The Forfás report on “The Review and Audit of Licences” recommended the introduction of an integrated licensing system. The Government considers this project to be of significant importance and has positioned it as one of the Disruptive Reforms in the Action Plan for Jobs 2013. Such an integrated licensing system, which will streamline the licensing application process, is a reformative step in reducing the administrative burdens for business. Delivering an integrated licensing system, in the first instance for the retail sector by the end of the year, will require the firm and on-going commitment and engagement of the relevant licensing authorities to work closely with my Department and with Forfás.
A list of some 30 core licences for the retail sector have been identified for the initial stages of this project involving up to 16 licensing authorities. My colleague, Minister John Perry, has invited all these authorities at the highest level to become members of the Steering Group for this project. The Steering Group has met twice, on 12th March and 29th April, with Minister Perry as chair, and detailed discussions have taken place between Forfás, the licensing authorities and relevant Departments.
Detailed analysis has been undertaken, examining a range of information submitted by the licensing authorities in relation to the processes and underpinning legislative requirements for the core set of retail licenses to be incorporated into the integrated licensing application system. The outputs of this audit process will inform the definition of the integrated licence management system.
It is expected that a request for tender for the service provision of an integrated licensing application system will be issued in the coming weeks.