News items

Following extensive lobbing by Electrical Contractors and their Trade Associations the Private Security Authority (PSA) has been forced to introduce legislation which would reduce the sectorial fee for contractors with a turnover of less than €300,000 by €1000. This has been confirmed in a letter from the European Commission to Marian Harkin MEP. The fee which previously was €1250 will now be €250. The administration fee will remain unchanged at €1000. There is also a fee of approx €1000 which must be paid to one of the approved auditing bodies. The changes will reduce the total cost of obtaining the PSA licence from €3250 to€2250. This fee will be due every two years.

AECI are of the opinion that while the fee reduction is welcome, the cost of the licence remains excessive for the small contractor. AECI will continue to demand that there should be no extra cost to electrical contractors to continue to carry out works which they have always done. The PSA has issued on request a free licence to contractors who were previously licensed to install and maintain Intruder Alarm and AECI demand that Registered Electrical Contractors (REC) should be issued the same free licence. It is clear that the PSA have ignored the legitimate concerns highlighted by Electrical Contractors and have only acted under pressure from the European Commission.

This follows on from the fact that the PSA introduced the new licensing requirements without consultation with the Electrical Contracting Industry. Requests from Electrical Contractor representatives’ groups for further meetings with the PSA have as yet, not led to a commitment from the PSA to meet representatives. Electrical Contractors also remain unsure as to the scope of works which will require the new licence. For example despite asking the PSA in writing if Hotel Key-card access control systems require the new licence we have received no clarification from the PSA on this issue.

Modifications to the legalisation which set up the PSA i.e. Private Security Services Act 2004 are now necessary to allow the proposed fee reduction to be introduced. AECI are unsure how long it will take to introduce this amended legalisation but are aware that changes to legalisation normally take a considerable period of time to take effect. We would also suggest that it will be difficult for the PSA to prosecute any contractor while we are awaiting new legalisation to reduce licensing fees. AECI will continue attempts to obtain clarification from the PSA on all aspects of the new liciencing proposels. We will watch developments with interest

Click on the link for letter from the European Commission:

.S45C-213030109300


AECI continue to put pressure on Ministers to over turn or radically reduce this rediculous cost being imposed by PSA on our Members

Minister Alan Shatter agreed to a PSA proposal to apply a significant reduction to the fees in question for small business.

This matter will be followed up with a letter from Minister Richard Bruton.

EPACE, having cancelled their AGM, planned for Tuesday 4 December 2012, have rescheduled their AGM to take place on Tuesday 25th February 2013 in their Knockmitten Office at 12 30pm.,

In October 2012 the Minister Alan Shatter signed the SI (Statuary Instrument) making it a legal requirement that all persons who install or maintain Access Control or CCTV systems are the  holders of a Licence by the Private Security Authority(PSA). Although the PSA initially indicated that it would not take action against Registered Electrical Contractors(REC’s) who carry out this work, Geraldine Larkin (CEO at the PSA) has now clearly informed us that any persons who continue to work on Access Control or CCTV systems, could face prosecution by her office. REC’s should be aware that the licensing requirement applies to “Securty Installations” and they are free to work on any non security Access Control or CCTV systems.  PSA are issuing on request, a free add on licence to any security company already on the PSA Security Alarm Register.  Although we cannot confirm how this add on licence is structured,  it may have been acceptable by REC’s to have something similar agreed.

There is no justification for the exorbitant cost of this licence ,even with payments spread over the year and what is more concerning is that the PSA informed Minister Shatter that the new Licensing system was introduced after  consultation” with the Electrical Industry.  The AECI and the other Electrical Representative Bodies have confirmed that no consultation took place.

We expressed our major concerns with the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) that unqualified PSA personnell are working on 220volt, which not only puts their life in danger, but also the unsuspecting client or the public at large.

This matter is far from closed, however, we do advise our Members to note that the PSA may follow through on prosecutions as outlined above.

The Joint Bodies representing Electrical Contractors Ireland (AECI, ECA, NECI and NECTA) had a meeting on the 22nd of January 2013 and following that a further meeting is planned for Tuesday 12th February 2013, to further discuss issues relating to Electrical Contracting Industry namely REA, PSA, BESS,EPACE and the training Curriculum for furture Apprentice Electricians.

Due to a request from our 2012 Exhibitors the AECI have decided to hold the Electrical Trade Show 2013 in the Red Cow Moran Hotel Dublin on Saturday the 07th September 2013 and will start taking bookings from Exhibitors on a first come first served basis within the next two weeks.

 

Questions raised  by an AECI delegation and response from  RECI at a meeting held on 18-12-12 

Q What is RECI’s position, on policing the 220 volt element of works being carried out on Access Control, CCTV Systems, and Security Systems that are now being controlled by PSA?What is RECI’s opinion of works that has always been the remit of RECI Registered Contractors now being carried out by PSA Registered Installers who have not completed a proper apprenticeship? PSA do not have a proper inspection system in place to police the technical element of the works and it appears that they have no plan in place for such inspections.

 

A.Unless these works are being carried out by an rec RECI have no remit in terms of policing, however they have have raised their concerns with both the PSA and CER.

 

 

 

Q. What will be the position where a RECI Certificate has been issued by a RECI Registered Contractor with retrospective additional works being carried out by a PSA Installer? This work will not be certified but responsibility may fall back on the certifying contractor in the event of a fire or forbid a fatality.

A. The electrical contractor must clearly define his scope of works on their certificate

 

Q.Registered Electrical Contractors have been trained in all of the disciplines involved in what has now become the remit of the PSA, why then has RECI allowed these works go to another organisation, when RECI could benefit financially from certification of these works if the proper channels were followed and enforced?

Q.Why have RECI allowed Bam, Coffey etc to be registered with RECI?

 

A. Due to CER cireteria they can not refuse a company that meets that registarion requirments.

 

Q. The obligation on Electrical Contractors to handover a RECI Certificate despite knowing that they may not get paid sums of money due to them.

 

A. They have no choice and again this comes down to CER ruling and regulation

 

Q. In the event of an Electrical Contractor withholding a RECI Cert is it the procedure that RECI will bypass this Contractor and supplies a RECI Cert? If so should this be?

 

A. Under CER rules  ,.Reci have no choice but to cert the job after the payment of €350.00

 

Q. Bess Training Scheme, please confirm what the current situation is regarding the alternative scaled down training course.

 

A. Reci are in the process of not giving these courses in the near future

 

Q.Verification / Certification Courses (Older Electrical Contractors are finding proof of qualifications and apprenticeship extremely difficult)

A. RECI are working with these contractors with a view of getting them QC numbers