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Critical Infrastructure Protection
For the Fourth Report, the panel has expanded its consideration beyond cyber
security to include issues of physical protection of critical infrastructure. It will make
CIP recommendations in the following areas:
• Federal reimbursement for certain costs incurred by States, localities, and the
private sector for improvements to infrastructure security
• Improved training, standards, and protocols for government and private sector
responders, to include facilities, responder equipment, and communications compatibility and interoperability
More comprehensive and concise policies and enhanced capabilities for intelligence and information sharing involving critical infrastructure among government entities and with the private sector
Improvements in security measures for and in the screening of non-passenger cargo aboard commercial aircraft
• Development of significantly enhanced security measures for general aviation
aircraft, passengers, and facilities
Expanded research and development into CIP security measures
Comprehensive revamping of Federal laws to address privacy, freedom of information, liability, anti-trust, indemnification, insurance, and related issues
Enhanced security for agriculture and the food supply structure
The panel once again addresses the issue of Agroterrorism, and will make
recommendations in the following areas:
Developing threat assessments for potential terrorist attacks against U.S.
Including Agroterrorism as an Emergency Support Function in the principal
Creating a system of fair compensation for losses due to an attack
• Enhancing education, training, and exercises on attacks to agriculture
Specific Issues of Interest to the Subcommittee
Mr. Chairman, your invitation to testify today included a request for me to focus
my remarks in the following areas:
Types of equipment needed for crisis response;
To the extent that I have not done so in my previous remarks, let me offer a few
additional comments in a couple of these areas. First, we must develop processes that
help us understand better how we set priorities for homeland security. We must answer
some fundamental questions about preparedness, including the overarching one:
“Preparedness for what?” Without a firm grasp on how to answer that question, how will
we know that we have out priorities set forth correctly, and that the expenditure of scarce
resources at every level of government is appropriate. A more educated and enlightened
assessment of the threats we face is critical to answering that basic question.
An integral part of that issue is the absolute necessity to have national standards
for how entities at all levels of government and in the private sector train, equip, and plan
for, and then coordinate responses to attacks. We are still a long way from having any
standards for a variety of these issue related to homeland security.
Mr. Chairman, in the panel's second report, submitted in December of 2000, we
addressed this issue head on. We did so in the context of our recommendation at that
time for the creation of an office in the White House, very similar but not exactly like the
Office of Homeland Security (OHS) headed by my friend Tom Ridge. We called it the
National Office for Combating Terrorism, rather than “Homeland Security.” We would
have placed some very specific responsibilities in that Office and in other entities for the
development of national standards and for processes for research, development, test, and
evaluation (RDT&E) to further the implementation of those standards. Those
recommendations are worth repeating. (To avoid any confusion, the references to the
“National Office” and “Assistant Director” are to the specific construct that we
recommended in 2000, not to anything that currently exists in OHS). We said in 2000:
"Improve Plans for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation for Combating Terrorism
"The national strategy developed by the National Office for Combating Terrorism must contain a clear set of priorities for RDT&E. The program and budget authority of that office must be exerted to ensure effective application of Federal funds devoted to this purpose.
"The White House Office of Science & Technology Policy should play a major role in the effort. We recommend that the Assistant Director for RDT&E and National Standards of the National Office for Combating Terrorism either enter into a formal relationship with OSTP or have appropriate members of the OSTP staff detailed to the National Office for Combating Terrorism on a rotational basis.
"Wide varieties of equipment that have potential application for combating terrorism are available from commercial vendors. Nevertheless, many local responders have told us that some equipment they purchased does not meet the specifications described by the vendor. At present, no viable program is in place for testing and evaluating the effectiveness of equipment for combating terrorism. We recommend that the Assistant Director for RDT&E and National Standards develop equipment testing protocols and continue to explore the prospect of financial support from vendors for equipment live agent test and evaluation, leading to Federal certification.
“We recommend that the Assistant Director for RDT&E and National Standards develop, as part of the national strategy, a comprehensive plan for longrange research for combating terrorism; this should include better coordination among
“Board for Equipment Standardization and Interoperability should be subordinated to the National Office for Combating Terrorism.
“The Federal co-lead agencies should develop certification standards in coordination with appropriate Federal agencies and with advice from State and local response entities, professional organizations that represent response disciplines, and private and quasipublic certifying entities.”
Mr. Chairman, those functions that we recommend now almost two years ago
still need to be performed, now obviously more urgently that before. Unfortunately, we
are still a long way from achieving any coherence in standards and testing, especially for
“first responder” equipment and communications capability. It is still the case that the
only “standards” available are what vendors say are the capabilities of their wares. We
continue to need something like an “underwriters laboratory” for a wide variety of
protective equipment and communications. We have before and will again recognize the
efforts of the Interagency Board for Equipment Standardization and InterOperability,
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (in the Chairman's home state of
Pennsylvania) and the Technical Support Working Group. Those efforts will not,
however, be nearly enough, at least not at the level of current resources.
For training, the panel is encouraged that the majority of Federal training
programs, at least those currently in FEMA and DOJ, will apparently be combined in the
new DHS. Nevertheless, other Federal agencies—EPA, DOE, DOD, DHHS as
examples—will continue to conduct training that will need to conform to a set of national
training standards. That effort has not yet been undertaken, but it should be required on
an urgent basis.