Saturday, April 6, 2013

Really Late NIAC Meeting Notice

DHS NPPD is posting a meeting notice (78 FR 20934) in Monday’s Federal Register (available on line today) for a meeting Monday of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC); so much for the required 15-day notice.

Tardy Excuse Rejected

This is not the first time that the NIAC meeting notice has been well short of the ‘timely notice’ requirement of 5 USC §10(a)(2). And what was the excuse this time?

“The Federal Advisory Committee Act requires that notices of meetings of advisory committees be announced in the Federal Register 15 days prior to the meeting date. However, this notice of the NIAC meeting is being published in the Federal Register on April 8, 2013, zero days prior to the meeting due to an immediate need by DHS to receive advice on the new implementation of Executive Order 13636 and Presidential Policy Directive 21. Both mandate comprehensive consultation with stakeholders in very short time lines for implementation. Although the meeting notice was published in the Federal Register late, the date of the meeting has been posted on the Council's public Web site on since January 2013. Additional outreach will be accomplished through trade and professional associations.”

So the meeting has been planned since January, but the DFO can’t get a notice into the Federal Register until the day of the meeting; that is really sad or should I say incompetent? I can’t even buy the EO/PPD excuse since those have been out for over a month. Even if a month were not enough time for NPPD to realize that NIAC might need a briefing on the topic, the meeting notice should have already been published and this would be an addition to the agenda.

Fortunately for NIAC there is no one that enforces this particular federal law, so they can give notice, or late notice, or probably no notice at all and nothing would happen. It just does not inspire confidence in the leadership at NPPD or DHS.


The meeting notice provides the following agenda list for this meeting:

• NIAC Presentation on Regional Resilience Working Group
• Public Comment: Discussion Limited to Meeting Agenda Items and Previous NIAC Studies
• Regional Resilience Working Group Discussion
• Briefing and Discussion on Executive Order 13636 and Presidential Policy Directive 21 by the Department of Homeland Security
• Identification of Potential Areas to Recommend for Next NIAC Study

I would guess that the ‘potential area’ for the next NIAC study will be something to do with EO 13636 even though NIAC was not mentioned in the EO (the Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council was - §6 - though but we all know that there is no room for petty institutional jealousy in the federal government).

Copies of the EO Brief and the Regional Resilience WG presentation are available on the NIAC web site.

Public Comments

Public comments are being solicited, kind of. There will be time after the Working Group presentation for oral comments from the public, but the notice states: “We request that comments be limited to the issues listed in the meeting agenda and previous NIAC studies.” Written comments may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal (; Docket # DHS-2013-0004), but they must be submitted by noon on Monday.

 OOPS, there is no such docket number on as of 7:00 am CDT, 4-6-13; maybe they don’t really want your comments after all. Maybe you should try email ( or fax {(703) 603-5098} and there is even a snail mail address given (yep, that will get there by noon on Monday).

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