Friday, September 28, 2012

HSAC Teleconference on Cyber Skills

DHS published a notice in today’s Federal Register (77 FR 59627) announcing that the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) will be holding a public teleconference on October 3rd, 2012. The HSAC will discuss the report of the Cyber Skills Task Force during this teleconference.

Late Notice

The Federal Advisory Committee Act requires 15-days notice for these types of meetings. The announcement justifies the short notice by stating that:

“This notice of the teleconference meeting of the HSAC is published in the Federal Register with less than 15 days' due to the complexity of the issue, the task force was not able to complete its report within this aggressive time line in time for deliver to the HSAC at its September 24-25 meeting. Waiting for the full 15 day notice period to conduct the teleconference will delay the discussion of the report to a period of time that will prevent the Secretary from meeting with the HSAC to review the report due to her travel schedule.”

Interestingly there was no mention of this report in the notice for the meeting earlier this week, so it would seem that the HSAC knew back on September 7th that this teleconference would be required. Even more interesting is the fact that there is no mention of a Cyber Skills Task Force on the HSAC web site. Nor was there mention of this task force in the minutes of the last two meetings of the HSAC.

Public Participation

The public will be allowed to participate in the teleconference in the ‘listen-only’ mode. People wishing to so participate must register with the HSAC via email at or via phone at (202) 447-3135. Copies of the task force report will be provided to registrants at the time of registration. Written comments on the topic may be posted to the Federal eRulemaking Portal (; Docket # DHS-2012-0064) though that docket had not yet been established as of 6:00 am EDT this morning. Both registration and the submission of written comments must be accomplished by 5:00 pm EDT on September 30th (please note that that is this Sunday and I would be very surprised if anyone will be answering the phones at HSAC on Saturday or Sunday).

Irreverent Question

There is nothing in this notice that would so indicate, but I wonder… Would this Cyber Skills Task Force report be in anyway linked to the much rumored ‘Cybersecurity Executive Order’ that is apparently imminent?

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