Saturday, June 2, 2012

CFATS Knowledge Center Update – 06-02-12

Yesterday the folks at the CFATS Help Desk updated the CFATS Knowledge Center web page adding a news item concerning contact information and updating the responses to a number of frequently asked questions on the site.

Contact Information

Under the ‘Latest News’ column on the page is the following brief note:

“The NEW CSAT Help Desk email address is We are in the process of revising all FAQs/Articles and other CFATS materials to reflect this new address.”

There’s no explanation of why the change is being made, but it looks like it has something to do with a general re-organization of the email system at DHS; no big deal. Well, actually it is a bit of something since a huge number of address books will have to get updated; so there is going to be some confusion.

There is no indication if/when the old address ( will die. I just sent an email to that address and I did not get the standard immediate ‘unable to deliver’ message back. But, since it is Saturday, I also wouldn’t expect to get a reply to that email and its question of how long that email will remain functional. If/when I get a reply, problematic at best considering my apparent negative status at ISCD, I’ll post that information here.

FAQ Update

There were nine FAQ responses updated on the site yesterday as well. I suppose that one would be forgiven for assuming that these were the first installment of the ‘revising all FAQs/Articles’ mentioned earlier. In fact the email change was the sole revision made in only three of the responses (#657, #1390, and #1557). Three other FAQ responses (#1274, #1447, and #1642) had changes made that included the email change along with other relatively minor editorial changes. The remaining responses (#56, #168, and #329) had changes that did not include any reference to the new email address.

The only real change in information provided in the six updated FAQ responses dealt with the actual provision of links to some documents referenced in the text of the response. Only one of those links is actually ‘new’ (FAQ #329) and that is for the EPA’s RMP*Comp tool ( rmp_comp.htm). Unfortunately, the link on the bottom of the CFATS Knowledge Center page to this ‘RMP*Comp Download’ ( was not updated and it does return an ‘Error – File Not Found’ message.

The link in one of the other revised FAQ responses is about useless. The newly provided link in FAQ #168 is supposed to go to the CSAT Top-Screen Survey Application User Guide on the DHS website; it doesn’t. Where it does take you is right back to the CFATS Knowledge Center. You can find a link to that document on that site by clicking on the ‘Top Screen’ button but that is not readily intuitive to someone who is not familiar with this site. A better link would have been to the Top Screen web page on the Chemical Security Assessment Tool web site.

Personnel Rumors

Sharp eyed readers will note that one of the FAQ’s listed above has already been changed twice this year. FAQ #1557 was previously changed because of changes in the position of Assistant Secretary, Infrastructure Protection; which leads to an interesting rumor (I have heard it from a single ‘normally reliable source’; an old Army source reliability measure, the highest reliability standard).

That source told me that: “they [DHS] announced yesterday [May 31st] that Penny Anderson is being removed as Director. She is being replaced by her deputy (Dave Wulf) as of July 21”. This would put Wulf in charge of ISCD before the Chemical Sector Security Summit (CSSS) at the end of July.

I will bet that this is the only place where we hear the term ‘removed’ used. I would expect to hear that she ‘resigned’ in any official announcement.

I never had any opportunity to talk with, or correspond with, Ms. Anderson. The one time that I saw her before a Congressional committee she appeared to be fully fluent in Congress-speak. The current problems at ISCD are hardly her fault. Even failing to make substantial progress at fixing them in her year at ISCD speaks more to her background at TSA and FAA and lack of a working knowledge of much of anything chemical manufacturing, rather than to any failing as an administrator.

No comments:

/* Use this with templates/template-twocol.html */