Closer engagement key to Government relations with industry, says BSIA

David Evans - the BSIA's Project Director - 2012

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has welcomed the Government’s decision to introduce the role of a ‘Senior Responsible Owner’ (SRO) to manage the relationship between Government and the private security industry.

The newly-created role, which was announced as part of the Government’s publication of a new defence and security white paper, entitled New Security Through Technology, will provide an essential point of contact within Government for the private security industry, and will cut across government departments to ensure that the industry is suitably represented, particularly in relation to encouraging a more coordinated approach to security procurement and purchasing.

David Evans, Project Director – 2012 at the BSIA, comments: “Security purchasing has historically been very fragmented across Government, and this situation needs to change. By introducing a coordinated approach, monitored by a single representative, meaningful steps will be made towards driving efficiency and cost-effectiveness, while also providing our industry with a greater opportunity to demonstrate its value to a wider range of government departments.”

Export, too, is another area where the security industry will benefit from greater government support, claims David. “While the UK’s defence capabilities are widely-recognised on an international scale, more can be done to raise awareness of the integrity and capability of the UK security industry.

“The BSIA, through its Export Council, enjoys a fruitful relationship with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and welcomes the intention outlined in this white paper for further promotion of the UK security industry on an international scale.”

RISC, the UK Security and Resilience Industry Suppliers’ Community – of which the BSIA is a founder member – has long supported close engagement between Government and industry. In a 2011 letter to the then-Minister of State for Security and Counter Terrorism, RISC Chairman, John Howe, called for “close engagement between Government and industry if the Government’s policies and priorities for national security and resilience are to be translated into outcomes.”

David Evans concludes: “As part of RISC, and also in our own capacity as the leading trade body for the private security industry in the UK, the BSIA welcomes the creation of the SRO role. Closer engagement through a primary point of contact will enable the Government to harness the expertise of our industry more quickly, particularly in relation to supporting the delivery of the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST.”

For more information on the work of the BSIA, visit the Association’s website.

Further information on RISC can also be found online.