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Federal Register Notice of Information & Request for Recommendations on Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation & Certification Program

December 29, 2008 7:59 AM

SUMMARY FROM THE NOTICE: In the ``Implementing the Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007'' (the 9/11 Act), Congress authorized the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish a voluntary private sector preparedness accreditation and certification program. This program, now known as ``PS-Prep,'' will assess whether a private sector entity complies with one or more voluntary preparedness standards adopted by DHS, through a system of accreditation and certification set up by DHS in close coordination with the private sector.
PS-Prep will raise the level of private sector preparedness through a number of means, including (i) Establishing a system for DHS to adopt private sector preparedness standards; (ii) encouraging creation of those standards; (iii) developing a method for a private sector entity to obtain a certification of conformity with a particular DHS-adopted private sector standard, and encouraging such certification; and (iv) making preparedness standards adopted by DHS more widely available.
This Notice discusses essential elements of the program, describes the consultation that has taken place and will take place with the private sector, and seeks additional recommendations in a number of areas, including the private sector preparedness standards that DHS should adopt, both initially and over time.

DATES: Comment period: Anyone may submit comments on this guidance at any time, and comments will be considered as they are received. We would appreciate any recommendations for adoption of currently-existing private sector preparedness standards by January 23, 2009, though, as made clear below, we will accept submissions of private sector preparedness standards for adoption as well as comments on this notice at any time.
Public Meetings: DHS intends to hold two public meetings in Washington, DC to provide a forum for public comment on the subject of private sector preparedness standards, one in January and another in February, 2009. Meeting details and registration information will be published in the Federal Register and posted at http://www.fema.gov/privatesectorpreparedness.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by Docket ID FEMA-2008-0017, by one of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. (All government requests for comments--even if, as in this case, they are not for regulatory purposes--are sent to this portal.)
E-mail: FEMA-POLICY@dhs.gov. Include Docket ID FEMA-2008-0017 in the subject line of the message.
Fax: 866-466-5370.
Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Office of Chief Counsel, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street, SW., Room 845, Washington, DC 20472.
Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number (if available). Regardless of the method used for submitting comments or material, all submissions will be posted, without change, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, and will include any personal information you provide. Therefore, submitting this information makes it public. You may wish to read the Privacy Act notice that is available on the Privacy and Use Notice link on the Administration Navigation Bar of
http://www.regulations.gov.
Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Submitted comments may also be inspected at FEMA, Office of Chief Counsel, 500 C Street, SW., Room 840, Washington, DC 20472.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Don Grant, Incident Management Systems Director, National Preparedness Directorate, FEMA, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472. Phone: (202) 646-8243 or e-mail: Donald.Grant@dhs.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This supplementary information section is organized as follows:

Table of Contents

I. Background
A. Preparedness in the Wake of 9/11
B. Purpose and Structure of the Program
II. Establishment of PS-Prep
A. Statutory Authorization
B. The Designated Officer
C. The PS-Prep Coordinating Council (PSPCC)
D. Coordination with the Private Sector and Other Non-DHS Entities
III. DHS's Adoption of Voluntary Preparedness Standards
A. Call for Recommendations
B. Principles for Standards Adoption
C. Elements to be Considered for DHS Adoption of a Standard
IV. Accreditation
A. The Selected Entity
B. Procedures and Requirements for the Accreditation Process
C. Review of Certifiers
V. Certification of Qualified Private Sector Entities
VI. Small Business Concerns
VII. Other Relevant Issues
A. SAFETY Act
B. Access to Sensitive Information
C. Availability of Standards
VIII. Public Listing of Certified Private Sector Entities
IX. Ongoing and Regular Activities of the PS-Prep Coordinating Council
X. Next Steps
XI. Draft List of Possible Elements to Consider in Standards Development (Target Criteria)

The Federal Register Document is available at Download file

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