I’m hearing rumors that DHS is getting close to the point where they will be issuing their 30-day notice for the information collection request supporting the CFATS personnel surety program (PSP). I did a series of blogs (the last in the series contains links to the others) on the comments that were received when DHS published the 60-day notice. This is part of a continuing series looking at some of the issues that will need to be addressed in the 30-day notice. Earlier posts in the series were:
In this post I would like to address some of the issues with the use of the TWIC as part of the CFATS PSP. The folks at ISCD did not think that the TWIC would form a major part of the facility PSP program, but the comments received would tend to indicate otherwise. This means that ISCD will have to make some modifications to the way the PSP deals with TWIC.
Facilities in and near port areas will find a large resident population that hold Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC). This will be especially true of the trades that commonly work in and around industrial facilities. Facilities will find it very helpful to include the use of the TWIC to vet contractor personnel moving in and out of the facility.
Truck drivers are another area where ISCD can expect to see wide spread use of the TWIC as part of the facility PSP. I fully expect that most facilities will require delivery drivers, particularly bulk carrier drivers who will have the most intimate access to critical areas of the facility, to present a TWIC as a prerequisite for facility entry. This will be the only way that a timely vetting of these drivers will be possible.
The 60-day notice made it clear that there will be no mandate to actually use TWIC Readers at the gate to verify the TWIC upon each entrance to the facility, but it did suggest that the TWIC could not be used purely as a flash pass either. Of course, part of the reason for any additional specificity in describing how often a TWIC would need to be verified by a Reader is the §550 prohibition on specifying the use of a particular security measure. Still ISCD will need to specifically state that electronic verification of a TWIC will (or will not) be necessary and whether or not it will have to be periodically repeated.
It is possible that ISCD may provide facilities with a dual option on the use of the TWIC. The TWIC might be allowed as a flash pass system if a listing of such TWICs (with only limited information required; name and TWIC # for instance) is provided to ISCD as part of the facility PSP data submission. Periodic use of a TWIC Reader may be allowed in lieu of such a submission. As I mentioned in the last post in this series a copy of the proposed CSAT PSP tool would go a long way to making the requirements clearer.
Actually, it may be difficult for ISCD to ‘require’ the electronic verification of the TWIC as part of the PSP until such verification is required as part of the MTSA PSP. It certainly looks like the CFATS PSP could be approved before the Coast Guard is able to get a TWIC Reader Rule published, particularly if various Congressional committees get involved.