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Private Security Services Act 2004
Private Security Authority
Private Security Authority.
6. —(1) There stands established a body to be known as the Private Security Authority, or in the Irish language An tÚdarás Slán-dála Príobháidí, to perform the functions conferred on it by this Act.
(2) The Authority shall, subject to this Act, be independent in the exercise of its functions.
(3) The Authority shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and with power—
(a) to sue and be sued in its corporate name,
(b) with the consent of the Minister, to acquire, hold and dispose of land or an interest in or rights over or in respect of land, and
(c) to acquire, hold and dispose of any other property.
(4) Schedule 1 shall have effect in relation to the Authority.
7. —(1) (a) The Authority shall consist of not more than 11 members.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), until the first appointment to the Authority of a person elected by its staff in accordance with subsection (2)(g), the Authority shall consist of not more than 10 members.
(c) The members of the Authority shall be appointed by the Minister, who shall designate one of them as its chairperson.
(2) The members of the Authority shall include—
(a) at least one person who is a practising barrister, or practising solicitor, of not less than 5 years' standing,
(b) 2 persons each of whom the Minister considers to be representative of private security employers,
(c) 2 persons each of whom the Minister considers to be representative of employees of such employers,
(d) the Commissioner of the Garda Síochána or such other member of the Garda Síochána not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner as the Commissioner may nominate in that behalf,
(e) an officer of the Minister,
(f) a representative of any other Minister of the Government who, in the opinion of the Minister, is directly concerned with or responsible for activities relevant to the functions of the Authority, and
(g) one member of the staff of the Authority elected by secret ballot of the staff of the Authority in such manner—
(i) if notice of the holding of the first such election is given before the day on which the Authority is established, as the Minister directs in writing, or
(ii) in any other case, as the Authority, with the agreement of the Minister, may determine.
(3) (a) The term of office of a member of the Authority shall be not more than 4 years.
(b) A person may not be appointed to be a member for more than 2 consecutive terms.
(c) A member may resign from the Authority by letter addressed to the Minister, and the resignation shall take effect on the date of receipt of the letter.
(d) A member shall, unless he or she sooner dies, resigns, is removed from office or otherwise ceases to be a member, hold office as such member until the expiration of his or her term of office.
(4) The Minister may for stated reasons at any time remove a member from office for misbehaviour or where the Minister considers that either—
(a) the member has become incapable through ill health of effectively performing his or her functions as a member, or
(b) the member's removal is necessary for the effective performance by the Authority of its functions.
(5) A member of the Authority shall cease to be a member on—
(a) being adjudicated bankrupt,
(b) making a composition or arrangement with creditors,
(c) being sentenced to imprisonment on conviction on indictment,
(d) ceasing to be ordinarily resident in the State, or
(e) if on appointment he or she was a person to whom any paragraph of subsection (2) applied, ceasing to be such a person.
(6) (a) If a member of the Authority dies, resigns, is removed from office or otherwise ceases to hold office, the Minister may, subject to subsection (2), appoint a person to fill the vacancy.
(b) A person so appointed shall hold office for the remainder of the term of office of the member whom he or she replaces and be eligible for reappointment for one further term.
(c) The chairperson shall hold office as such chairperson until his or her term of office as a member of the Authority expires, unless he or she sooner dies, resigns, is removed from office or otherwise ceases to be a member, but, if reappointed as a member, he or she shall be eligible to be designated as chairperson.
(7) In making appointments to the Authority the Minister shall have regard to the extent to which each sex is represented in its membership and shall ensure that an appropriate balance in this respect is maintained.
(8) Each member of the Authority shall act on a part-time basis and shall be paid such remuneration (if any) and allowances for expenses as the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, may determine.
8. —(1) The Authority shall, subject to this Act, control and supervise persons providing security services and maintain and improve standards in the provision by them of those services.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Authority may, and where required by this Act shall—
(a) grant and renew licences,
(b) issue identity cards to licensees,
(c) where appropriate, suspend or revoke licences,
(d) establish and maintain a register of licensees,
(e) specify standards to be observed in the provision of security services by licensees or particular categories of licensees,
(f) specify qualifications or any other requirements (including requirements as to training) for the grant of licences,
(g) undertake or commission, or collaborate or assist in, research projects and activities relating to the provision of security services, including the compilation of statistical information and other records necessary for the proper planning, development and provision of those services,
(h) investigate any security services being provided by any person,
(i) establish and administer a system of investigation and adjudication of complaints against licensees,
(j) monitor the provision of private security services generally,
(k) liaise with licensees with a view to keeping itself informed of any matters requiring its attention,
(l) advise the Minister on any matter relating to its functions,
(m) keep the Minister informed of developments in relation to the provision of security services by licensees or particular categories of licensees and assist him or her in coordinating and developing policy in that regard.
