Private security firms unhappy with draft regulations aimed at reforming sector

Private Security Regulatory Authority Director General Fazul Mahamad. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Some private security providers want the law to be categorical on fees payable for registration and licensing of private security firms by the size of the company.

The government last month published four draft regulations aimed at reforming the private security sector that had remained unregulated for a long time.

However, the Private Security (Fidelity Fund Operations) Regulations, 2024, Private Security (Procedure for the Appointment of Members of the Board) Regulations, 2024, Private Security (Fidelity Fund Operations) Regulations, 2024 and the Private Security (General) Regulations, 2024 are being subjected to public participation.

Members of Private Security Industry Association (PSIA) are poking holes in the draft regulations, especially on registration fees, training of guards and the constitution of Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSRA) Board.

In a memorandum, PSIA claims the regulations are not clear on the registration fees to be paid, and proposes that payable fees be categorised based on the size of the firms.

“Indicate the amount of fees payable for registration if any as provided for in PSRA Act. The fees for licensing should be as prescribed by the authority and will take into consideration; the firm’s annual turnover,” said PSIA chairman Cosmas Mutava in the memorandum.

On training, PSIA underscored the need for regulations to ensure that during the accreditation of training institutions, the PSRA Board ensures such institutions have adequate infrastructure and a sufficient number of qualified trainers of trainees (TOTs).

At the same time, the association wants the development of a curriculum for the training of private security personnel of all cadres to involve all stakeholders.

To ensure strict compliance with the regulations, PSIA has recommended the appointment of persons to monitor and assess achievements or outcomes with respect to standards applicable to training.

On the constitution of the PSRA Board, PSIA wants private security firms’ representatives to participate as Board members.

Mutava was categorical that supervision of PSRA on the election of a representative to the Board amounts to giving of powers and freedom to the association to elect a person of their choice.

“PSRA should not interfere with the elections; all the authority needs to do is come up with qualification criteria of the suitable candidates,” he stated.