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Plenary Meeting of the ANSI Homeland Security Standards Panel Demonstrates Years of Remarkable Progress

New York, Oct 03, 2005

“Standards are the vital underpinnings of homeland security efforts to develop the technologies we need to prepare for, protect against and respond to all manner of high-consequence events,” says Dr. Charles McQueary, Under Secretary, DHS Standards & Technology (S&T) Directorate. “The availability of standards helps us condition the marketplace for the protective technologies we need to safeguard the nation.”

McQueary was the keynote speaker at the fourth plenary meeting of the ANSI Homeland Security Standards Panel (ANSI-HSSP), held September 29-30, 2005, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The event brought together more than 150 professionals, experts and leaders from the homeland security standards and conformity assessment community to review progress that has been made and areas to be further explored.

Michelle O'Neill, Acting Under Secretary for Technology, Department of Commerce further highlighted the importance of standards and work of the ANSI-HSSP in addressing the needs for homeland security standards.

"Over the past 3 years, members of the Panel and volunteer workshop participants have identified existing standards related to homeland security priorities, catalogued standards projects under way or planned, and determined gaps where security standards are needed. This work has been crucial to focus the U.S. standards system’s resources on the most pressing needs in security related standards."

Dr. Bert Coursey, director, S&T Directorate provided an update on the DHS S&T Standards Portfolio, and Gordon Gillerman, NIST’s homeland security conformity assessment advisor, provided information on DHS’s approach to conformity assessment.

During a cybersecurity-focused panel, participants received presentations on DHS software assurance: strategic initiative considerations for advancing a national strategy to secure cyberspace, the work of the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) subcommittee on Cyber Security (CS1), and IEEE Information Assurance Standards Committee.

Breakout sessions focused on the following areas:

  • Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE)
  • Border and Transportation Security (BTS)
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response (EP&R) and Infrastructure Protection (IP)

The second day provided a summary and conclusions reached from each breakout session, with identification of work areas for future activities of the HSSP. In addition, recognizing that standards and conformity assessment activities are part of governmental policy initiatives and also involve our friends and allies around the world, there was a segment on international security standards initiatives where participants received status reports on activities within DHS and the S&T Directorate, the ISO Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) on Security, and Bilateral and Multilateral Outreach on Critical Infrastructure Protection and Cyber Security. There was also a demonstration on the ANSI Homeland Security Standards Database (HSSD) that was launched on June 1, 2005.

ANSI-HSSP co-chairs Mary Saunders of NIST and Dan Bart of the Telecommunications Industry Association commented that the consensus among participants was that this was one of the most informative ANSI-HSSP Plenary meetings thus far, and that valuable connections were made between existing standards efforts and homeland security initiatives.

Presentations from the meeting are available on the ANSI-HSSP website. For more information or to join the ANSI-HSSP, please contact its program manager, Matt Deane (

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