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Commission of inquiry. Former president of the Personal Data Protection Office about his earnings: “I don't know”, “I didn't count”. Well, we did the math

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The earnings of the president of the Personal Data Protection Office increased by 30 percent over the four years under the previous government. But Jan Nowak, when asked by the commission for envelope elections how much he earned, replied: “I don't remember.” We checked: for five years, a total of PLN 1.5 million gross.

Jan Nowak, former president of the Personal Data Protection Office, testified on April 17 before investigative commission into envelope elections. Among other things, he said that in April 2020, the Personal Data Protection Office was of the opinion that Poczta Polska should receive personal data from the Ministry of Digitization based on the Prime Minister's decision and the so-called Covid Act. However, the public opinion was particularly interested in one moment from this hearing: when Jan Nowak was asked by the committee how much he earned in his position at the Personal Data Protection Office. Let us remind you: he was the president of the office for the entire four-year term, from May 2019 to May 2023; was elected by the decision of the parliamentary majority of Law and Justice. Then he continued his duties until Mirosław Wróblewski's successor took office in January 2024.

– Can we find out what your earnings were as president? More or less, a month – asked a committee member, MP Agnieszka Kłopotek from the Polish People's Party. After a long moment of reflection, Jan Nowak said it was hard to say. – Because I do not know – He admitted.

– Don't you know how much you earned? – MP Magdalena Filiks from the Civic Platform was surprised. – They were credited to my account, I didn't count them and I didn't check them. I think that's how much I should be earning. I mean, I had confidence in accounting, Nowak replied with a smile. He added that he did not remember the employment contract. – I won't answer you precisely – Filiks asked the MP. – I will honestly answer you that I don't rememberhow much exactly… And if I'm wrong by a thousand zlotys, you will kill me here… – he said.

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This confession sparked criticism and ridicule, including: Internet users on social media. “Who would count such pennies”; “For him, a hundred is like a million for us”; “Good”; “Some jokes”; “Bravo PiS,” they commented.

The next day, April 18, Konkret24 asked the Personal Data Protection Office for a full summary of Jan Nowak's earnings from the time he headed the office. We received the answer on April 30.

A former PiS activist stopped the publication of letters of support for the National Council of the Judiciary

Jan Nowak appeared before the investigative commission because he headed the Personal Data Protection Office at the time when the Ministry of Digitization transferred personal data from the PESEL register to Poczta Polska in order to conduct envelope elections in 2020. And both then and now, Nowak claims that it was done in accordance with the law – even though in 2024 The Supreme Administrative Court ruled no.

Nowak was already famous in July 2019, when stopped publication letter of support to the National Council of the Judiciary. Let us remind you: these were lists with the names of people who supported candidates for the National Council of the Judiciary elected at the beginning of 2018. They were then classified under an amendment by PiS MP Waldemar Buda. MP Kamila Gasiuk-Pihowicz from PO-KO has been demanding their disclosure for several months. In June 2018, she won in this case before the Supreme Administrative Court, but then the President of the Personal Data Protection Office initiated proceedings in this case, prohibiting the disclosure of the lists until its completion. This happened only after another court judgment overturning Nowak's decision.

From the beginning, Jan Nowak's candidacy for the head of the Personal Data Protection Office was controversial due to allegations of lack of independence. Nowak was one of the founding members of Law and Justice. In the past, he served as the chairman of the PiS councilors' club in the capital city of Wola, and was also the chairman of the district council. In 2018, once again (he had been a councilor since 2002), he was elected councilor of the Wola district from the PiS list. His mandate expired at the end of April 2019, due to his election to the position of President of the Personal Data Protection Office. At the end of March 2019, the “Fakt” daily reported that Jan Nowak was also a member of the party's peer court.

PLN 1.5 million gross in five years

The Office of Personal Data Protection (UODO) sent us comprehensive information about Jan Nowak's earnings from 2019 to 2024. In addition to the basic salary, he also received annual allowances: functional and internship allowances, awards, and in 2024, compensation for unused leave.

Jan Nowak's remuneration in individual years was as follows (all gross amounts):

2019 (from May) – PLN 154,558.29
including: base salary – PLN 67,742.33, bonuses – PLN 55,655.00;

2020 – PLN 234,857.96
including: base salary – PLN 107,365.20, bonuses – PLN 78,105.56;

2021 – PLN 260,102.54
including: base salary – PLN 131,554.92, bonuses – PLN 74,633.00;

2022 – PLN 362,319.00
including: base salary – PLN 150,310.80, bonuses – PLN 142,865.4;

2023 – PLN 304,675.60
including: base salary – PLN 150,310.80, bonuses – PLN 85,222.00;

2024 (January) – PLN 158,828.81
including basic salary – PLN 10,736.49, equivalent for holiday leave – PLN 88,290.16.

To sum up: Jan Nowak earned as the president of the Personal Data Protection Office in 2019-2024 PLN 1,475,342.20of which PLN 436,480.96 were prizes.

Comparing the full years – 2020 and 2023 – it turns out that the earnings of CEO Jan Nowak increased by 30% during this period.

Main photo source: PAP/Marcin Obara

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