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Government corporatising statutory board CISCO



The Second Reading Speech for the CISCO (Dissolution) Bill 2005

Speech by Mr Wong Kan Seng, Minister for Home Affairs, 25 January 2005

Mr Speaker, Sir, I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
Sir, the Commercial and Industrial Security Corporation or CISCO was formed in 1972 as a statutory board under MHA to provide, on a commercial basis, guards and security services to the private and public sectors.
In this way, regular police officers could be freed up, to focus on core duties relating to the preservation of public peace and order.
Developments in the armed security industry
Since CISCO's formation in 1972, the armed security industry in Singapore has changed in many ways. CISCO has evolved, diversifying from its origins as an armed security provider to become a "one-stop shop" for a full range of physical, IT and data security services.
Some of the other Auxiliary Police Forces (or APFs) have also developed to become sophisticated and reliable security providers.
These changes in the industry, coupled with the demand for armed security services arising from the current security climate, prompted MHA to introduce competition into the armed security sector.
A new framework for the armed security industry was put in place with the introduction of the Police Force Act 2004 in October last year.
As members would be aware, a key aspect of this new framework is the provision to allow the APFs in Singapore to now compete for armed security services islandwide, as long as they meet the necessary requirements set by SPF.
Through regulated and open competition, the standards and performance of the APFs in Singapore would be raised, so that they could better support the SPF in the provision of armed security service to buildings and premises to raise the overall security of Singapore.
Reasons for corporatising CISCO
With these changes, it is no longer tenable for CISCO to remain as a statutory board under MHA competing with the other commercial APFs.
In June last year, I informed this House that with the introduction of competition into the armed security industry in Singapore, the government would be corporatising CISCO.
Sir, with its corporatisation, CISCO will be freed from the various obligations and restrictions placed upon it as a statutory board under MHA. It need not follow the various directives that are meant for government departments and statutory boards, which might have hampered its ability to provide competitive services.
Similarly, the other APFs can also be assured that CISCO will not enjoy any preferential treatment. For example, CISCO will no longer share the same insignia as Police and upon corporatisation, CISCO's auxiliary police officers will no longer don the same uniform as the Police. Our intention is to create a level playing field for all players in the armed security industry.

Source: Ministry of Home Affairs Press Release 25 Jan 2005


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26 January 2005