Tuesday, February 10, 2009

CFATS Whistleblower Hot-Line

There have been some changes made to the DHS Chemical Security web page. The most important change is the new link (last link) of the “I want to:” block at the top of the page. The “Call the CFATS Tip Line” takes one to a new entry on the CSAT FAQ page (the first new entry in a couple of months) that provides information on how to report security concerns. For a ‘possible security concern’ involving the CFATS regulation, the FAQ page (FAQ # 1620) provides a telephone number for the CFATS Chemical Facility Security Tip Line (877 394-4347). Apparently you do not get to talk to a real person, but you can leave an anonymous voice mail message or leave your contact information. This certainly sounds like a whistleblower hot-line. The FAQ provides a separate number for reporting a ‘potential security incident’ that has already occurred (‘potential’ and ‘already occurred; I’m confused). This number is for the National Infrastructure Coordination Center (202-282-9201). Please note that this is not a toll free number, it is the standard Washington, DC area code. It also notes that this number should not be used for an in-progress security incident; one should call 911 or call the FBI in that instance. Finally, the FAQ provides yet another number to call for questions about the CFATS regulations (866-323-2957). I am severely disappointed that DHS is burying the whistleblower hot-line in the middle of the FAQ page. Even the link on the Chemical Security page is obscure and easily over looked. This number (with brief instructions) should probably be in a text box of its own near the top of the Chemical Security page and made a permanent part of the page.

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