Thursday, November 15, 2007

DHS provides notification of Web Site Changes

I started to write about a change that DHS made to their web sites on October 31st, but skipped it for the more important news about the issuing of the final version of Appendix A to 6 CFR part 27. Now that I have covered the high points about that document in multiple blogs, I have time to go back and review this change to the DHS website.


At the top of many of the web pages is a shortcut to a new set of web pages. The short cut is shown below. Clicking on the link provided will take you to a series of pages where you can sign up for email notification when that page changes.


Get e-mail updates when this information changes


I applaud DHS for taking this action. Readers of this blog are well familiar with my complaints about important changes being made to the DHS web site without an effort being made to let the public know about the changes. While many of the changes have been of a more cosmetic nature, there have been changes that have provided important information about changes in the CFATS program and implementation that have been posted to the DHS web site. Until this recent change only those of us who have made nearly daily trips to the site would be aware of the new information on a timely basis.


Unfortunately, this change notification does not cover every page of the web site; it only covers the main entry pages. For example, I signed up on the evening of October 31st when this first became available, but I did not receive notification of the changes to the pages that resulted from the publication of Appendix A. I have received notification from the system for some other pages that I monitor and had signed up for the change notification.


Changes like the pre-publication of Appendix A (which has still not been published in the Federal Register) are important news to anyone that is responsible for security at chemical facilities. To get prompt spread of this type information, DHS should include these type changes in their notification system. This will help DHS get accurate information out to the affected community without having to rely on the distortions found in most of the press articles.


In any case, this is a good first step that DHS should be commended upon. I urge anyone that is interested in the CFATS regulations to sign up today for the web site change notification program. The short cut can be found on many pages, but probably the most appropriate one for people interested in chemical security would be the Activities & Programs (10-31-07) page.

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