Stan Rawlins Award

Inaugural Stan Rawlins Memorial Award

We are really pleased to give the Award to the Campaign for Freedom of Information as it celebrates its 30th birthday in our appreciation for all it has done for transparency in the UK, and how it continues to campaign for safeguard FOI.

Maurice Frankel accepted the award from our chair, Jon Baines, at the annual conference in November 2015.

The Stan Rawlins Memorial Award  1930-2013

It is with great sadness that we announce the recent death of Stan Rawlins, the founder of NADPO in 1993, and loyal supporter and member ever since.

Peter Driscoll, the then NADPO Chair, said “to those of us who knew Stan well it seems that it is the passing of an era”.

With Stan’s family’s approval NADPO is running a Stan Rawlins Award, to be awarded to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of information rights. Nominations are welcomed (please send them to The winner of the 2015 prize announced at the AGM and annual conference on 2nd November is Maurice Frankel of the Campaign for Freedom of Information – click on this link for photo of award ceremony

Memories of Stan Rawlins

Jonathan Bamford, Head of Strategic Liaison at the Information Commissioner’s Office, told NADPO “Stan made a real difference to the Data Protection landscape at national level with his vision and determination to set up NADPO and give Data Protection Officers a voice. That helped inform our current Data Protection law and the ICO’s regulatory approach. The information rights community is the poorer for his passing”.

Martin Gibson, Data Protection Officer at Buckinghamshire County Council, and one of the longest-standing NADPO members, has provided a remembrance of Stan, which, with Martin’s permission, we reproduce here.

“Stan was a lovely man and helped me to understand a complex and difficult piece of legislation back in the early days of data protection.

Back in 1992, I was appointed data protection officer at Buckinghamshire County Council. I was very wet behind the ears with no knowledge of the subject and my predecessor in the post said that data protection was a piece of cake, you get a couple of requests a year, renew the registration every 3 years and that’s it. He added that if you really have any problems, Stan Rawlings at Berkshire County Council will put you right, there’s not much he doesn’t know.

My predecessor was correct about Stan, there wasn’t much that he didn’t know and his practical advice always given patiently and generously to a confused rookie practitioner, was gratefully received. On the very odd occasion where Stan didn’t have the answer, he always had the contact number of the relevant individual at the Commissioner’s office who could help you through the problem. I learned a great deal from Stan about data protection and through his contacts, I learned a great deal more. I have many reasons for being grateful to him.

Stan set up the Southern Data Protection Officers Group and I remember travelling to the plush Berkshire County Council offices at Reading in the early 90s to listen to information professionals Stan had assembled which also invariably included a representative from the Commissioner’s office who was normally a much younger Jonathan Bamford to help guide us through the intricacies of this new legislation.

Stan was a regular visitor to the NADPO AGMs and I recall chatting to him every year about the old days and other colleagues we both knew. The fact that NADPO has survived and is still providing help and guidance to information professionals is testament to the commitment and vision of Stan back in the early days, long may his brainchild continue.

Stan was of immense help to me in my early days giving me advice or explaining which part of the legislation I needed to look at for the answer to my problem. Stan was warm and generous with his time and his knowledge, I shall miss him greatly”.