An online anti-terrorism tool to help commercial office building security professionals perform facility assessments was released this week by The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate. (Facility Executive, Sept. 17).
Businesses filing for SAFETY Act protections can receive Designation and Certification for their Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology, which can cap their liability.
- The web-based tool – based on the Best Practices for Anti-Terrorism Security (BPATS) for commercial office buildings – streamlines the application process for building owners seeking to obtain Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology (QATT) status. (Homeland Preparedness News, Sept. 19)
- The BPATS Assessment Tool for Commercial Facilities is a program for evaluating a building's security system. This assessment approach can be included in support of an application should a building owner chose to seek protections under the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act.
- Businesses filing for SAFETY Act protections can receive Designation and Certification for their Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology, which can cap their liability. The SAFETY Act was enacted in 2002 because of concerns that liability would hinder investment in the latest security technologies and programs following the attacks of September 11, 2001. (DHS News Release, Sept. 17)
- "With the BPATS, our goal was to develop a comprehensive tool that security professionals could use to assess the anti-terrorism security of commercial office buildings," said Bruce Davidson, Director of DHS' Office of SAFETY Act Implementation (OSAI). "The output from their BPATS assessment should enable building leadership to take steps to enhance their building's security and provide the foundation for a well-structured follow-on SAFETY Act application."
- The preferred users of this tool are trained security professionals whose credentials will be reviewed by the National Institute of Building Sciences before gaining access to the tool. They would be trained in using the checklist to evaluate various components of building security by SAFETY Act standards, including access control, risk awareness, physical security, IT security, and more. The guide spans seven categories, 411 best practices, and approximately 60 associated common practices.
- The DHS' Science and Technology Directorate reached a significant milestone earlier this year approving its 1,000th application for SAFETY Act protection. The Roundtable's Homeland Security Task Force has worked constructively with DHS on this issue over the years. The Task Force will be meeting in two special sessions this fall.