Contracting with Private Security Companies
The Voluntary Principles recognize that in some environments, host governments may be unwilling or unable to provide adequate security to a company’s operations. To fill that gap, companies may employ the services of a private security provider. The nature of the security that is appropriate — or even legally permissible — will vary by location, such as whether guards are armed and if so, with what weapons. The VPs also recognize the contractual control that companies have over private security providers, and thus expect that companies demand that those providers meet certain standards.
Expected Conduct of Private Security Forces
The VPs expect companies to set basic expectations for the hiring, operation, and monitor-ing of private security guards. Different to public security, the VPs recognize that companies have significantly more leverage over the behavior of private security providers.
- Guards should possess a high level of technical competence, be well trained, and proficient in carrying out their tasks;
- Guards must operate in a lawful manner;
- The Security Provider must have clear and appropriate policies on training, conduct, and when and how force is to be used;
- Guards are expected to record and report and abuses that are carried out by the guard force, or that are observed being carried out by others (including public security forces);
- Guards may only act and operate in a defensive manner;
- All guards employed must undergo background checks to ensure that they have not previously been implicated in illegal activity or abuses;
- Any incidents where force is used must be reported and investigated;
- Any information gathered by the guard force should remain confidential if it would otherwise harm others.
The VPs expect companies to perform due diligence and close monitoring of private security providers to ensure they operate to a high standard.
- Aside from the individual guards themselves, the backgrounds of Security Providers should be reviewed;
- Information regarding the backgrounds of Security Providers should be freely exchanged between clients and potential clients;
- Contracts with Security Providers should include language regarding compliance with the Voluntary Principles;
- Operations and activities of Security Providers should be adequately monitored.