes all appropriate measures required to reply to the request of another supervisory authority.

3. The requested supervisory authority shall inform the requesting supervisory authority of the results or, as the case may be, of the progress or the measures taken in order to meet the request by the requesting supervisory authority.

EDRi’s proposed amendment

1. Member States shall provide that supervisory authorities provide each other with mutual assistance in order to implement and apply the provisions pursuant to this Directive in a consistent manner, and shall put in place measures for effective co-operation with one another. Mutual assistance shall cover, in particular, information requests and supervisory measures, such as requests to carry out prior consultations, inspections and investigations.

2. Member States shall provide that a supervisory authority takes all appropriate measures required to reply to the request of another supervisory authority without delay and no later than one month after having received the request. Such measures may include, in particular, the transmission of relevant information on the course of an investigation or enforcement measures to bring about the cessation or prohibition of processing operations contrary to this Regulation.

2a. The request for assistance shall contain all the necessary information, including the purpose of the request and reasons for the request. Information exchanged shall be used only in respect of the matter for which it was requested.

2b. A supervisory authority to which a request for assistance is addressed may not refuse to comply with it unless:

(a) it is not competent for the request; or
(b) compliance with the request would be incompatible with the provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive.

3. The requested supervisory authority shall inform the requesting supervisory authority of the results or, as the case may be, of the progress or the measures taken in order to meet the request by the requesting supervisory authority.

3a. Supervisory authorities shall supply the information requested by other supervisory authorities by electronic means and within the shortest possible period of time, using a standardised format.

3b. No fee shall be charged for any action taken following a request for mutual assistance.

Justification

These changes incorporate language from Article 55 of the proposed General Data Protection Regulation. Given that exchanges between law-enforcement authorities in the EU are increasing, the need for cooperation between the DPAs rises in step. While not all provisions from the proposed General Data Protection Regulation can be transferred easily – it would be hard to see, for example, staff of one DPA conducting an inspection in police premises of another Member State – many provisions can and should be transferred. This has also been recommended by the EDPS.

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