ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Defense Contractors Recognize Benefits of HSSP Participation

ANSI Chairman Addresses Defense Week Conference

Washington, DC, Feb 27, 2003

Dr. George W. Arnold, chairman of the American National Standards Institute Board of Directors, met today with more than 150 homeland-security professionals from the private and public sectors who are working on requirements, managing programs or providing systems and services to the government. The audience gathered for his presentation at a Defense Week-sponsored conference to consider the impact of the new U.S. Department of Homeland Security on acquisitions and contracts.

Held at the Cafritz Convention Center on the George Washington University campus, the event’s focus was to help the homeland security community define needs, as well as provide insight into the way in which industry can help fulfill those needs in the spirit of the public/private partnership fostered by the Bush administration.

“The stakes for the IT community are especially high,” explained conference organizers. As an example, the “Department of Homeland Security budget for fiscal year 2003 is expected to set aside some $1.5 billion for IT.”

Chairman Arnold’s presentation, entitled Coordinating Critical Standards Needs for Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, introduced the group to ANSI and the newly formed Homeland Security Standards Panel (HSSP), describing its purpose as a forum where private and public sector interests agree to cooperatively address the homeland security and emergency preparedness needs of the nation.

“When both private and public sector interests are sitting around the same table, it’s a powerful way to discuss and debate – on a policy level – how much competition should be allowed on technological issues versus having a solution which is mandated by the government.”

His presentation explained how and why the HSSP was formed, how it will go about identifying existing standards to meet urgent needs, how it will facilitate standards solutions where needs exist, and how companies and government agencies can become involved.

“The HSSP aligns the cutting-edge work of standardization experts with urgent national priorities by utilizing an expansive, open and well-tested standards development network in the United States,” explained Dr. Arnold. “I encourage all industry and government representatives to participate in both the HSSP and all related standards development activities.”

“I believe, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Arnold and those of the other speakers and panelists, it was a most worthwhile exchange of ideas and insights,” commented John Morton, director of conferences for Defense Week.

Since 1998 and the previous administration's promulgation of Presidential Decision Directives 62 and 63, Defense Week has presented over a dozen of conferences devoted to domestic preparedness and national critical-infrastructure protection.

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