SLTTGCC coordinates state and local infrastructure security efforts

Plant managers and engineers are at the front line in the war on terrorism, according to the Department of Homeland Security. That's why it recently established the State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Government Coordinating Council (SLTTGCC), which, in part, seeks participation from people like you.

By Ken Schnepf

Plant managers and engineers are at the front line in the war on terrorism, according to the Department of Homeland Security. That’s why it recently established the State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Government Coordinating Council (SLTTGCC), which, in part, seeks participation from people like you.

Plant managers and engineers can participate in the sector-specific councils at the national or local levels as representatives of their companies or as subject matter experts, explains DHS. Participation provides an opportunity to contribute to a national priority and provide an owner and operator perspective to shape local or national programs for effectiveness and efficiency.

Sector owners and operators or their representatives participate in this public-private partnership through sector-specific councils organized independent of government. Fifteen such councils have already been organized nationally. These councils develop plans and programs and promulgate them in coordination with counterpart inter-agency federal government coordinating councils and the SLTTGCC, according to DHS.

A number of states are beginning to develop partnership models equivalent to these national councils to implement the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) tailored to local requirements and conditions.

“The formation of the SLTTGCC underscores the importance of bringing all the relevant public and private partners to the critical infrastructure protection table at once,” explains Michael McDaniel, SLTTGCC Chairman Colonel and Homeland Security Advisor for the State of Michigan. “This group provides a needed and educated voice to the Sector Partnership Framework that is a vital element of the NIPP, and it highlights DHS’ dedication to broadening the critical infrastructure protection landscape.”

The success of collective efforts to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure and key resources starts at the local plant level. DHS encourages plant managers and engineers to become familiar with the NIPP and their relevant Sector Specific Plan and to take action (www.dhs.gov/nipp); become part of the information-sharing network by joining a sector-identified information sharing mechanism; become involved with your local community infrastructure protection efforts; conduct risk assessments as part of business continuity planning; and implement relevant protective and resiliency measures.

The SLTTGCC is a key element in a series of national-level government, sector, and cross sector coordinating councils that provide the framework for partnership between the critical infrastructure owners and operators and government. It ensures that the local government perspective is fully represented for national planning, program development and promulgation on critical infrastructure protection and resiliency practices and implementation, according to DHS.

Incidents and events occur locally. Consequently, protection, preparedness and response must occur locally. State, local, tribal or territorial governments provide private sector owners and operators, such as plant managers and engineers, the “on the ground” environment “to establish the context, framework, and support the efforts needed to implement and sustain the national critical infrastructure and key resources CI/KR protection effort.”

The SLTTGCC is comprised of as many as 30 members who bring geographical diversity and broad disciplinary representation of recognized leaders in homeland security and critical infrastructure protection.

The Council is divided into three working groups:

The Policy and Planning Working Group which reviews DHS CI/KR protection plans, such as the NIPP Sector Specific Plans (SSP) and the National Response Plan; provides feedback from a state, local, tribal and territorial (SLTT) perspective to the Department; and is particularly well positioned to provide SLTT insight into federal planning efforts, which gives a strong voice to the concerns of these levels of government.

The Communication and Coordination Working Group facilitates the release of coordinated SLTTGCC-related information to the SLTT community, or other critical communities; develops clearer and more direct channels of communication with and among SLTT CI/KR leadership and with the Department on CI/KR issues and plans; and helps identify and support platforms that enable members of the SLTT community to share best practices in CI/KR protection, issues of interest, and more.

The Information Sharing Working Group helps the SLTTGCC better understand CI/KR information sharing at the SLTT levels of government, determine what practices are effective, and identify opportunities for integration with each other and Federal government resources; and constructs an analysis of the CI/KR information-sharing landscape in the SLTT environment to appraise best practices and identify gaps, opportunities for leverage, or areas requiring enhancement.

For more information, contact the National Infrastructure Coordinating Center at NICC@dhs.gov.

E-mail Managing Editor Ken Schnepf at kschnepf@putman.net

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