$10m fund to help security industry tap into technology
Industry to shift focus from manpower-based to outcome-based contracts
The security industry will be undergoing some major changes, with $10 million to be pumped into it over three years to encourage players to be more productive and technologically advanced.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo said this yesterday, when she launched the Security Industry Transformation Map (ITM) at the Lifelong Learning Institute.
Mrs Teo said change on the demand side of the security industry needs to be made.
Security buyers need to be more thorough in their risk assessments and draw up more outcome-based security contracts, she said, as opposed to the largely manpower-intensive ones that remain the norm.
Mrs Teo, who is also Second Minister for Manpower, added that the Government will set the example.
She said: "Our target is for most government agencies to adopt outcome-based security contracts by 2020."
There will also be funding support for buyers to change to such contracts and to familiarise staff with best sourcing principles, under the new Smart Sourcing Initiative, which is administered by the NTUC U Care Centre.
The industry now comprises some 47,000 security officers, 600 service providers and 240 security agencies. Current practices in the security industry are manpower-driven, where headcount-based solutions are the norm despite the availability of methods that could make security coverage more efficient.
Our target is for most government agencies to adopt outcome-based security contracts by 2020.Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo
Instead of assessing the risks their organisations face and drawing up security plans to mitigate them, buyers stick to outdated methods of staffing large numbers of officers to perform roles like patrolling and manually watching cameras.
Recognising the need to tap on modern methods to combat the shortage of manpower here, Mrs Teo said using video analytics to replace the task of monitoring camera feeds or physical patrolling will be promoted.
This will be done by promoting market-ready solutions through the Industry Digital Plan (IDP), which is being developed by the Home Affairs Ministry (MHA) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).
Under the IDP, due to be launched by mid-2018, small and medium-sized security enterprises will get guidance on such solutions, which will come with funding support.
IMDA will support new projects that improve the roll-out of these solutions. It will also hold industry briefings early next month for a Call for Innovative Solutions, where buyers can work with agencies and tech companies to co-develop new security solutions.
The grading criteria used to benchmark the quality of agencies will be revised too. This criteria, known as the Security Agencies Grading Exercise (Sage), will emphasise security outcomes, training and technology adoption to recognise agencies that provide good service and invest in training and technology.
Yesterday, Mrs Teo also launched the Skills Framework for Security, which will provide information on the sector and detail the pathways for the 11 key job roles in the industry.
The framework will outline existing and emerging technical and generic skills as well as training programmes available.
One of the framework's highlights is the introduction of a new career pathway in security consultancy.
Mrs Teo said these consultants carry out risk assessments to identify what needs to be protected and how to best do so.
One such consultant is Mr Jasbir Singh, the deputy head of Certis Cisco Consulting Services. For the last 27 years, Mr Singh has planned risk assessments and made security recommendations for his clients.
He said some companies find security planning an unnecessary expenditure and are reluctant to do so.
"Unfortunately, it is only when something happens, then we all see the need for security planning," he added.
To grow the numbers of these consultants, MHA and Temasek Polytechnic yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding for a new specialist diploma in security consultancy.
The one-year part-time course covers risk assessment, building security and relevant legislation, security technologies and project management.
The first intake is planned for next year, and the aim is to train 250 consultants by 2021.