Dáil Éireann - Volume 624 - 27 September, 2006

Written Answers. - Private Security Industry.

Mr. F. McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the action he will take to assist small security firms with the cost of a new licence; and if a person (details supplied) in Dublin 5 will be given the maximum advice and assistance. [28226/06]

  Mr. McDowell: The Private Security Authority, established under the Private Security Services Act 2004 is the regulatory body with responsibility for regulating and licensing the private security industry in the State. The Authority is independent in the exercise of its statutory functions.

I am informed by the Authority that it has put a licence fee structure in place which reflects the variety between the different sectors of the industry and takes account of companies and employees who might be working in multiple sectors. Fees also take account of the relative size of companies operating in any given sector. Moreover, the Authority is obliged to become self-financing so licence fees must reflect the overall operating costs of the Authority.

The two-year licence fee was set taking into account the huge variety of cost models in the various sectors of the industry. These range from low turnover, high staffing levels in the guarding sector, to lower staffing levels but higher turnover in other sectors such as electronics.

The private security industry itself supports regulation and has actively campaigned for it for many years. The provision of a regulatory environment for the industry will understandably lead to structured cost implications. However, it is the industry which will benefit from regulation and it is in line with Government policy that industry should fund such a development. I can inform the Deputy that this matter was examined by the Board of the PSA at its meeting of 21 November 2005, which re-affirmed its previous decision in relation to the fee structure and decided that this issue would be revisited by the Board in the context of a review of licensing in two years time.

Staff of the Authority are available to offer advice and assistance to persons applying for private security services licenses. In this regard, the Authority can be contacted on phone number 062 31588. Alternatively, information is available on the Authority’s website — www.psa.gov.ie.