Back in September in a hearing of the Environment and the Economy Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Shimkus (R,IL) asked Under Secretary Rand Beers how DHS could approve a CFATS Site Security Plan when there was no program in place for facility owners to vet their employees against the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB). In his reply Beers promised that the new program proposal for the CFATS personnel surety program would be published in the Federal Register within 30-days.
Last Tuesday marked the 90 day anniversary of that promise. Guess what? There still has not been a program information collection request published. I noted in my blog post about that hearing that I did not expect to see the 30-day promise kept. Nor was I surprised when the 30-day anniversary or the 60 day anniversary passed without action. Beers has a long history of not being able to fulfill his promises to Congress.
I suppose that in the great scheme of things that Congress is concerned about this month, the CFATS program problems are not going to cause one-second of delay in Congressional Leaders getting home to see their families this holiday season, nor probably should it. But the 112th Congress is quickly becoming history and the 113th Congress will soon be taking a fresh look at the CFATS program that has a long history of Beers being unable to deliver on his promises of progress. He and the staff at ISCD should not be surprised when the House moves to severely cut their funding for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Why pay for a program that cannot deliver?