House Passes Legislation to Authorize the CFATS Program
Earlier today the House passed HR 4007, by voice vote, legislation to authorize the CFATS program for three years. The bill provides needed stability for stakeholders and a platform for advancing incremental program changes that are time-sensitive. It will ensure close congressional oversight and agency accountability that are needed for continued program improvement.
Most importantly, this legislation includes important provisions directed at DHS’s Personnel Surety Program (PSP). DHS may no longer require CFATS facilities to use the PSP as a gateway to vet individuals needing access to restricted areas through the PSP. DHS is directed to accept other equivalent federal security vetting programs, such as ATF’s program for workers at facilities with explosives. Additionally, DHS is required to tell facility operators if persons found on the terrorist screening database are attempting to access CFATS facilities. This will add security value. It provides for redress in case inaccurate information leads to an individual being denied access. The PSP is currently pending final promulgation at OMB. Congressional action to require reform cannot come fast enough.
This is a victory for IME and all others who worked hard to advance this legislation. IME will continue to work to advance companion legislation in the Senate.