The effective implementation of SIA licensing in Northern Ireland was highlighted by SIA chairman Ruth Henig when she spoke before the Committee for Justice in Belfast today [26 Jan].
Members of the SIA board visited Belfast this week, meeting with the Minister for Justice David Ford MLA, and holding a board meeting.
Ruth Henig also appeared before the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Justice to give an overview of the organisation’s work, specifically outlining the work with partners such as the Department of Justice and the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and the success of compliance and enforcement work, which has revealed 96% compliance with licensing requirements.
She went on to explain the priority areas identified by the SIA for Northern Ireland going forward, including:
• Continuing to build trust in the SIA with partners and stakeholders in Northern Ireland;
• Increasing the volume of intelligence receive from individuals and partners
• Building on the relationship with PSNI in joint working towards tackling non-compliance;
• Engaging with the Better Regulation Agenda and Regulation Stakeholders’ Forum;
• Building closer relationships with local councils, encouraging take up of delegated powers;
• Continuing to deal with non-compliance in a proportionate, robust manner;
• Supporting partners and stakeholders to deliver future regulation of the industry in Northern Ireland, subject to agreement by the devolved administration.
Ruth Henig said: “I am very pleased with the success of the roll out of licensing in Northern Ireland and the high levels of compliance that are being achieved. The future approach to regulation is being considered at present and will be subject to the decisions of the Elected Assembly. Our aim is to maintain a consistent regulatory regime for the UK as a whole and we are looking to you as our partners to work with us in shaping the future regime, so that we all play our part in developing regulation fit for purpose in Northern Ireland.”
Currently in Northern Ireland:
• Close to 11,000 SIA licences have been issued;
• There are 53 ACS members operating.