Late last night the House of Lords passed an amendment to the Public Bodies Bill which removed the Security Industry Authority (SIA) from the schedule of Quangos set to be abolished, reports Bobby Logue on behalf of SMT Online and Infologue.com. The amendment removes the Security Industry Authority from the list of public bodies that the Government can abolish by secondary legislation. The Minister of State, Home Office, Baroness Neville-Jones told the Lords that it remained the Government’sclear intention to abolish the SIA in its present form and transfer the powers to a new regulatory regime by the end of 2013.
Key comments made by Baroness Neville-Jones included;
“We have, however, decided that this will be best achieved through a different piece of primary legislation. As noble Lords know, it was announced on 14 October (2010) as part of the public bodies review that the SIA would no longer be a non-departmental public body and that we would take forward a phased transition to a new regulatory regime. I went through the reasons for that during the Committee debate on 28 February, and I do not intend to detain the House at this hour by going over that ground again. I am sure that noble Lords will welcome that.”
“Home Office Ministers asked the SIA last October to consult key stakeholders, including the industry, and to produce a detailed plan of how the phased transition to the new regulatory regime could be achieved. As the House will know, the chair of the SIA, the noble Baroness, Lady Henig, and its chief executive, Bill Butler, presented their plan to the department on 16 February and there has been a subsequent meeting with the Home Secretary on 14 March, so there has been close dialogue between the SIA and the department.”
“The key points that emerge from the proposals are that: regulation will shift from licensing individuals to registering businesses, which will have to meet a comprehensive set of conditions set by the new regulator; the regulation of individuals will become the responsibility of registered businesses, which is an important point; the new regulator will have the power to impose sanctions, including removing the right to trade in the private security industry on the part of businesses that fail to comply with the conditions that it sets for registration; and the Government’s aim is for the new regulatory regime to be in place by the end of 2013, using a phased approach to ensure a smooth transition.”
The Security Industry Authority is expected to make an announcement on the amendment later today.