THE MAGAZINE

Guidance for Working in Disaster Areas

By Teresa Anderson

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) contacted ASIS in the summer of 2010 after a new law (P.L. 111-383) was enacted requiring the establishment of standards for private security service contractors working in significant military operations. In part, the legislation calls for the development of standard practices, with input from industry representatives, for the performance of private security functions. The benefit of the standards, said Siegel, is that they will be voluntary and devised by industry experts, unlike regulations, which are mandatory and set by the government.

Subsequently, ASIS was awarded a contract by the DoD to develop two standards. The first one, Management System for Quality of Private Security Company Operations—Requirements with Guidance (ASIS PSC.01), will provide requirements and guidance for a management system with auditable criteria for the quality of private security company operations. The standards will set out pertinent legal obligations and best practices related to the operations of private military and security companies in conditions where the rule of law has been undermined by conflict or disaster. The second standard is Conformity Assessment and Auditing Management Systems for Quality of Private Security Company Operations (ASIS PSC.02). It will provide requirements and guidance for auditing the practices set out in ASIS PSC.01. This second standard will be for companies that audit private security contractors. It will provide direction for the management of audit programs, methods for conducting internal or external audits of the management system and private security contractor operations, and ways to determine the competence of auditors.

ASIS PSC.01 is an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard, meaning that the standard is developed independently by ASIS and then approved by ANSI. Part of what ANSI governs is the process through which ASIS develops the standard. Under ANSI procedures, after proposals are first drafted, they undergo a committee review period during which committee members may submit comments. Based on these comments, a new draft is produced and the process is repeated. Once all committee members agree on a draft, the standard undergoes a letter ballot and ANSI public review period. If there are substantive comments from the public, a new draft is created and the comment and review period is repeated until a final draft emerges.

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