(3) The Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, by order—
(a) confer on the Authority such additional functions relating to security services and connected with the functions conferred on it by subsections (1) and (2) or any order under this subsection as the Minister considers appropriate, and
(b) make such provision as the Minister considers necessary or expedient in relation to matters ancillary to or arising out of any of the functions mentioned in paragraph (a).
(4) The Minister may by order amend or revoke an order under this section, including an order under this subsection.
(5) Any function of the Authority may, without prejudice to its general responsibilities under this Act, be performed through or by its Chief Executive or any other member of its staff duly authorised in that behalf.
(6) The Authority may, subject to this Act, do anything which it considers necessary or expedient for enabling it to perform its functions.
9. —(1) The Authority shall, as soon as practicable after it is established and thereafter within 6 months before each third anniversary of its establishment, prepare and submit to the Minister, for approval by the Minister with or without amendment, a strategic plan for the ensuing 3-year period.
(2) A strategic plan shall—
(a) set out the key objectives, outputs and related strategies of the Authority, including its use of resources,
(b) comply with any directions issued from time to time by the Minister in relation to the form and manner of the plan's preparation, and
(c) have regard to the need to ensure the most beneficial and efficient use of the Authority's resources.
(3) The Minister shall, as soon as practicable after a strategic plan has been so approved, cause a copy of it to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.
10. —(1) There shall be a chief executive officer of the Authority (in this Act referred to as the “Chief Executive”).
(2) The Chief Executive shall, subject to subsection (3)(b), be appointed by the Minister on the recommendation of the Civil Service Commissioners.
(3) The appointment shall either—
(a) be on such terms as the Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, determine and be subject to the Civil Service Commissioners Act 1956 and the Civil Service Regulation Acts 1956 to 1996, or
(b) be on such other terms and conditions as may be determined by the Authority and approved by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance.
(4) The Chief Executive shall manage and control generally the staff, administration and business of the Authority and perform such other functions as may be conferred on him or her by or under this Act or by the Authority.
(5) The Chief Executive shall be responsible to the Authority for the performance of his or her functions and the implementation of the Authority's functions.
(6) Such of the functions of the Chief Executive as he or she may specify from time to time may, with the consent of the Authority, be performed by such member of the staff of the Authority as the Chief Executive may authorise in that behalf.
(7) The functions of the Chief Executive may be performed during his or her absence or when the post of Chief Executive is vacant by such member or members of the staff of the Authority as it may from time to time designate for that purpose.
11. —(1) The Authority may appoint such and so many persons to be members of its staff as may be approved from time to time by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance.
(2) The grades of staff of the Authority and the number in each grade shall be determined by the Authority with the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Finance.
(3) Section 10 (3) shall apply, with the necessary modifications, to an appointment under this section.
12. —(1) The Authority may, with the approval of the Minister and the consent of the Minister for Finance, make a scheme or schemes for the granting of superannuation benefits to or in respect of the members of staff of the Authority, including the Chief Executive.
(2) Every such scheme shall fix the time and conditions of retirement of all persons to or in respect of whom superannuation benefits are payable under the scheme or schemes, and different times and conditions may be fixed in respect of different classes of persons.
(3) Every such scheme may be amended or revoked by a subsequent scheme under this section.
(4) Any scheme submitted by the Authority under this section shall, if approved by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance, be carried out by the Authority in accordance with its terms.
(5) (a) Any dispute arising as to the claim of any person to, or the amount of, any superannuation benefit payable in pursuance of a scheme or schemes under this section shall be submitted to the Minister.
(b) The Minister shall refer the dispute to the Minister for Finance, whose decision shall be final.
(6) A superannuation benefit shall not be granted by the Authority to or in respect of a person on his or her ceasing to be Chief Executive or a member of its staff, or any other arrangement be entered into by the Authority for the provision of such a benefit, otherwise than in accordance with a scheme or schemes under this section.
(7) Any scheme under this section, including an amendment of a scheme, shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the scheme is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House has sat after the scheme is laid before it, the scheme shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.
