Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Reader Comment – IOD from the Inside

An interesting comment over on LinkedIn about yesterday’s blog post on CISA’s Integrated Operations Division. The commentor is Wade W. Gough, a senior chemical security inspector with the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program. His insider-based feedback is always welcomed. He notes:

“Great discussion on our inner workings. Having worked in more complex environments under more competing command authorities, this hasn’t been an issue to me as IOD understands very well the regulatory nature of CFATS. With that & in my experience, working in a Regional office with IOD has plusses & some neagtives but nothing I would describe as a conflict or real concern & certainly nothing that conflicts w/ the CFATS program & its ability to do its job.”

I would not read too much into his ‘plusses and some negatives’ comment. There is no such thing as a perfect organization, and it is well known that DHS as a whole has had more than its share of negative feedback from its employees over the years. It is, however, heartening to hear that he has not seen anything that “conflicts w/ the CFATS program & its ability to do its job.” He obviously cannot publicly complain too much about agency operations while being publicly identified as a CSI, but there is no reason to question his unsolicited positive comments.

I do stand by my suggestion, however, that this is an organizational situation that is ripe with potential for conflicts. While good people with honorable intentions will certainly be able to make the system work, a single person with a conflicting agenda or a need for personal power could cause all sorts of problems in this type of situation. Again, someone outside of the two agencies needs to keep a periodic eye on the situation to ensure nothing untoward happens. The CFATS program had enough management problems in its early years, it does not need any new organizational blemishes.

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