National critical infrastructure plan nears completion
A draft of the plan has been vetted across the federal government and will be shared with state and local governments and industry in the "next several weeks," said Pete Fonash of the interagency National Communications System during a panel discussion sponsored by AFCEA International.
The department is required by a presidential directive to produce a national strategy that identifies, prioritizes and coordinates the protection of critical infrastructure and key resources. According to the directive, the plan was supposed to be completed last December.
Fonash said it is critical for industry and state and local governments to provide input into the plan. He noted that 85 percent of the nation's infrastructure is owned or controlled by the private sector. The NCS is a consortium of 23 federal departments and agencies and is part of the DHS Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection directorate.
The panel discussion, however, outlined problems between DHS and industry. The heads of various Information Sharing Advisory Councils cited worsening relations with the department. The ISACs were established to promote communications and coordination between the government and industry.
Diane Van DeHei, executive director of the Water ISAC, said information sharing between DHS and members of her group is disintegrating. Suzanne Gorman, chairwoman of the Financial Services ISAC, said her members will only share "sanitized" data with DHS, rather than member-specific information.
Sallie McDonald, director of IAIP's Strategic Partnerships Office, acknowledged the concerns.
"Overall, if we were going to give the department a rating, I don't think we're doing really well," she said.
She added later: "Hopefully, moving into the future we'll be more successful than we have obviously been."