SLED and ALEC Audits – Is your Security Ready?
The Security Industry Amendment Bill 2012 has been passed by the NSW Parliament and is now in effect (commenced 1st November 2012).
It will significantly enhance the NSW Police Force’s regulation of the security industry. Many of the changes came out of reviews undertaken by the Australian Crime Commission and the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Evidence of organised crime and outlaw motorcycle gangs operating specifically in the security Industry in all mainland states was brought to the attention of the legislators.
There are about 4,000 security firms operating in NSW and new regulatory enforcement and compliance audits have been introduced to review these businesses. The conduct of compliance audits on master licence holders and premises where they are operating will be based on risk assessments and intelligence reports gathered and held by the NSW Police Force.
The new Act supports the conduct of these compliance audits as a new part 3B dealing with enforcement and has been expanded to allow authorised persons to exercise the functions of an enforcement officer, including civilian staff of the Police Force.
What are the specific changes in the Act:
- Licensing Fee Increases
- Provisional Licences have been abolished (training problems, Mutual recognition issues). The NSW Police Force will be able to oversight Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) in New South Wales in relation to security industry training.
- Security Licence classes 1G, 2E and 2F have been abolished.
- New Master Licence classes have been added MA – self-employed MB – up to 3 persons MC – between 4 and 14 persons MD – 15 to 49 persons ME – provide 50 or more persons
- New Subcontracting requirements – subcontractors to be disclosed and client agree on subcontractors proposed – the client does not have to agree on the particular subcontractors to be used in advance, the work can’t be subcontracted other than in accordance with the client’s written consent (i.e. can the work be subcontracted in all or any circumstances?). Assuming the client has approved that the work can be subcontracted, disclosure of the subcontractor particulars occurs after the event when the client is invoiced for the work performed.
- The Principal contractor and any subcontractors share responsibilities for all compliance obligations
- Signage requirements Vehicle / Business Premises disclosed minimum requirements established
- Sign-on register and Record Keeping stipulated
- SLED Advisory council replaces the Security Industry Council
- Mandatory Industry Association Membership has been abolished
- Access to premises changed no warrant is required for entry by authorised staff and nominated civilian staff now able to exercise the functions of enforcement officers
- Requests for production of registers, books or other records can be made.
- Licencing requirements are intended to be simplified and streamlined to reduce red tape and gain efficiencies in the process.
- Fingerprints and also palm prints may be required in applications for a Master license.
Impact on your Venue:
The venue has no compliance obligations under the Security Industry legislation, if they are simply the client and are engaging contract security without employing any security staff directly.
If however you are a Security Master license holder, there are two specific areas for you to focus on:
- Responsibility for Guards licensing requirements and keeping of records.
Venues employing their own Guards will be required to hold the appropriate category of Master License and maintain license details for ANY Guard operating on their premises, ensuring that details are up to date and available if an audit is conducted.
- Responsibility for Subcontractor Guards and security services. The primary contractor of Guards will be required to hold an appropriate category of Master License and maintain currency of license and up to date details for any Guards operating on their premises. They cannot defer the responsibility of the Guards licensing to the subcontractor. Licensing requirements and keeping of records will have to be maintained by the venue for any staff operating on their premises. Access to venue / employee / subcontractor records regarding security staff and services operating on the site are auditable and no warrant is required for authorised officers to access records, copy and seize information as they require.
Venues cannot ignore the responsibility for security operations operating within their premises.
Joint compliance audits will be conducted through (SLED) Security Licensing & Enforcement Directorate and (ALEC) Alcohol & Licensing Enforcement Command to ensure compliance is being maintained. Each venue must keep records up to date and the availability of these records needs to be monitored to ensure they comply with the regulators requirements.
This is another step forward to establish Industry standards are maintained and the most opportune time to review your business practices in line with new legislation, ensuring it fits well within your other system frameworks to reduce risk and better manage compliance.
For a review of your existing operating frameworks or the implementation of the new legislation please contact Sam Ekinci on 02 96350477 or on email@example.com.