(8) In this section “superannuation benefit” means any pension, gratuity or other allowance payable to or in respect of a person on ceasing to be the Chief Executive or a member of the staff of the Authority.
Investigations by Authority.
13. —(1) Without prejudice to section 39 (2), the Authority may of its own motion investigate any security services being provided by any person.
(2) For the purposes of such an investigation the Authority—
(a) may by notice in writing require any person who in its opinion is in possession of information, or has any record or thing in the person's possession or under the person's control, that is relevant to the investigation to supply that information, record or thing to the Authority within a period specified in the notice, and
(b) where appropriate, may require the person to attend before it for those purposes within that period.
(3) The person shall be entitled to the same immunities and privileges in relation to compliance with any requirement mentioned in subsection (2) as if the person were a witness before a court.
(4) If the person does not comply or comply fully with the requirement within the specified period, the Authority may apply to the District Court, on notice to the person, for an order requiring the person to comply or comply fully with the requirement within a period to be specified by the Court.
(5) If it appears to the Court, on application by the Authority, that the person has failed, without reasonable excuse (proof of which shall lie on the person), to comply or comply fully with the order, the Court may treat the failure for all purposes as if it were a contempt in the face of the Court.
(6) The jurisdiction conferred on the District Court by this section may be exercised by the judge of that Court for the time being assigned to the district court district in which the person concerned ordinarily resides or carries on any profession, business or occupation.
14. —(1) For the purposes of this Act the Authority may appoint members of its staff to be inspectors (including a Chief Inspector) for such period and subject to such terms and conditions as the Authority may determine.
(2) Each inspector shall be given a warrant of his or her appointment and, when exercising any power conferred by this Act, shall, on request by any person affected, produce the warrant or a copy thereof, together with a form of personal identification.
Power of entry and inspection.
15. —(1) An inspector may, for the purposes of obtaining any information in relation to a matter under investigation by the Authority or of otherwise enabling the Authority to exercise its functions under this Act—
(a) at all reasonable times enter, inspect, examine and search any place where the inspector has reasonable cause to believe that a security service is being provided,
(b) make such examination and inquiry as may be necessary to establish whether the relevant provisions of this Act or regulations thereunder are being complied with,
(c) require the production of any records, books or accounts (whether kept in manual form or otherwise) or any other documents or information which it is necessary for the inspector to see for those purposes and inspect, examine and copy them or require that a copy of them or of any entries in them be provided to him or her,
(d) take with him or her a member of the Garda Síochána if he or she has reasonable cause to apprehend any serious obstruction in the execution of his or her duty,
(e) require any person to afford him or her such facilities and assistance within the person's control or responsibilities as are reasonably necessary to enable the inspector to exercise any of the powers conferred on him or her under paragraphs (a), (b) or (c).
(2) An inspector shall not, other than with the consent of the occupier, enter a private dwelling unless he or she has obtained a warrant under subsection (3) authorising the entry.
(3) A judge of the District Court, if satisfied on the sworn information of an inspector that—
(a) there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that information required by an inspector under this section is held on any premises or any part of any premises, and
(b) an inspector in the exercise of his or her powers under this section has been prevented from entering the premises or any part thereof,
may issue a warrant authorising the inspector, accompanied if necessary by other persons, at any time or times within one month from the date of issue of the warrant and on production if so requested of the warrant, to enter, if need be by reasonable force, the premises or part of the premises concerned and exercise all or any of the powers conferred on an inspector by subsection (1).
(4) A person who—
(a) withholds, destroys, conceals or refuses to furnish any information or thing required for the purposes of an investigation by the Authority,
(b) fails or refuses to comply with any requirement of an inspector under this section, or
(c) otherwise obstructs or hinders him or her in the performance of duties under this Act,
is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €3,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both.
Reports to Minister.
16. —(1) The Authority shall, not later than 30 September in each year, make a report to the Minister on the performance of its functions and on its activities during the preceding year.
(2) The Minister shall cause copies of the report to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.
(3) The report shall be in such form as the Minister may approve and include information in such form and regarding such matters as he or she may direct.
(4) The Authority may from time to time make such other reports to the Minister on the performance of its functions as it thinks fit.
(5) The Authority shall give to the Minister such other information regarding such performance as he or she may from time to time require.
(6) For the purposes of subsection (1) the period between the date of the establishment of the Authority and the following 31 December shall be deemed to be the preceding year referred to in that subsection.
Disclosure of interests.
