Adrian, I can answer these for you.
1. If an LRC sets up an Indicia form/survey/website, whether or not it is linked to the BRC Community Warehouse and/or iRecord, then they are the custodian of the data collected and therefore can submit data to the Gateway or to a NSS or a local group as appropriate.
2. Data entered by individuals directly into the iRecord standard data entry forms come under custodianship of BRC and not an LRC, therefore the LRC does not have control over how this data flows to the NBNG, although the LRC can download and use the data on-demand. If the LRC requires absolute control over how data is provided to the NBNG then the generic iRecord data entry forms should not be used. If it is the case that the LRC absolutely requires control over data flow then one of the alternatives should be chosen (e.g., a custom Indicia form, custom iRecord form, Living Record, Rodis, etc., etc.)
Also don't forget that because Indicia is completely free and open source, one can easily set up an entirely independent server and or client website.
"Does this mean that LRCs that standardise on Indicia/iRecord to collect local data"
Talking in terms of standardising on Indicia/iRecord is the wrong way of looking at it. My plea to the makers of ORS is, through agreement, to develop protocols for seamlessly exchanging data between those systems. So in theory an LRC would standardise on the protocol, not the individual product. This is a healthy way to proceed. I think it is important to have a diverse range of products out there, including Living Record, Indicia, iRecord, Rodis, BirdTrack, etc., but these system should be striving for seamless interoperability. This would mean that an LRC wouldn't be forced to use one system over another. Individual recorders wouldn't be forced to use one over the other. Groups wouldn't be forced to use one over the other. People could use whatever system most fitted their need, creating a healthy, diverse ecosystem and mitigating proprietary lock-in.
For us here in Sussex the right fit is a combination of iRecord for individuals looking for an all-round ORS for managing their own data. We supplement that with custom Indicia recording forms that either link to the BRC Community Warehouse so that they can benefit from the verification system there, or not as data flow dictates (this is theoretical at present as we haven't developed any custom forms yet, but these are coming). As Paula wrote, the way Indicia, iRecord and the BRC Community Warehouse interact is very flexible and controllable. We also have our own completely independent Indicia warehouse for use with our own LRC Online reporting system. We could link custom input forms to that, too, if necessary, but it's not as BRC do an excellent job of running the BRC Community Warehouse. BUT we also want recorders to use what they are comfortable with; if that is Living Record, or BirdTrack, or whatever, then so be it. We don't want to force anyone to use any particular system. It should be our job, and the job of ORS developers, to ease that burden of choice.
Finally, Adrian, I'm not sure what you mean by a shared verification service that is neutral. I am talking about a protocol for sharing data between servers, not one monolithic shared server. This would mean in signing-up for one service there would need to be agreement to share your data with other trusted systems (much like social networks ask for permission to share data), and of course an option to opt-out of such sharing should the user wish.