Tuesday, July 14, 2009

HR 2892 Status Update 07-13-09

The Government Printing Office web site now has the Senate passed version of HR 2892 available on its web site. A quick review of that version produces no surprises. There are some new section numbers for items of interest to the chemical security community. First, the section that extends the CFATS program authorization until October 4th 2010 is now §551. Second, the provisons that I reported on yesterday related to clarifying the SSI classification rules is now found in §564. Rescission of NPPD Funds There is a section that I haven’t mentioned before on the funding side of this bill that might be of interest. It is one of many of the sections in the General Provisions (Title V) portion of the bill that rescinds unspent monies from previous budgets. These are mainly housekeeping measures necessary for keeping the financial books straight. Section 556 rescinds $8 million from the “unobligated balances of prior year appropriations made available for National Protection and Programs Directorate ‘Infrastructure Protection and Information Security’”. The NPPD is the parent agency for the CFATS program. It is not clear from this short paragraph in the budget, but some portion of that money comes from the money appropriated in earlier budgets for CFATS inspectors that have not yet been hired. Most of the problems that NPPD has been having with their hiring processes have been related to the way the funding for the Department has been done at the last minute (and in some cases after the last minute) for the last couple of years of the Bush Administration. This was due to the conflicts between the Republican Administration and the Democratic Congress. Early passage of the FY 2010 budget will help to alleviate that problem.

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