House of Lords - Explanatory Note
Private Security Industry Bill [H.L.] - continued          House of Lords

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Clauses 18 - 20 relate to the Authority's powers of entry and inspection, and to its ability to demand the production of information.

Clause 18: Powers of entry and inspection

56. Subsection (1) enables a person who is authorised by the Authority to enter premises owned or occupied by a regulated person (as defined by subsection (6)). Subsection (2) requires the regulated person to produce documents or information in connection with matters which are subject to regulation under the Bill, i.e. licensable conduct, the provision of security services, and any conditions attaching to approved contractor status under a compulsory scheme.

57 Subsection (3) makes it an offence:

  • to obstruct a person exercising the power of entry under subsection (1);

  • to fail without reasonable excuse to produce documents or information under subsection (2); or

  • for a person exercising these powers to disclose information obtained in the process.

58.     Subsection (4) allows a person exercising authority under subsection (3) to disclose information obtained under that authority only for the purposes of the Authority's carrying out its functions, or for any criminal proceedings. Subsection (5) sets out the penalty for an offence under this clause.

59. Subsection (6) defines a regulated person as:

  • a holder of a licence under the Bill;

  • a non-licence holder engaging in licensable conduct;

  • an approved provider of security services under a compulsory approved contractor scheme, or

  • a non-approved provider of security services under a compulsory approved contractor scheme, ie someone who is thereby prohibited from providing security services.

Clause 19: Access to enhanced criminal record certificates

60 This clause amends the Police Act 1997 to permit the Authority to obtain an

enhanced criminal record certificate for anyone applying to it to be licensed as a door supervisor.

Clause 20: False Information

61.     Subsection (1) makes it an offence for anyone knowingly or recklessly to make a false statement to the Authority, in connection with the exercise of its functions. Subsection (2) sets out the penalty.

Clause 21: Criminal liability of directors etc

62.     This provides a standard "director's liability" clause, by which, if a body corporate is convicted of an offence, a director or senior officer, or anyone purporting to act in such a role, who is shown to have consented to, connived in, or been negligent in preventing that offence, is also liable to prosecution.

Clause 22:Orders and regulations

63. This clause contains provisions about subordinate legislation to be made under this Bill. Subsection (1) defines "prescribed" as prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State, or determined in such a way and by such people as may be provided for in any such regulations. Subsection (2) requires the Secretary of State to make any orders or regulations by means of statutory instrument.

64.     Subsection (3) specifies the negative resolution procedure for most statutory instruments under the Bill. The exceptions are statutory instruments which aim to extend the scope of compulsory licensing of in-house security operatives beyond wheelclampers and door supervisors or which amend the scope of those sectors of the industry providing security services under contract, as defined in Schedule 2. These require affirmative resolution. Subsection (4) requires the Secretary of State to consult the Authority before making any orders or regulations. Subsection (5) allows the Secretary of State to make orders and regulations reflecting different provisions for different cases and containing any incidental provisions as he thinks fit.

Clause 23: Interpretation

65.     Subsection (1) provides definitions of the terms used in this Bill. Subsection (2) provides that references to a member of a firm include those liable as a partner under s.14 of the Partnership Act 1890.

Clause 24: Short title, commencement and extent

66.     Subsection (1) provides the name of the Act. Subsection (2) provides for commencement by commencement order. Subsection (3) extends the Bill to the United Kingdom for the purposes of the amendments made to the Police Act 1997 by Clause 19 and the amendments made to the Superannuation Act 1972, the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 and Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975, the Public Records Act 1958; Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967, and Freedom of Information Act 2000, that are contained in Schedule 1. Otherwise (subsection 4) the Bill extends to England and Wales only.

FINANCIAL EFFECTS OF THE BILL

67.     The Security Industry Authority will be self-financing from fees. Funding estimated at £1m is required to establish the Authority and an additional £1.2m to £1.7m to cover a first year operating deficit. These monies will be recoverable through fees.

68.     There are also likely to be annually recurring and non-recoverable public expenditure costs of between £0.5m and £0.7m for court costs and possibly legal aid involved in any prosecutions arising from the new offences created.

EFFECTS OF THE BILL ON PUBLIC SECTOR MANPOWER

69.     The public service manpower necessary to staff the Authority is estimated at between 90 and 110 persons.

SUMMARY OF THE REGULATORY APPRAISAL

70.     Around 110,000 individuals each year will be required to obtain a licence upon payment of the fee set by the Authority. Employers would be able to reimburse their employees for these costs. The total annual compliance cost of the licences will be in the range £5-£6 million. This will depend upon the number of individuals who require a licence and whether or not the companies refund the licence fee. There will be a direct cost to businesses in the administrative work of checking and recording each individual's licence. The recurring annual cost of this is estimated at £1 per employee and the total per annum cost across all business in the industry will, therefore, be around £110,000.

71.     Regulation also provides for an Inspected Companies Scheme, under which businesses could, but would not be obliged to, apply for a Quality Mark. There are no compliance costs, strictly speaking, since this is an entirely voluntary scheme. For those companies wishing to apply, the annual cost will vary according to the number of employees, but is likely to average between £1000 and £2000 a year. This is similar to the amount companies currently pay under existing voluntary inspection schemes. The total cost of the scheme will depend on the number and size of companies applying, but is estimated to be in the range £1 to £9 million.

TERRITORIAL EXTENT

72.     The provisions in this Bill will extend to England and Wales only, apart from the amendments described in paragraph 67 above.

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

73.     Section 19 of the Human Rights Act 1998 requires the Minister in charge of a Bill in either House of Parliament to make a statement, before second reading, about the compatibility of the provisions of the Bill with the Convention rights (as defined by section 1 of that Act). The Lord Bassam of Brighton has made the following statement:

74.     "In my view the provisions of the Private Security Industry Bill [H.L.] are compatible with the Convention rights."

COMMENCEMENT

75.     The Bill will be brought into force by means of commencement orders.

 
 
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Prepared: 8 December 2000