Tuesday, May 11, 2010

CFATS Background Check Comments

There are only two days left on the 30-day comment period on the information collection request posted by ISCD for the proposed CFATS background check tool. So far, only one comment has been posted on the www.Regulations.gov web site (docket # DHS-2009-0026); the Institute for Manufacturers of Explosives’ comment was posted on the site today. As I noted last year during the comment period for the 60-day notice these ICR requests seldom garner any comments, but this is a hot button issue within the chemical security community. I expect that the IME comments are just the first of many that will start to flow into the site. The regulated community certainly deserves it’s say during the consideration of deploying this tool, but it will be just another delay in the full-blown implementation of the CFATS program. Another delay that Congress will not doubt complain about, but that’s the way things go. The CFATS program is a complex operation with very little in the way of Congressional guidance. DHS has had to write a regulatory scheme, implement a number of innovative data collection tools, build an inspection team and deal with a budgetary process that made advance planning very difficult. Oh, and face an impending program authority expiration date because Congress cannot write permanently authorizing legislation that will pass political muster.

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