Current status of the security business in PNG

The Security Industries is the fastest growing business in PNG and as of December 2012 it had over 400 licensed security companies with nearly 20,000 permitted guards employed in various locations of the country. More companies are still registering with the Authority to do business to take advantage of business opportunities created by the country's improving economy. We envision that by this year 2013 onwards the number of registered security companies could exceed the current 400 mark. The long term growth of the security business looks very encouraging as indicated by the graph below.

security companies in PNG

Urgent requirement for a private Security training Academy

Currently we do not have any private security training academy in PNG to train the 20,000 plus security guards despite the fact that section 39 of the Security Protection Act 2004 requires for the establishment of one by the Security Industries Authority or for the Authority to grant approval to registered companies to set up theirs. As a result all the security guards currently employed in the industry are either not trained or insufficiently trained. While some established security companies are training only their recruited guards internally but we have no say on the curriculums used in the training.

The establishment of a private security academy is very important to our long term interest to urgently up skill, rehabilitate and empower the security guards so they are controlled and well disciplined to provide quality services to the services receivers. By doing this all bad habits and serious allegations will be reduced and the integrity of the industry will be maintained. We therefore encourage interested companies or entities to set up a private security training academy in consultation with the Security Industries Authority to train the security guards in the country.

The reasons for the increase in private security companies in PNG

Many private security companies are registering with the Security Industries Authority to do business and take advantage of the huge business opportunities created by the country's improving economy stimulated by the massive Esso Highlands Ltd investments in the LNG project. Such opportunities are also created by the current mining, petroleum and agricultural investments for example the Lihir Gold, Ramu Nickel, New Britain Oil Palm in the WNBP & Ramu valley, Higaturu Oil Palm in the Oro Province and Hagita Oil palm in the Miline Bay province. This includes other current on going small to medium size investments across the entire country. The positive side effects of the improving economy has also resulted in the growth of property development and real estate markets in the country especially in Port Moresby(NCD/central) Lae , Madang, WHP, Hela and the SHP provinces. Consequently property developers and the real estate companies are also the biggest recipients of the private security companies services. It appears that the high demand for the services of the private security companies by the investor companies is to protect their assets and workers to maximise their profits. While the other main reason is also due to the insufficient manpower in the law enforcement agencies to meets the basic security needs of the 7 million PNG citizens. Consequently licensed private security companies are taking advantages of this to fill the vacuum to perform quasi law enforcement duties.

Types of security duties performed by the private security companies

The security companies play an important secondary roles as a quasi law enforcing agency beside the the Police force. In that they basically perform asset Protection duties, investigation and also do citizen's arrest of suspects to refer them to the police for further investigation and prosecution.

Some highly specialized security companies are involved in guiding private residence, business houses, performing VIP escorts, guiding the logging, agro industry, mining and petroleum sites. They also do gold bullion escorts using planes and helicopters from the mine sites , providing security to the PNG Ports, Airports and providing security to other important government offices.

The core of the security industries are led by skilled ex officers from the three (3) main PNG disciplined forces (Royal PNG Constabulary, PNGDF and the Correctional Services). This also includes skilled expatriates with back ground in foreign Army and Police services. Many foreign security companies based in PNG are using their skilled expatriate staff to train their local guards in a in house training. The Security Industries Authority recognizes and encourages these efforts because valuable skills are transferred to our local PNG security guards to upskill them to perform their jobs efficiently.

Invitation to the Stake Holders and the Industry to make a submission on the amendments to current security Protection Act

The Registrar now invites all the registered security companies, service receivers and interested stake holders for their written submission to amend the current Security Protection Act to cover many grey areas of the law.

The submissions should clearly state what provisions of the current Security Protection Act 2004 and the Security Protection regulation 2012 are to be amended to enhance the growth of the industry. This is necessary in light of numerous complaints from the security companies and interested stake holders of the short falls in the current Act which is said to be hindering the growth of the industry.

All submissions must be dropped at the 3rd floor of the Watkins Mall Boroko. They can also be posted, faxed or emailed using the address on the last page. Copies of the current Security Protection Act 2004 can be obtained at the Security Industries Authority office for K35 to use as a guide to prepare the submissions.

Gazettal of the Security Protection Regulation 2012

The Security Protection Regulation 2012 was not gazetted together with the Security Protection Act 2004. Because of this many private security companies were paying only for the security providers license but not the security guards permit from the 1st September 2005 until the 20th April 2012 when the Security Protection Regulation 2012 was finally gazetted as per G.N0 144 retrospective to the 1st September 2005.

This legitimized all the security guards' permits collected by the Security Industries Authority from security companies between the 1st September 2005 and the 20th April 2012. Consequently it also makes it legal and mandatory for all private security companies who did not pay the security guards permits from 1st September 2005 up to the 20th April 20012 to pay up their outstanding arrears otherwise we will shortly be embarking on the recovery exercises.

Membership with the Data Credit Bureau Ltd

The Security Industries Authority has joined the Data Credits Bureau Ltd in January 2013. Membership with the Data Credits Bureau Ltd is beneficial to the Authorities long term interest. Because it will assist us to recover the outstanding guards permit fees from security companies owed between 1st September 2005 and 20th April 2012 . To avoid being listed as defaulting security company in the Data Credits Bureau Ltd we ask all security companies to pay up their outstanding security permits fees for the period 1st September 2005 up to the 20th April 2012. Reminder letters will soon be sent to the security companies to pay up the arrears.

Appointment to the Board of Complaints

The Security Industries Authority in compliance with section 57 of the Security Protection Act 2004 has already advertised in the media in early February 2013 seeking for two (2) interested persons to sit on the Board of Complaints.

The purposes of the Board of Complaints is to hear allegations made against licensed security companies by the general public and to award appropriate disciplinary penalties to protect the integrity of the security industry. Several applications have already been received and the short listed candidates will be advised in writing by the chairman shortly before a final selection is made for their three (3) yeas appointments by the Minister for Police and Internal Security.