Critical Infrastructure Protection: DHS Efforts to Assess Chemical Security Risk and Gather Feedback on Facility Outreach Can Be Strengthened

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since 2007, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD) has assigned about 3,500 high-risk chemical facilities to risk-based tiers under its Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program, but it has not fully assessed its approach for doing so. The approach ISCD used to assess risk and make decisions to place facilities in final tiers does not consider all of the elements of consequence, threat, and vulnerability associated with a terrorist attack involving certain chemicals. For example, the risk assessment approach is based ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. April 5, 2013.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since 2007, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD) has assigned about 3,500 high-risk chemical facilities to risk-based tiers under its Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program, but it has not fully assessed its approach for doing so. The approach ISCD used to assess risk and make decisions to place facilities in final tiers does not consider all of the elements of consequence, threat, and vulnerability associated with a terrorist attack involving certain chemicals. For example, the risk assessment approach is based primarily on consequences arising from human casualties, but does not consider economic consequences, as called for by the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) and the CFATS regulation, nor does it consider vulnerability, consistent with the NIPP. ISCD has begun to take some actions to examine how its risk assessment approach can be enhanced, including commissioning a panel of experts to assess the current approach, identify strengths and weaknesses, and recommend improvements. ISCD will need to incorporate the various results of these efforts to help them ensure that the revised risk assessment approach includes all elements of risk. After ISCD has incorporated all elements of risk into its assessment approach, an independent peer review would provide better assurance that ISCD can appropriately identify and tier chemical facilities, better inform CFATS planning and resource decisions, and provide the greatest return on investment consistent with the NIPP."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • April 5, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Critical Infrastructure Protection: DHS Efforts to Assess Chemical Security Risk and Gather Feedback on Facility Outreach Can Be Strengthened, report, April 5, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc297870/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.