Critical Infrastructure Protection: DHS Efforts to Assess Chemical Security Risk and Gather Feedback on Facility Outreach Can be Strengthened, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 2MB]

"Facilities that produce, store, or use hazardous chemicals could be of interest to terrorists intent on using toxic chemicals to inflict mass casualties in the United States. As required by statute, DHS issued regulations that establish standards for the security of high-risk chemical facilities. DHS established the CFATS [Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards] program to assess the risk posed by these facilities and inspect them to ensure compliance with DHS standards. ISCD [Infrastructure Security Compliance Division], which manages the program, places high risk facilities in risk-based tiers and is to conduct inspections after it approves facility security plans. A November 2011 ISCD internal memorandum raised concerns about ISCD's ability to fulfill its mission. GAO [Government Accountability Office] assessed the extent to which DHS has (1) assigned chemical facilities to tiers and assessed its approach for doing so, (2) revised its process to review facility security plans, and (3) communicated and worked with owners and operators to improve security. GAO reviewed DHS reports and plans on risk assessments, security plan reviews, and facility outreach and interviewed DHS officials. GAO also received input from 11 trade associations representing chemical facilities, about ISCD outreach. The results of this input are not generalizable but provide insights. […] GAO recommends that DHS enhance its risk assessment approach to incorporate all elements of risk, conduct a peer review after doing so, and explore opportunities to gather systematic feedback on facility outreach. DHS concurred with the recommendations."

Report Number:GAO-13-353
Publisher:United States. Government Accountability Office
Copyright:Public Domain
Retrieved From:Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
Media Type:application/pdf
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Listed on May 1, 2013 [Critical Releases]