Sunday, February 24, 2013

VCAT Webinar

Bridget O'Grady has a blog post over at the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) website that notes that the Chemical Sector-Specific Agency (CSSA) in the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection will be holding a webinar to discuss their Voluntary Chemical Assessment Tool (VCAT).


As I have noted before the VCAT was designed to provide a method of assessing the security vulnerabilities of non-regulated chemical facilities, though I firmly believe that a VCAT assessment would also be valuable for facilities regulated by such programs as CFATS or MTSA.

One of the beneficial uses of the program is to look at the comparative effectiveness of various proposed security measures. Once the current facility information is entered into the system a risk score is provided. Subsequent changes to the facility information reflecting proposed security measures will change the risk score allowing the facility security manager to conduct a cost benefit analysis of various possible security measures.

The CSSA has not publicly provided any data on the methodology used in the VCAT so it is difficult to assess how well the program deals with the various complexities of the security assessment process. It should, however, provide an analysis that is not influenced by what a particular vendor is selling; something that is not always readily available to security managers.

Alion Science and Technology

An interesting bit of information provided by Bridget’s post led me to the Alion Science and Technology web site. They note that they developed the VCAT using their  CounterMeasures® assessment system. It also claims that the VCAT has been endorsed by ACC and SOCMA, though no links to those endorsements have been provided. I can’t find anything related to VCAT on the ACC site, but there are a number of references (available to SOCMA members only) to VCAT on the SOCMA site.

There is nothing on the CSSA web site that would indicate that Alion was the contractor for the development of the VCAT. That type of information is not typically provided publicly by DHS.

The Webinar

Bridget reports that the webinar will be held on March 20th, 2013 at 4:00 pm EDT. Personnel wishing to register for the webinar should contact

NOTE: Bridget provides the following link to VCAT: That is the link to the VCAT assessment portal and you must have logon information to access that portal. Contact to get access to that site.

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