Preamble 81 to 90, Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA)
(81) Against this background, the need of the Lead Overseer to impose penalty payments to compel critical ICT third-party service providers to comply with the transparency and access-related obligations set out in this Regulation should not be jeopardised by difficulties raised by the enforcement of those penalty payments in relation to critical ICT third-party service providers established in third countries.
In order to ensure the enforceability of such penalties, and to allow a swift roll out of procedures upholding the critical ICT third-party service providers’ rights of defence in the context of the designation mechanism and the issuance of recommendations, those critical ICT third-party service providers, providing services to financial entities that affect the supply of financial services, should be required to maintain an adequate business presence in the Union.
Due to the nature of the oversight, and the absence of comparable arrangements in other jurisdictions, there are no suitable alternative mechanisms ensuring this objective by way of effective cooperation with financial supervisors in third countries in relation to the monitoring of the impact of digital operational risks posed by systemic ICT third-party service providers, qualifying as critical ICT third-party service providers established in third countries.
Therefore, in order to continue its provision of ICT services to financial entities in the Union, an ICT third-party service provider established in a third country which has been designated as critical in accordance with this Regulation should undertake, within 12 months of such designation, all necessary arrangements to ensure its incorporation within the Union, by means of establishing a subsidiary, as defined throughout the Union acquis, namely in Directive 2013/34/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council.
(82) The requirement to set up a subsidiary in the Union should not prevent the critical ICT third-party service provider from supplying ICT services and related technical support from facilities and infrastructure located outside the Union. This Regulation does not impose a data localisation obligation as it does not require data storage or processing to be undertaken in the Union.
(83) Critical ICT third-party service providers should be able to provide ICT services from anywhere in the world, not necessarily or not only from premises located in the Union. Oversight activities should be first conducted on premises located in the Union and by interacting with entities located in the Union, including the subsidiaries established by critical ICT third-party service providers pursuant to this Regulation.
However, such actions within the Union might be insufficient to allow the Lead Overseer to fully and effectively perform its duties under this Regulation. The Lead Overseer should therefore also be able to exercise its relevant oversight powers in third countries. Exercising those powers in third countries should allow the Lead Overseer to examine the facilities from which the ICT services or the technical support services are actually provided or managed by the critical ICT third-party service provider, and should give the Lead Overseer a comprehensive and operational understanding of the ICT risk management of the critical ICT third-party service provider.
The possibility for the Lead Overseer, as a Union agency, to exercise powers outside the territory of the Union should be duly framed by relevant conditions, in particular the consent of the critical ICT third-party service provider concerned. Similarly, the relevant authorities of the third country should be informed of, and not have objected to, the exercise on their own territory of the activities of the Lead Overseer.
However, in order to ensure efficient implementation, and without prejudice to the respective competences of the Union institutions and the Member States, such powers also need to be fully anchored in the conclusion of administrative cooperation arrangements with the relevant authorities of the third country concerned. This Regulation should therefore enable the ESAs to conclude administrative cooperation arrangements with the relevant authorities of third countries, which should not otherwise create legal obligations in respect of the Union and its Member States.
(84) To facilitate communication with the Lead Overseer and to ensure adequate representation, critical ICT third-party service providers which are part of a group should designate one legal person as their coordination point.
(85) The Oversight Framework should be without prejudice to Member States’ competence to conduct their own oversight or monitoring missions in respect to ICT third-party service providers which are not designated as critical under this Regulation, but which are regarded as important at national level.
(86) To leverage the multi-layered institutional architecture in the financial services area, the Joint Committee of the ESAs should continue to ensure overall cross-sectoral coordination in relation to all matters pertaining to ICT risk, in accordance with its tasks on cybersecurity. It should be supported by a new Subcommittee (the ‘Oversight Forum’) carrying out preparatory work both for the individual decisions addressed to critical ICT third-party service providers, and for the issuing of collective recommendations, in particular in relation to benchmarking the oversight programmes for critical ICT third-party service providers, and identifying best practices for addressing ICT concentration risk issues.
(87) To ensure that critical ICT third-party service providers are appropriately and effectively overseen on a Union level, this Regulation provides that any of the three ESAs could be designated as a Lead Overseer. The individual assignment of a critical ICT third-party service provider to one of the three ESAs should result from an assessment of the preponderance of financial entities operating in the financial sectors for which that ESA has responsibilities. This approach should lead to a balanced allocation of tasks and responsibilities between the three ESAs, in the context of exercising the oversight functions, and should make the best use of the human resources and technical expertise available in each of the three ESAs.
(88) Lead Overseers should be granted the necessary powers to conduct investigations, to carry out onsite and offsite inspections at the premises and locations of critical ICT third-party service providers and to obtain complete and updated information. Those powers should enable the Lead Overseer to acquire real insight into the type, dimension and impact of the ICT third-party risk posed to financial entities and ultimately to the Union’s financial system. Entrusting the ESAs with the lead oversight role is a prerequisite for understanding and addressing the systemic dimension of ICT risk in finance.
The impact of critical ICT third-party service providers on the Union financial sector and the potential issues caused by the ICT concentration risk entailed call for taking a collective approach at Union level. The simultaneous carrying out of multiple audits and access rights, performed separately by numerous competent authorities, with little or no coordination among them, would prevent financial supervisors from obtaining a complete and comprehensive overview of ICT third-party risk in the Union, while also creating redundancy, burden and complexity for critical ICT third-party service providers if they were subject to numerous monitoring and inspection requests.
(89) Due to the significant impact of being designated as critical, this Regulation should ensure that the rights of critical ICT third-party service providers are observed throughout the implementation of the Oversight Framework. Prior to being designated as critical, such providers should, for example, have the right to submit to the Lead Overseer a reasoned statement containing any relevant information for the purposes of the assessment related to their designation.
Since the Lead Overseer should be empowered to submit recommendations on ICT risk matters and suitable remedies thereto, which include the power to oppose certain contractual arrangements ultimately affecting the stability of the financial entity or the financial system, critical ICT third-party service providers should also be given the opportunity to provide, prior to the finalisation of those recommendations, explanations regarding the expected impact of the solutions, envisaged in the recommendations, on customers that are entities falling outside the scope of this Regulation and to formulate solutions to mitigate risks.
Critical ICT third-party service providers disagreeing with the recommendations should submit a reasoned explanation of their intention not to endorse the recommendation. Where such reasoned explanation is not submitted or where it is considered to be insufficient, the Lead Overseer should issue a public notice summarily describing the matter of non-compliance.
(90) Competent authorities should duly include the task of verifying substantive compliance with recommendations issued by the Lead Overseer in their functions with regard to prudential supervision of financial entities. Competent authorities should be able to require financial entities to take additional measures to address the risks identified in the Lead Overseer’s recommendations, and should, in due course, issue notifications to that effect.
Where the Lead Overseer addresses recommendations to critical ICT third-party service providers that are supervised under Directive (EU) 2022/2555, the competent authorities should be able, on a voluntary basis and before adopting additional measures, to consult the competent authorities under that Directive in order to foster a coordinated approach to dealing with the critical ICT third-party service providers in question.
Note: This is the final text of the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) - Regulation (EU) 2022/2554 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2022 on digital operational resilience for the financial sector and amending Regulations (EC) No 1060/2009, (EU) No 648/2012, (EU) No 600/2014, (EU) No 909/2014 and (EU) 2016/1011 (Text with EEA relevance).
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