Boston Company's Failed Application Prompts Warning from GLA
23rd August 2013
The GLA has issued the following warning to inexperienced business operators applying for a licence - or acting as a front for a third party – “Our robust inspection process and procedures will always find you out!”
It follows the rejection of an application from DZK Ltd, of High Street, Boston, Lincolnshire, whose manager Luisa Braga recently applied for a gangmaster‟s licence.
However, when questioned by GLA inspectors, Ms Braga could give no explanation as to why she wanted to establish a business in the industry and could provide no details on how she intended to run the business or find and service her clients.
She was also unsure about where her office would be based and was unable to estimate what the turnover of her business would be.
Further concerns were raised when she revealed her only previous experience of work was as a „part-time cleaner‟.
During the Application Inspection, Ms Braga struggled to supply answers to so many of the questions posed about the licensing standards that she requested the meeting was postponed.
She then appointed a local Boston commercial consultant as her representative to act and speak on her behalf, stating that they would manage the day-to-day running of the business accounts.
That consultant was present in the second inspection interview and repeatedly made reference to agreements they had with the GLA‟s senior management. No agreements exist.
GLA Chief Executive Paul Broadbent said: “Though we licence companies, they must put forward a credible Principal Authority – the named licence-holder and the individual responsible for the day-to-day management of the company.
“That individual has to show they have competencies required to run their business effectively and in compliance with the strict standards we regulate – if they cannot do this their application will fail. This was what happened in the case of DZK Ltd.
“It is not unreasonable to employ the services of a consultant to assist with running a business. But it was plain that Ms Braga appeared almost entirely reliant on that consultant in this case.
“She was not able to answer basic managerial questions asked by the GLA inspector that were posed to allow her to convince us she could run her business without that third party.”
Mr Broadbent said that the Boston consultant‟s claims of having agreements in place with the GLA were absolutely fictitious and had only served to frustrate and undermine the inspection process.
“Potential licence holders need to assess the credibility of the consultants they engage,” he added.
As a result of Ms Braga‟s lack of knowledge, DZK‟s licence application was refused by the GLA on the grounds that she was not „fit and proper person‟ to operate her proposed business compliantly. This is one of the authority‟s critical licensing standards.
An appeal was lodged but this has now been withdrawn, signalling that the company has accepted the GLA‟s decision.
Press release issued by GLA Communications and Information Officer Paul Fearn. Contact 0115 959 7069 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editors
1. The GLA operates throughout the UK and is a Non Departmental Public Body.
2. The authority was formed in 2005 in the wake of the Morecambe Bay cockle picking disaster when 23 Chinese workers drowned on the sands.
3. The GLA licences companies that supply labour (gangmasters) to agriculture, horticulture, food processing and packaging, forestry and shellfish gathering.
4. Its main strategic priorities are to prevent worker exploitation, protect vulnerable people and tackle unlicensed and criminal activity.
5. Under the Gangmasters Licensing Act (2004) it is illegal both to operate as, or employ the services of, an unlicensed gangmaster.
6. Nearly 1,200 labour providers are licensed by the GLA.