Saturday, September 25, 2010

CFATS Knowledge Center Update 09-24-10

Yesterday DHS updated their CFATS Knowledge Center web page. There were no changes in the Frequently Asked Questions list. They did remove the three explanatory notes under the Current News heading that had explained the on-going process of the Agriculture Survey. The deadline for submitting those surveys was last Monday so this information was no longer pertinent. I hope to have more information on those surveys next week.

Missing Information

What is interesting is what wasn’t changed on the Knowledge Center this week. DHS-ISCD published two new CSAT manuals and there was never a mention of this on the page. You can link to the CSAT Top-Screen Survey Application User Guide from the documentation section of the page, but only if you know the name of the old manual (CSAT Top-Screen User’s Manual); DHS kept the same URL for the new manual. There is no link to the new CSAT SSP Edit Process User Guide.

There also should have been mention of these two new manuals under the Current News heading. If it weren’t for bloggers like me and the Roberts Law Group, the only way that the CFATS community would know about these new manuals is through a careful detailed review of the numerous CFATS web sites; something that few have time to do. This was the whole point of the newly designed CFATS Knowledge Center and it failed the chemical security community this week.

Other Pages Lacking Changes

These two new manuals should also have shown up on a couple of other pages this week and were mysteriously absent. The CSAT Top-Screen page should have had the name changed for the new user guide. The CSAT Site Security Plan (SSP) page should have a listing/link for the new editing guide and probably a brief explanation of the difference between Administrative and Technical edits.

Generally speaking the folks at DHS-ISCD have done an excellent job with their web communication tools. They certainly have the most effective web pages of all of the government sites that I routinely deal with for chemical security and hazardous material regulations. This is why it is particularly disappointing to see that communications standard slip like it did this week.

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