In the first seven days of December we have made 2,209 licensing decisions. This is in line with the performance that we achieved in November.
This week saw a major milestone in the management of applications. Every application where payment has been received but that has failed to move forward from Next Steps, has now been manually checked. If the problem was technical, it has been corrected. Anyone whose application has not moved forward should check the message “Instructions to complete your SIA application”. There is often more than one action that needs to be done and some people have failed to realise that they have to do all of the actions listed.
There will always be applications that cannot move forward until complicated checks have taken place. These include overseas criminality checks or where people have multiple historical addresses – sometimes in different jurisdictions. These applications will always take longer to process than a straightforward application.
This week our supplier issued a further update to the system. We have already received all of the critical updates to the system so the new release contains less important changes that will make the system run better or which enhance existing functionality. There were a total of forty changes, most of which will operate behind the scenes and will not affect what is visible to users. However, business users will be pleased to know that we have added the ability to export any watchlists you create. This is not something that was available in our previous system but is something that a number of you had asked for.
Over the Christmas and New Year period there will be staff on duty to deal with customer support messages during normal office hours. The SIA office will be closed on the bank holidays: 26th, 27th December and 2nd January. We will have people on call in case of serious system problems. The SIA website and online personal accounts will be active and available throughout the period.