Article 61 GDPR (Supervisory Authority Mutual Assistance)

Article 61 of GDPR: Supervisory Authority Mutual Assistance

Article 61 of GDPR lays out the foundation of cooperation and mutual assistance between the supervisory authorities for the successful implementation and application of the GDPR obligations.

Obligation of mutual assistance (Article 61(1) GDPR)

Supervisory authorities have the obligation of mutual assistance and sharing of information allowing one another to properly implement and apply the measures required by GDPR.

Mutual assistance includes:

  1. Information requests
  2. Supervisory measures
  3. Handling consultations
  4. Prior authorizations
  5. Doing inspections
  6. Performing investigations 

Handling of requests within one month (Article 61(2) GDPR)

The supervisory authorities will handle and reply to a request made to them within one month.

If they are going to handle an investigation or take measures, for instance, they’ll communicate that in their reply.

Communication of necessary information (Article 61(3) GDPR)

When a supervisory authority makes a request for assistance, it must also provide all the necessary information allowing the other supervisory authority to handle the matter.

The information shared cannot be used for any other purpose than for the purpose it was shared.

Refusal to act by the supervisory authority (Article 61(4) GDPR)

A supervisory authority must comply with a request for assistance from another supervisory authority.

It can only refuse to act in the following instances:

  1. It is not competent for the subject-matter of the request or measures needed
  2. Complying with the request may result in the infringement of GDPR or its member state laws

Status update reports (Article 61(5) GDPR)

The supervisory authority to whom a request was made will provide a status update report on the advancement or progress of the matter.

If it decides not to comply with the request, it must provide justification for its reason not to act.

Means of communication (Article 61(6) GDPR)

The supervisory authorities will exchange information with one another using electronic means using a standardised format.

Mutual assistance free of charge (Article 61(7) GDPR)

The supervisory authorities will provide one another mutual assistance free of charge.

In the event of a mutual assistance requiring exceptional measures and circumstances, the supervisory authorities may agree on compensating one another for specific expenditures.

When a supervisory authority does not act (Article 61(8) GDPR)

When a supervisory authority does not act within a month from the request, the requesting supervisory authority can adopt a provisional measure on its own territory and trigger the urgency procedure provided under GDPR and require an urgent and binding decision from the European Data Protection Board.

Format and procedure for mutual assistance (Article 61(9) GDPR)

The Commission may adopt implementing acts to provide for the format and procedures applicable to the mutual assistance between supervisory authorities or with the European Data Protection Board.

Recitals applicable to Article 61 of GDPR

Relevant Recitals: 123, 132, 133

GDPR Regulation article-by-article overview

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Cited Legislation in Article 61 or relevant recitals

None

GDPR Text: Article 61 of GDPR and Relevant Recitals

GDPR Text Source: EUR-Lex

Official GDPR Text: General Data Protection Regulation 

Official GDPR Title: REGULATION (EU) 2016/679 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation), corrected by Corrigendum, OJL 127, 23.5.2018, p. 2 ((EU) 2016/679)