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ANSI Hosts International Stakeholders for Security Events


New York, Oct 05, 2007

On October 3-5, more than one hundred public and private sector stakeholders from nearly a dozen nations convened to discuss strategic approaches for security standardization efforts. Held at the headquarters of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the events included the sixth plenary meeting of the ANSI Homeland Security Standards Panel (ANSI-HSSP) and the ISO/IEC/ITU World Standards Cooperation (WSC) Workshop on Transit Security.

The ANSI-HSSP plenary featured panel sessions highlighting current standards-based security programs in the United States in the areas of interoperability, preparedness, risk, response, and recovery. Dr. Bert Coursey, standards executive with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, presented the latest developments within the DHS standards program. Highlighting standards developing organizations that his office is currently working with to adopt private sector standards, Dr. Coursey issued a call for other standards developers to join this effort. He also highlighted the eleven National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards that were adopted by DHS in August.

The plenary concluded with a roundtable session involving Dr. Coursey, Dr. George Arnold, chairman of the ISO/IEC/ITU Strategic Advisory Group on Security, Dan Bart, ANSI-HSSP private sector co-chair from the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), and Mary Saunders, public sector co-chair from NIST. These four standards leaders engaged with the audience in an interactive session on the state of homeland security standardization, reflecting on the nearly five year history of DHS and the ANSI-HSSP, current challenges, top issues, success stories, strategies, and future outlooks. The roundtable also marked the official retirement of Mr. Bart and Ms. Saunders as co-chairs of the ANSI-HSSP.

Mr. Bart and Ms. Saunders both expressed their pride in the accomplishments of the panel, and their appreciation for the opportunity to be part of the process. “Working to protect our country and its citizens is some of the most rewarding standards work anyone can be asked to do,” said Mr. Bart.

Participants took the opportunity to welcome the new co-chairs of the ANSI-HSSP, Christian Dubay, NFPA vice president and chief engineer, and Gordon Gillerman, conformity assessment advisor for homeland security at NIST.

Following the plenary, a workshop on transit security organized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) offered attendees the opportunity to network and develop shared strategies with security experts from the global community.

Participants discussed the strategic role for international standards and conformity assessment programs in the area of public transit security, encompassing urban, suburban and regional commuter transportation by bus, rail and the land side of urban ferry operations. The second day of the event examined existing national standards efforts from various regions of the world, as well as some of the transit security standards efforts already underway. A workshop summary report, including findings and recommendations, will be provided to the leaders of ISO, IEC and ITU for further action.

“We are pleased that we were able to bring together transit experts, government officials, the SDO community, and private sector stakeholders to address how standards can be even more supportive for transit security,” said Matt Deane, ANSI director of homeland security standards. “We’ve learned that, internationally, we are all addressing the same challenges. Cooperation and collaboration are essential because at the end of the day, people’s lives are at stake.”

Questions or requests for additional information can be directed to Matt Deane, ANSI director of homeland security standards (212.642.4992; mdeane@ansi.org).

The October 3, 2007, ANSI-HSSP plenary meeting concluded with a roundtable discussion involving (from L-R): Mary Saunders, Dr. Bert Coursey, Dr. George Arnold, and Dan Bart.

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