ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ANSI-HSSP Workshop to Explore "Private Sector Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity"


New York, Jan 15, 2004

In support of its mission to help to coordinate the homeland security-related work of the standards and conformity assessment community, the Homeland Security Standards Panel of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI-HSSP) is convening a series of workshops as part of its exploratory activities. The next in the series, slated for January 28, 2004, will address the topic of "Private Sector Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity." The objective of this workshop is to identify existing standards and standards currently under development in these areas and to make recommendations with respect to a high-level national standard for private sector emergency preparedness and business continuity.

Business continuity refers to the ability of companies and organizations to maintain or return to normal operations after a disaster, terrorist attack, or other security breach. Standards that can assist in disaster recovery and protection of assets, as well as emergency preparedness, are critical to the national economic and security interests.

The results of the January 28 workshop are intended to give ANSI insight in crafting recommendations for the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9-11 Commission) with respect to high-level national standards in this area. The 9-11 Commission is an independent, bipartisan group created by congressional legislation and is chartered to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The Commission is also mandated to include recommendations designed to guard against future attacks in its report that is due on May 27, 2004. A working relationship between the Institute and the 9-11 Commission grew out of the 5th Public Hearing of the Commission held on November 19, 2003, at Drew University on the topic of "Public/Private Sector Partnership in Emergency Preparedness."

According to ANSI-HSSP co-chair Dan Bart, this workshop “seeks to support the very important efforts of the 9-11 Commission, groups involved with standards development and conformity assessment activities in this area, and the private sector.”

ANSI also plans to coordinate its activities with the Working Group on Private Sector Preparedness (PSP-WG), a group that has been charged to develop recommendations for the 9-11 Commission on incentives and an education strategy to promote private sector preparedness. The PSP-WG will host a workshop on emergency management and business continuity on January 27, 2004. It is anticipated that this session will provide useful background information on some existing standards activity in this area (focusing on NFPA 1600), and be beneficial to the following day’s ANSI-HSSP discussions.

A target date of April 5, 2004, has been set to deliver recommendations from ANSI and the PSP-WG to the 9-11 Commission to allow enough time for adequate review and consideration for incorporation into their final report.

Participation in the ANSI-HSSP workshop and the PSP-WG meeting, both of which are being held in New York City, is by invitation only and is subject to limited availability. Organizations interested in being considered for participation in either meeting may contact Matthew Deane, ANSI-HSSP secretary (mdeane@ansi.org; 212-642-4992).

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