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Second Plenary Meeting of the ANSI Homeland Security Standards Panel

New York, May 05, 2004

More than 100 professionals, experts and creative minds from the standards and conformity assessment community gathered for the second plenary meeting of the American National Standards Institute Homeland Security Standards Panel (ANSI-HSSP), April 29 and 30, 2004. The two-day meeting was held in Fairfax, VA, at the Fairview Park Marriott.

In his welcoming remarks, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Acting Director, Dr. Hratch Semerjian emphasized the progress that has been made in this ANSI program to develop a robust homeland security measurement and standards infrastructure that is able to serve the needs of the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Dr. Semerjian added that NIST has “more than a hundred projects related to homeland security underway in the laboratories and facilities throughout NIST.” “NIST scientists are working in priority areas that the Panel has identified including biometrics, biological and chemical threat agents, critical infrastructure protection, cybersecurity, and more,” he noted. NIST has also provided leadership in this effort, not only as a co-chair of the Panel but also in other areas. For example, NIST’s Fernando Podio chaired the Biometrics Workshop and Ed Robak was one of the chairs of the standards task force at the Cybersecurity Summit set up by DHS.

David Karmol, ANSI vice president of public policy and government affairs emphasized the inclusive nature of the ANSI-HSSP and its ability to capitalize on existing knowledge of work that has been completed or that is currently underway within the wider standards-setting community. “To make our work comprehensive, we must make every effort to solicit participation from sectors and groups outside the traditional standards system,” explained Mr. Karmol. “This panel provides a forum in which industry and government can work together to identify existing standards and, where new standards are needed, help to accelerate the timely development of new standards by the appropriate organizations to meet the nation’s homeland security needs."

The first day ended with a reception during which the Honorable Lee H. Hamilton, Vice Chair of the 9-11 Commission, appeared to receive a recommendation on emergency preparedness and business continuity. The Institute recommended a voluntary national preparedness standard based on criteria developed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

ANSI HSSP co-chairs, Mr. Bart and Ms. Saunders provided a scorecard report of the first 14 months of the Panel noting all the Workshops that have been held or planned addressing the priority areas that were identified by DHS at the first Plenary meeting last June.

The agenda included reports on HSSP workshops on biometrics, biological and chemical threat agents, private sector emergency preparedness and business continuity, risk analysis and management for homeland security, and an update on the cybersecurity summit sponsored by DHS. There were also updates on the ANSI-DHS homeland security standards database project, presentations on the SAFETY Act, and future workshop plans for workshops on training programs for first responders and emergency communications. Conformity Assessment was also emphasized along with status on bilateral and multilateral international security efforts, activities of The Infrastructure Security Partnership (TISP) project, the Partnership for Critical Infrastructure Security (PCIS) and the Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISAC) Council.

Charles Brookson, the representative from the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), commented that he “appreciated the opportunity to share with the participants work on security standards that is underway among the European Standards Organizations (ESOs) of ETSI, CEN, and CENELEC, but also the opportunity to see first hand what activities and standards efforts are keeping the HSSP active.” ANSI and the ESOs met in January 2004 and Mary Saunders had provided a briefing then on HSSP work and an agreement was reached to share information between ANSI and the ESOs on this important area of standardization. This will also help to facilitate work that is being undertaken at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in its new ad hoc group on security standards.

ANSI will continue to communicate with interested parties to enlist their support in addressing the priority standardization needs of DHS and others and to ascertain their willingness to participate in the work of the Panel, and will advise them of future scheduled meetings and workshops. Most presentations from the Plenary meeting can be found on the ANSI HSSP web site.

Further details of the work of the European Standards Organizations can be found on their respective web sites; CEN (, CENELEC ( and ETSI (

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