The following update was issued by the SIA on the problems encountered with the new licensing system on 7 October 2016.
The total number of decisions made since the new system was introduced has now risen to over 20,000.
Our results from September show that we made decisions on 72% of applications within 25 days. This is below our 80% target. (The calculation is not from the date that a person submits their initial application; the measure starts when we receive a correctly completed application which includes all necessary documentation and payment).
We have continued to offer workshops to businesses to identify the problems that they face. We held a meeting with the companies who are taking part in the first stage of the Licence Management part of the system and listened to their feedback.
This week we have received an update from our suppliers that has fixed a number of issues that you might have encountered:
Applicants were unable to select the correct gender. This has caused significant problems for people, and has led to high levels of contact with customer services. The fix that has been applied will correct existing as well as new applications.
Businesses can now see more than just the first page of items to pay.
Some applications were unable to move forward from criminality checks due to certain, identified, technical difficulties. These have been resolved.
A problem existed where some requests for service were being duplicated. This wasted customer service time as staff had to investigate both requests and has now been fixed.
There were a number of other items that were fixed which would not be visible to applicants but which might cause problems for applications.
We will continue working to resolve the problems that people are experiencing as quickly as possible. As our supplier provides us with the fixes to the system that we need, it allows us to concentrate on dealing with the applications that are experiencing difficulties.
Our teams are working hard to process your applications and answer your questions, but we know that some people are still experiencing difficulties when contacting us and we apologise for this.
Please refer to the application guides when completing an application: http://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/licensing-applying.aspx