Connley Walker Blog

 

Facility Management – Using a Managed Physical Security Service

Building owners and occupiers commonly engage Facility Managers to look after their building services including cleaning, electrical services, mechanical services, security guarding, security technology, utilities and so on. In doing so, they are expected to reduce costs, maintain the quality of the services and minimise the risks of ongoing provision of these services. They therefore need to regularly provide advice to building owners or occupiers on the most effective ways of doing this. In the area of security guarding and technology, a security consultant’s or adviser's licence is generally required to legally provide this advice. A number of the large Facility Management companies do have this licence, but most however do not. Licensing is generally required if a Facility Manager advises their client on matters such as security guard numbers ...
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Warning about a scam targeting businesses in Australia

I thought you might be interested in hearing about a scam happening in Australia by a Melbourne person that is well known to the courts. The scam appears to have been operating since at least 2009 and has been under the radar of the authorities. The scam works like this: A company is set up using a PO box and a 1300 number for contact. The company advertises online through tendering websites for various suppliers (Typically engineers, tradespeople, printing services, auditors, and many others) to provide their services for new building and resort developments. When suppliers respond to the advertisement, they are required to pay a "refundable" $200 (it may vary) to obtain the tender documents. This could be a very large number of people. No one wins the work ...
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Tips for winning (and losing) tender bids

Over my career, I have participated in countless tender evaluation committees. In doing so, I have seen a number of bids that could have possibly won the work if they had simply presented their bid differently. So, here are a few tips. The most common mistakes I’ve seen in tender bids include: 1. Offering a very low price without explanation. I’ve seen bids rejected simply because the price being offered was far too low. The client may see this as being likely to be lower than the cost of providing the works and as such, presents a risk of the project not being completed. In these cases, the client will form the opinion that the bidder has a low understanding of what is required in the works. If the low ...
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Should independent security consultants have a security clearance to operate in Australia?

As an SCEC Endorsed Security Zone Consultant, I received a briefing this month from SCEC / ASIO advising that their policy for consultants is changing. The main change is that SCEC Security Zone Consultants will be required to hold a minimum NV1 security clearance from 2018. This is welcome news and a breath of fresh air in our specialised industry. Unfortunately, however, no security clearance is required for a person to operate as a general licensed security consultant or adviser in any state or territory. In these circumstances only a simple police check is accepted (except in Tasmania and NT where not even a licence is required). So, what are the security clearances? Security clearances provide far more confidence than a simple police check that only identifies if a conviction ...
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So, you want to be a security consultant in Australia!

Every week I receive numerous approaches from people that want to work as security consultants, so I thought it was time I gave a few pointers on what’s required to work in this very specialised industry. First off, what is a security consultant? If you look up the Australian ASIAL website and search for a security consultant, then you will quickly come to the realisation that almost every company that provides any kind of security in Australia is listed as offering “Security Consultant” services, from locksmiths, to security guards to CCTV sales companies. Unfortunately, ASIAL does not have a category of “Independent Security Consultant” which is a completely different thing altogether. I’ll be discussing what an Independent Security Consultant is from now. Just as an architect designs buildings but doesn’t ...
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Are you up to date on unfair contracts legislation for small business?

New Australian Consumer Law came into effect from 12 November 2016 that makes unfair contract terms forced upon small businesses by larger organisations void. What it means is that if a small business is handed a standard form contract from a large organisation with clauses that are unfair to them and they are given no opportunity to negotiate them, then these clauses may be unenforceable. This legislation is aimed at providing small businesses protection against standard “take it or leave it” contracts when the size and negotiating power of the two companies is out of balance. The criteria as detailed by the ACCC for the types of contracts that the legislation is applicable to are: The contract must be meet the following conditions to be considered: it is for the supply ...
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Are your security systems ready for power blackouts this summer?

