LIEBERMAN COMMENDS DHS FOR START OF PRIVATE SECTOR PREPAREDNESS PROGRAM

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., Thursday expressed satisfaction that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has begun implementation of its Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation and Certification Program. DHS announced that it has retained ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board to manage the program (ANAB), which will set standards and guidelines that businesses can voluntarily subscribe to in order to obtain a preparedness certification. ANAB is an internationally recognized organization that serves the conformity assessment needs of business and industry. “From the corner store to the multi-billion dollar corporation, the private sector has a shared responsibility with government to be prepared for disaster,” Lieberman said. “With proper preparation and training, thousands of American lives and jobs could be saved. Since DHS is four months behind in implementing this program, I encourage it to move onto the next steps with greater alacrity.” Approximately 85 percent of the nation’s critical infrastructure is privately owned, making private sector preparedness an essential part of our homeland security. Lieberman led the effort to enact a voluntary private sector preparedness accreditation and certification program, included within the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act (H.R. 1), which was signed into law on August 3, 2007. The program implemented a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission which found the private sector was largely unprepared for a terrorist attack and stated in its report, “private-sector preparedness is not a luxury; it is a cost of doing business in the post-9/11 world. It is ignored at a tremendous potential cost in lives, money, and national security.”