Today I’ll make up for being on the road yesterday and missing a blog post by making two blog posts in one concerning an upcoming meeting of the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee. Yesterday the Coast Guard published a notice in the Federal Register (77 FR 25721-25722) that the MNSAC would be meeting on May 15th & 16th in Washington, DC. Today they followed up with a notice explaining why they had failed to give the required 15-day advance notice for such a meeting (77 FR 26024).
Partially Closed Meeting
While the majority of the NMSAC meeting will be open to the public there will be one portion of the meeting that will be closed for national security reasons. According to the Notice (77 FR 25722) the close session on the first day of the meeting will include “briefings from personnel from Coast Guard Intelligence Coordination Center regarding current domestic and international security threats to maritime commerce”. If classified information is to be discussed (and it almost certainly is) this is a perfectly legitimate reason to close the session. It would be nice, however, if the Coast Guard would provide an unclassified version of the briefing to the public meeting attendees.
The remainder of the meeting will address the following items:
• Global supply chain initiative;
• Transport Canaday/USCG regulatory harmonization;
• Detain on Board Requirements;
• Port Security Grants for TWIC Readers; and
• Maritime domain awareness and information sharing.
The last item is currently on the agenda for the 16th. Each day will end with a public comment period. Comments will be limited to 5 minutes and will require pre-registration with Mr. Ryan Owens (firstname.lastname@example.org). Written comments may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal (www.regulations.gov; Docket # USCG-2011-0975). All comments should be limited to the agenda topics noted above.
To facilitate public participation beyond the residents of the Washington, DC area provisions have been made for electronic participation via teleconference or an on-line web broadcast. Those wishing to physically attend the meeting should register on-line.
The late notice was weaker than a school boy’s ‘the dog ate my homework’ excuse. This is the second time that the CG has been a couple of days late in publishing notices for this advisory committee’s meetings and the wording is almost identical. One time is an ‘oh well, people are fallible’ situation fully worthy of our pardon. Two times in a row tends to indicate an administrative inability to follow rules and/or learn from previous mistakes. Twenty lashes with an al dente noodle at the next Captain’s Mast.