There have been many warnings about the possibility of power blackouts in Australia this coming summer so now is a good time to check that your security systems won’t fail if blackouts occur. These are a few things to consider: When is the last time that the batteries were changed in field control equipment? If the security systems are being maintained in accordance with Australian Standard AS/NZS 2201.1:2007 Intruder alarm systems, then each battery will be legibly and durably marked with the month and year of installation. When is the last time that access control and security alarm systems were tested on battery power alone for an extended period? If the batteries are to maintain power to their associated equipment for eight hours, then the test should be for this ...
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Choosing a Security Consultant

On August 20, the Australian Government released the publication Australia’s Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism 2017. This document has, among other things, provided much needed guidance on the selection of security consultants. It states: Professional and qualified security consultants play an important role in undertaking full security risk assessments of crowded places and recommending appropriate protective security measures (Box 3). Looking at these considerations: Security Licence The licensing requirements for security consultants varies considerably between the states and territories and a licence in one state or territory is not valid in another. The following table shows some of the differences. These are just for the individual licences - companies have more variances. The most rigid licensing requirements are in ACT, NSW and WA. In the other states and territories either ...
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Are Australian airports secure?

Recent events in Australia have brought our airport security into the spotlight. When we compare our airport security with other countries, it becomes evident that there is much room for improvement at home. The most striking difference between security at Australian airports and those in many overseas countries, is that in Australia we only have one weapons screening barrier and that this is well inside the airport. This is a serious deficiency for a number of reasons. Firstly, when there is no screening at the entry to the airport, only travellers are screened, visitors are not. Anyone can enter the airport with a weapon or explosive device and mix with the crowds of people in arrivals, departures or in the busy retail areas. The area of biggest risk in an ...
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Biometrics – You can’t change them if they’re stolen

There has been a lot of discussion about “improving” security of financial and other transactions by moving to a bio-metric solution. The logic is that if you authenticate a transaction with a fingerprint, stored camera image of your face, a voice print or other means, then you will have a higher level of security than having a card, which can be stolen or copied, and a PIN which can be compromised if discovered. This sounds OK on the surface but it has a major flaw. If a card is stolen or a PIN is discovered then the card can be replaced and the PIN changed. This can result is a short-term inconvenience but the security breech can be recovered from. However, currently some bio-metric authentication methods can be compromised and ...
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Entry to the closed town of Ozersk (Озёрск) in Russia. (Plutonium reprocessing)

I took these photos of the entry to Ozersk (Озёрск) in Russia. This is a closed town where residents need a specific town passport to enter. It is the home of where plutonium was first processed in Russia for the atomic bomb. Now the town's industry is plutonium reprocessing. The turnoff to the town ...
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Our first web page – 1998!!!

The site archive.org is a great resource. You can change and delete web pages, but they remain on the web forever. Have a look at our first beta attempt at a web page from 1998 : https://web.archive.org/web/19981206000050/alphalink.com.au/~core ...
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Consistency in security risk assessments

If you ask two security consultants to provide a security risk assessment of your premises, then most likely you will receive two different results. A main cause of this is that it is common for security risk assessors to take the approach of identifying risks as being simply extreme, high, medium or low. This is done by assessing the likelihood of a risk as rare through to certain and rating the consequences as insignificant through to catastrophic.  This approach provides a quick result but the results will vary between individuals. A significant problem with this approach is that any risk with a catastrophic potential consequence is invariably rated as being an extreme or high risk no matter how unlikely the risk is. An example of this is the risk of ...
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New blog site and free giveaway

We are happy to announce the first installment of Connley Walker’s security industry blog at www.connleywalker.com.au/blog To celebrate this, Connley Walker is providing Simon Walker’s book “Operational risk management: Controlling opportunities and threats. ISBN 0957907400, 2001” as a free download. This book was first published by Connley Walker in 2001 and has been used for many years as a university text book. The book is now out of date as some standards that it refers to have now changed, but it offers a solid structure for applying risk management. We are considering a complete re-write to bring it up to date. The book is now freely available for download from the link www.connleywalker.com.au/ORM2001.pdf All we ask in return is that you like us on our social media links. EXTRACT OF ...
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