Wednesday, May 4, 2011

DHS Chemical Security Inspector Job Openings

The web site is listing openings for CFATS Chemical Security Inspectors. The current announcement opened on Monday and will remain open thru May 16th. According to this job listing there are positions open in Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Buffalo, Newark, and Philadelphia.

While anyone that is considering becoming a CSI (I love that acronym being a fan of the TV shows) should certainly visit this web site, I think that it would be eye opening for anyone involved in the CFATS program to look at the type of person that DHS is looking for to fill these important positions.


In addition to specific background requirements DHS will be evaluating applications against the following list of competencies:

• Knowledge of security system methods pertaining to the characteristics, manufacturing process and transportation of hazardous and high risk chemicals;

• Ability to perform chemical security inspections under the chemical facility anti-terrorism standards (CFATS);

• Ability to perform enforcement operations under the chemical facility anti-terrorism standards (CFATS);

• Knowledge of the laws, regulations and principles pertaining to chemical security inspections;

• Knowledge of analytical and evaluative methods used in information gathering and protection programs;

• Ability to liaise effectively with representatives of other organizations (ex: federal agencies, state, local and tribal government officials, and/or private sector officials);

• Ability to communicate effectively orally; and

• Ability to communicate effectively in writing
You’ll notice that there is nothing in the list that addresses cyber security background. Realistically, I doubt that CFATS inspectors are spending much time looking at cyber security beyond the very basics of IT security issues. The issues related to control system security are just too complex to expect CSI to have the necessary background and training in addition to the other security training and chemical safety knowledge that the inspectors must possess.

Conditions of Employment

Another area that personnel at CFATS facilities ought to look at before the CSI appear on site is the section of the job opening notice that details the conditions of employment. Understanding what these inspectors have to put up with might make it easier to take some of the inevitable brusqueness that one encounters with many people in these kinds of positions. The notice lists the following conditions of employment:

• Candidates are required to participate in medical monitoring.

• Candidates must obtain and maintain a valid State Driver's License.

• Candidates will be required to perform certain essential duties in close proximity to large quantities of the most hazardous chemicals and chemical production processes in the world under all weather conditions.

• Medical qualifications are required for Hazardous Materials Technician Certifications.

Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime Pay (AUO) may be authorized.

• Frequent and often unscheduled travel (50% of the time) may be required within your geographical area of operation or anywhere else in the US or its associated territories as required by DHS HQ.

• Candidates will be required to attend and successfully complete the multi-week Chemical Security Academy training.

• Candidates will be required to file an OGE 450 Confidential Financial Disclosure Report annually.

• Candidates must sign a Mobility Agreement.

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