Sunday, February 9, 2014

HR 4005 Introduced – FY 2015 CG Authorization

As I noted earlier this week Rep. Duncan (R,CA) introduced HR 4005, the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014. As we have seen in recent years there is no specific mention of the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) or the Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) in the bill. There is, however, a move to formally recognize the work of port and facility safety and security specialists in the USC.

Safety and Security Specialists

Section 202 of the bill makes modifications to 14 CFR §57, Prevention and Response Workforces. It {§202(1)(c)} adds ‘port and facility safety and security specialist’ to the list of jobs in §57(b) requiring certain qualifications and describes those qualifications:

Port and facility safety and security specialist shall have knowledge, skill, and practical experience with respect to the safety, security, and environmental protection responsibilities associated with maritime ports and facilities. {§57(b)(5)}

It {§202(2)} then goes on to add “port and facility safety and security specialist” to the list of jobs that requires a 1 year apprenticeship {§57(f)}. Then it {§202(3)} adds “port and facility safety and security specialist” to the list of potentially qualifying specialties for the position Sector Chief of Protection.

These provisions should help to increase the professionalism of the current safety and security specialist workforce by recognizing their place within the Coast Guard hierarchy and making the specialty a viable part of the career progression for Coast Guard officers.

Moving Forward

This is one of a relatively small list of must pass authorization bills. It is being introduced fairly early in the year (2nd quarter) so it should have time to wend its way through the legislative process, even in an election year, before the start of FY 2015. The fact that it has already been published by the GPO indicates the level of priority assigned to its consideration.

I expect that we may see the initial markup hearing on this bill by the end of the month even with the Valentine’s Day recess the week of the 17th.

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