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Is the Free Market Best for Homeland Security?

- Does the free market work when it comes to private-sector homeland security? That's the question put on the table in a new report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The report does not answer the question but lays out the reasons why business might not at first provide adequate security and the ways in which the government might induce better behavior.

Secret Service Does Its Share

- Everyone's heard complaints about industry and government not sharing information with each other. So it's refreshing when word arises of effective communication between the public and private sectors. At January's inauguration of President Bush for his second term, the Secret Service's actions were a model of cooperation, according to private security companies with which they worked.

Crate Expectations for Cargo Security Strategy

- In a draft national cargo security strategy, the Department of Homeland Security sets a "zero-tolerance policy" toward the arrival of weapons of mass destruction at U.S. borders. The goal is to inspect 100 percent of "designated high-risk" cargo.


- Could investment in the fight against AIDS help reduce terrorism? That's the provocative thesis of a paper written by Trevor Neilson, executive director of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS. The paper is on SM Online.


- If you're wearing clothing by Armani or Burberry, carrying a bag by Coach or Louis Vuitton, or wearing a watch by Cartier or Rolex, you might want to take a closer look. These are a few of the most frequently knocked-off brands based on incidents compiled by counterfeit-intelligence analysts Gieschen Consultancy of Canada.

Did You Know That?

- Prevention instead of response has seen only limited use on campuses. Fifty-six percent of the 90 college and university security directors surveyed by FJC Security Services Inc. characterize their campus security in regard to terrorism as "response mode." Yet 83 percent said that their security officers had received training "specific to preventing, deterring, and responding" to acts of terrorism.

Did You Know That?

- Are companies wising up about premises liability, or are more meritless claims being filed? Either way, plaintiffs are winning a smaller percentage of suits. In 1992, plaintiffs won in 44.4 percent of cases in which they reached a jury trial in state court in one of the 75 largest U.S. counties.

Updated Disaster Directory Released.

- Even the most thorough disaster plan can't contemplate every possible contingency. In some cases the victimized company will need to procure unanticipated services or products such as water-purification equipment, microfilm drying, or cots and bedding. The publishers of the Disaster Recovery Yellow Pages have been positioning themselves as a one-stop shop for everything related to business continuity and disaster recovery in the United States. The 2005 version, the directory's 14th edition, is now perfect-bound. More than 3,000 product manufacturers and service providers are listed in the resource, in 355 categories ranging from computer equipment and training materials to cleanup services and file- and data-recovery software. Published by Edwards Information, the hard-copy version of the directory is available through ASIS International

CRS Contemplates Port, Water Threats

- As the investigative arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office audits government efforts. As the public-policy research arm of Congress, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) provides objective analysis and data. Both have been exploring homeland security issues with recently updated CRS reports investigating nuclear attacks on seaports and water infrastructure. The reports can be reached via SM Online.

Incident reporting.

- Contending with bad breath and nervous patients, dentists and hygienists have plenty of challenges. One university is also training them to stop abuse by reporting broken jaws and suspiciously chipped teeth—signs of family violence. Because 60 percent of abuse cases involve head and neck injuries, which dental professionals are uniquely suited to identify, the University of Minnesota’s School of Dentistry and the Program Against Sexual Violence created a training program to deal with patients affected by family violence. The program discusses the dynamics of abuse, teaches dental students and professionals how to intervene in and report violence, and shows how to identify community service providers and establish office protocols.A report by the Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime indicates that the training “made a significant, positive impact in teaching dental professionals how to identify and report cases of abuse.” The report urges that this training be integrated into dental schools, dental hygiene programs, and dental associations. Read it on SM Online.

Port security

- In any tabletop exercise involving multiple authorities and jurisdictions, it’s virtually certain that some of the lessons learned involve the need for better coordination, clear lines of authority, and improved information sharing. And so it has been with Coast Guard exercises on port security, says the Government Accountability Office (GAO). According to GAO auditors, 59 percent of the 82 exercises studied raised communication issues, including problems with interoperable radio communications, failure to share information with other agencies, and difficulties in accessing necessary classified information. Almost as many exercises were plagued with resource problems, including poor facilities or equipment. Forty-one percent of the exercises raised concerns about the participants’ ability to coordinate a command and control system, for example. Part of the problem, acknowledges the GAO, is that the National Response Plan, launched in January, wasn’t in place during the exercises. That plan supercedes all existing federal interagency emergency response plans. SM Online takes you to the report.


- The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT). Green lanes. FAST (Free and Secure Trade) lanes. The Container Security Initiative. Smart containers. Automated Commercial Environment. These various cargo security programs and elements launched by the federal government may seem like a morass of overlapping parts. A new document by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) clears up much of the confusion as far as C-TPAT is concerned.

Did You Know That?

- How well has the FBI aligned itself with post 9-11 priorities? The National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) says that the FBI “is making substantial progress in transforming itself into a strong domestic intelligence agency and has the will and many of the competencies required to accomplish it.” But the report makes 37 recommendations for change. Read the  report.

Beyond Print

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