Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Risk Based Performance Standards – Draft Released

Steve Roberts, a Houston-based homeland security attorney, just sent me a copy of the DHS draft of their proposed Risk Based Performance Standards (RBPS). According to Steve this document will be published in the Federal Register in the next week or so for comments. Legal Disclaimers I haven’t had a chance to do any detailed reading yet but the disclaimer on page 7 of the document is interesting. It begins by describing the purpose of the document:
“To assist high-risk facilities in selecting and implementing appropriate protective measures and practices and to assist DHS personnel in consistently evaluating those measures and practices for purposes of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), 6 CFR Part 27, DHS’s Infrastructure Security Compliance Division has developed this Risk-Based Performance Standards Guidance Document.”
Once that description is completed the disclaimer gets very legalistic. It claims that the document “reflects DHS’s current views” on RBPS, but is very quick to note that these do not “not establish legally enforceable requirements”. The document provides a series of examples of how to meet the RBPS, but “specific security measures and practices discussed in this document are neither mandatory nor necessarily the “preferred solution” for complying with the RBPSs”. The bottom line is described in the last line of the disclaimer:
“High-risk facility owners/operators have the ability to choose and implement other measures to meet the RBPSs based on the facility’s circumstances, including its tier level, security issues and risks, physical and operating environments, and other appropriate factors, so long as DHS determines that the suite of measures implemented achieves the levels of performance established by the CFATS RBPSs.”
Future Blogs Needless to say, I’ll be taking a long hard look at this document. There will be a number of blogs, mine and probably others, which will delve into the details of this document. I’ll also be watching the comments filed with DHS when this gets released in the Federal Register. There won’t be any shortage of topics to write about for a while.

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