Tuesday, October 1, 2013

CFATS Web Site and the Shutdown

I have not yet been able to try to active contact people within the CFATS program to see what specific effect this federal government shutdown has had on the CFATS program. I have had a chance to check the web pages associated with the CFATS program. Based upon what we can see on these sites it looks like the CFATS program is among the missing in the federal government.

Document Pages

The various document pages appear to be operating normally. They do have a new banner across the top of each of the pages (with one exception) providing information about the program:

Clicking on the embedded link in that banner takes you to a new page that informs us that:

NOTICE:  Due to the lapse in federal funding, this website will not be actively managed. This website was last updated on September 30, 2013 and will not be updated until after funding is enacted. As such, information on this website may not be up to date.  Transactions submitted via this website might not be processed and we will not be able to respond to inquiries until after appropriations are enacted.

Each of the current manuals (current as of September 30th) still appears to be available. I strongly suspect that if any problems arise on these pages during the shutdown the problems will remain on site until some time (how long will depend on how many problems arise during the shutdown) after operations resume.

The one exception to the ‘banner rule’ is the CFATS Knowledge Center. I think this is currently actually being maintained by a contractor (and I may certainly be wrong on this point) and that may explain the discrepancy. In any case this is still a mainly automated information site so I would expect the same rule will ultimately apply.


Since I am not currently working at a CFATS covered site, I do not have personal access to the Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) so I only have limited knowledge about the current state of access to the CSAT system. The one page that I do have access to is the Registration page. The opening page for that site returns the following message:

“The CSAT system is currently off-line.
“Attention CSAT Users
“Due to the current "Federal Funding Hiatus," this system is currently unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”

I can’t be sure at this point, but I suspect that each of the other CSAT tools will have a similar message on their opening page. If Readers with access to the various CSAT tools would like to report on that status, please leave an anonymous comment to this post. There is no need for more than one per CSAT Tool.

BTW: I do like that phrase ‘Federal Funding Hiatus’; it sounds much classier than ‘government shutdown’ and is certainly classier than the situation.

As I get more information, I’ll post it here. NOTE: If anyone from ISCD wants to provide an official or unofficial statement about the current plans for the CFATS process during hiatus, pleas contact me.

1 comment:

John said...

Hiatus is less frightening than Shutdown, but I like the word "Slimdown" I'm seeing on the news sites.

Security lapses in vital defense infrastructure is also on my mind. IF and WHEN the Fed gets their head on straight about priorities, they will spend more wisely, not just buy big or not at all.

Which brings me to one of my clients that is getting some recent love from the private sector oil & gas industry while the military figures out how to buy smarter. CFATS Perimeter Security must be addressed by the chemical industry and low cost ground radar is being discovered as a way to reduce threat levels without breaking the budget. IE. SpotterRF

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