Implementation of the Private Security Regulation Act, 2016 - Kenya Security Industry Association (KSIA)

There are an estimated 2,000 security firms in the country employing an estimated 500,000 Kenyans with a turnover of an estimated KShs. 300 billion a year.

The Kenya Security Industry Association (KSIA) successfully lobbied for the enactment of the Private Security Regulation (PSR) Act, 2016.KSIA worked in partnership with the Protective Industry Security Association (PSIA) to advance the collective interests of industry players. They sought to achieve the following key objectives with the enactment of the PSR Act:

  • Substantive industry representation on the Regulatory Board;
  • Checks/balances, transparency/accountability in exercise/control of the Minister’s powers;
  • A level playing field within the private security industry and rational operating conditions, including the proper market for high-quality security services and fair compensation of industry workers;
  • Clear national standards governing the business conduct, technical competence, equipment quality and operational performance of private security companies, on which licensing/registration is based;
  • A built-in recognition of the mutual need for cooperation, partnership and optimum synergy between the state security organs and the private security industry in the fight against crime; and,
  • Industry standards benchmarking quality services which identify an assured performance.

KSIA were able to articulate their concerns, and the PSR Act addressed their key concerns, specifically: there are six industry representatives on the PSR Board; the act sets out mechanisms to develop and implement industry standards and practice; the Act outlines the implementation of cooperation between private sector and the national government.

The objective of the PSR Act is to provide for the regulation of the private security industry and to provide for a framework for cooperation with National Security Organs. The PSR Act forms an Authority (PSRA), charged with the effective administration, supervision, regulation and control of the private security services in the country. The Act also provides for the formation of a PSR Board. Some key roles of the PSRA include: formulate and enforce standards for the conduct of private security services; register and license all persons involved in the sector; prescribe and enforce minimum standards of occupational conduct in the sector; and advise the national government on policy relating to the industry etc.

However, despite the success achieved through the successful enactment of the PSR Act, there have been challenges on the implementation process. Some of the key challenges include:

  • The nomination of a suitably qualified PSR Board chairman has been contested by industry players. The PSR Act specifies that the chairperson must have at least 15 years of industry experience. However, the gazetted chairman does not have any industry experience. The nominated members of the PSR Board raised this at a Board meeting, and as a result, the board has not met since. This has caused challenges in the enabling the Board to make decisions, and play its oversight role in the affairs of the PSRA. 
  • The National Treasury has allocated funding to PSRA to operationalise its activities. However, the PSRA Board has not met to deliberate and approve any budget proposed by the authority. According to KSIA and PSIA, the authority has started its operations and is implementing a budget that has not been approved.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Internal Security and Coordination of National Government issued a directive ordering all police officers assigned to areas such as cash in transit and guarding VIPs to return to their general police duties. He stated that private security officers handling cash in transit would be issued with guns. However, mechanisms to address such a directive cannot be concluded without a functioning PSRA Board.  

KSIA and PSIA seek to lobby for the correct implementation of the PSR Act as gazetted.

Share this Issue