Thursday, May 6, 2010

MTSA Screening

Laurie Thomas, a frequent reader, has an interesting blog that I follow about matters dealing with MTSA topics. This weekend she had a posting about screening at MTSA facilities where she questioned the adequacy of the Coast Guard guidance for facilities to establish their procedures for screening people entering covered facilities. This peaked my interest because I wanted to see how they handled those complex issues and to see if they might be applicable to CFATS facilities. So I looked up the Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) that Laurie referenced in her blog. This was interesting reading. Since NVIC 06-04 is a guidance document there are a number of legally mandated weasel worded statements about facilities not being legally required to pay any attention to the document. The one that I love is:
“The guidance is not provided to regulate owners or operators in the development of a screening program, and owners or operators are not required to use this document in developing a screening program.” (para 1, pg 1).
This is not much different than the wording found in the Risk-Based Performance Standards Guidance document. The big difference, however, is found down in paragraph 2, where it says:
“Commanding Officers of Marine Safety Offices, Captains of the Port (COPT) and the Commanding Officer of the Marine Safety Center should utilize the guidelines in this circular when examining security programs required by 33 CFR Parts 104, 105 and 106.”
So owners/operators don’t need to use this, but the Coasties will use it to conduct their inspections. Okay, it seems a little bit more than guidance to me. Except that Laurie, who follows MTSA stuff closely, doesn’t think that it’s actually being used by anyone. Looking a little closer, I think I can see why; the document available on the web doesn’t say much. The actual guidance is found in Enclosure 1 which isn’t available on the web; you see it contains Sensitive Security Information (emphasis all mine). According to paragraph 2b, “the SSI could be used to subvert or exploit the security programs of vessels facilities or ports”. It goes on to say that “parties that can demonstrate a need to know may submit a request for enclousure (1)”. Well combined with the guidance statement in paragraph 1, I understand why no one is using this document. So, it makes one wonder why it is SSI, then, if no one is using it. The wonderful world of SECURITY…

No comments:

/* Use this with templates/template-twocol.html */