16/06/2003

BT wins £23m security licensing contract

BT, through its consulting and systems integration business Syntegra, has been awarded a £23 million four-year contract by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) to design, build and manage a complete business information system and contact centre.

The SIA was launched by the government in April this year to regulate, and award operating licences to the estimated 500,000 people working in the private security industry.

Syntegra will implement and then manage a service for the entire licence application process. The service will gather the licence fee, verify an applicant's identity, cross-reference applications against criminal records and perform applicant competency checks before producing and then despatching a licence.

The service will be based on a core case management system to enable the management of all applications and any potential appeals against decision. The services of the Criminal Records Bureau will be used to check the criminal records of applicants.

With Syntegra providing and operating parts of the system on its behalf, the SIA can concentrate on its roles of granting licences, raising standards and ensuring compliance.

John Saunders, CEO of the SIA, said: "I welcome the signing of this important contract with BT. The SIA and BT face a tough challenge to implement the practical process of licensing for the private security industry, but I'm confident that we can work together to achieve a seamless operation.

The first batch of licences will be issued by the SIA in 2004 to door supervisors, and wheel clampers. Licences in other security sectors will follow shortly to cover private investigators and security guards. In the future the SIA's remit is likely to be extended to incorporate Scotland and expanded to cover other security related occupations.

Commenting on the deal, Head of Home Affairs, BT Government, Paul Kennedy said: "BT is delighted to be selected to support the SIA in pursuing its statutory duties. We perceive our reputation as being inextricably linked to the SIA achieving its business objectives and look forward to delivering our part in the success of the new organisation.

"It is genuinely exciting to be part of an enterprise that will be breaking new ground as it establishes regulation of the private security industry to the benefit of both citizens and the industry itself in fulfilment of the vitally important aims of the Home Office."

Syntegr has revenues of around £600 million and employs more than 5000 business and technical professionals worldwide.

(GMcG)

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