Sierra Leone’s Office of National Security has informed the general public and all Private Security Companies (PSCs) that the National Security and Central Intelligence Act, 2002, has been repealed and replaced by the National Security and Central Intelligence Act 2023, to strengthen their powers. The ONS made this known in a public notice dated Friday 3 March 2023.
According to the public notice, Section 31 of the new National Security and Central Intelligence Act 2023, provides that: no individual, group of individuals or corporate entity shall operate a private security company in Sierra Leone, unless a licence is issued by the Office of the National Security (ONS) for that purpose, a licence to operate a private security company (PSC) in Sierra Leone shall be issued or renewed, subject to the payment of a prescribed fee; the holder of a licence shall apply for its renewal three (3) months before it expires, amongst others.
The notice further stated that all Private Security Companies that are yet to fully comply with the requirement to obtain or renew their operational license are advised to do so, to avoid facing the full force of the law, and advised the government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) not to contract the services of private security companies, who do not have a valid operational license.
It also encouraged all prospective clients to always ascertain the legal status of private security companies by requesting their operational license before signing any contract with them.