17. —(1) Where a member of the Authority, the Chief Executive, a member of the staff of the Authority or a member of an advisory committee, a consultant or an adviser appointed by it has (otherwise than in that capacity) a pecuniary interest or other beneficial interest in, or material to, any matter to be considered by the Authority, he or she shall—
(a) in advance of any consideration of the matter, disclose that interest and its nature to the Authority or advisory committee, as the case may be,
(b) neither influence nor seek to influence any decision to be made in relation to it,
(c) not make any recommendation in relation to it,
(d) not take part in any consideration of it,
(e) absent himself or herself from any meeting of the Authority, or any part of such a meeting, at which it is being considered or discussed,
(f) not be counted towards a quorum during any such consideration or discussion, and
(g) not vote on any decision relating to the matter.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), a person shall be regarded for the purposes of this section as having a beneficial interest if—
(a) he or she or any connected relative, or any nominee of his or hers or any connected relative, is a member of a company or any other body which has a beneficial interest in, or material to, a matter referred to in that subsection,
(b) he or she or any connected relative is in partnership with or is in the employment of a person who has a beneficial interest in, or material to, such a matter,
(c) he or she or any connected relative is a party to any arrangement or agreement (whether or not enforceable) concerning land to which such a matter relates, or
(d) any connected relative has a beneficial interest in, or material to, such a matter.
(3) For the purposes of this section a person shall not be regarded as having a beneficial interest in, or material to, any matter by reason only of an interest of the person, or of any company or other entity or person mentioned in subsection (2), which is so remote or insignificant that it could not reasonably be regarded as likely to influence a person in considering, discussing or voting on any question with respect to the matter or in performing any function in relation to it.
(4) Where a question arises as to whether or not a course of conduct, if pursued by a person, would be a failure by the person to comply with subsection (1), it shall be determined by the Authority, and particulars of the determination shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting concerned.
(5) Where a disclosure under subsection (1) is made to the Authority or an advisory committee, particulars of the disclosure shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting concerned.
(6) The Minister, if of opinion that a person mentioned in subsection (1) has contravened that subsection, may remove the person from office or terminate his or her contract, and the person shall thereupon cease to be qualified for membership of the Authority or appointment by it in any capacity.
(7) A person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €3,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both.
(8) In this section “connected relative” means, in relation to a person to whom this section applies, the person's spouse or partner or the parent, brother, sister or child of the person or the person's spouse or partner.
Non-disclosure of information.
18. —(1) Save as otherwise provided by law, a person shall not, without the consent of the Authority, disclose any information obtained by him or her while performing, or as a result of having performed, duties as a member of the Authority, the Chief Executive, a member of the staff of the Authority or a member of an advisory committee, a consultant or an adviser appointed by it.
(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €2,000.
(3) This section does not apply to the disclosure of information in a report made to the Authority or by the Authority to the Minister.
Grants to Authority.
19. —The Minister may from time to time, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, advance to the Authority out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas such sums as the Minister may determine towards the expenses incurred by the Authority in the performance of its functions.
Membership, etc., of Dáil, Seanad or European Parliament.
20. —(1) Where a member of the Authority—
(a) accepts nomination as a member of Seanad Éireann,
(b) is elected as a member of either House of the Oireachtas or to be a representative in the European Parliament, or
(c) is regarded under Part XIII of the Second Schedule to the European Parliament Elections Act 1997 as having been elected to that Parliament,
he or she shall thereupon cease to be a member of the Authority.
(2) Where the Chief Executive or a member of the staff of the Authority is—
(a) nominated as a member of Seanad Éireann, or
(b) elected as a member of either House of the Oireachtas or to be a representative in the European Parliament, or
(c) regarded under the said Part XIII as having been elected to that Parliament,
he or she shall thereupon stand seconded from employment by the Authority and shall not be paid by, or be entitled to receive from, the Authority any remuneration or allowances in respect of the period commencing on such nomination, election or the date on which he or she is regarded as having been so elected and ending on the date on which he or she ceases to be a member of either such House or a representative in that Parliament.
(3) A person who is for the time being entitled under the Standing Orders of either House of the Oireachtas to sit therein or who is a representative in the European Parliament shall, while so entitled or such a representative, be disqualified for appointment as a member or Chief Executive of the Authority or for employment by the Authority in any capacity.
(4) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), that subsection shall be construed as prohibiting, inter alia, the reckoning of a period mentioned in that subsection as service with the Authority for the purposes of any pensions, gratuities or other allowances payable on resignation, retirement or death.