Infrastructure protection looking for home

Officials at the White House and the Homeland Security Department (DHS) are discussing the possible new governance structure for critical infrastructure protection (CIP) now that the department is in place.

Authorities for governmentwide CIP issues previously were headquartered at the White House. However, at the end of February, President Bush dissolved the Critical Infrastructure Protection Board as part of the government reorganization associated with DHS.

Many of the board's functions, such as the training and certification work done by the Education Working Group, are moving to the new Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate at DHS, said Andy Purdy, who was a senior adviser with the White House CIP Board.

He was speaking today at an event sponsored by the Computing Technology Industry Association.

The White House CIP staff is talking with Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to determine whether the governmentwide critical infrastructure leadership should be based at DHS or the White House. Many are leaning toward moving the White House staff to DHS, Purdy said.

The staff also is talking with the Homeland Security Council to determine whether a new homeland security presidential directive is needed to create an interagency body similar to the CIP Board to focus on physical and cyber infrastructure protection. Part of that discussion also concerns where that interagency body would exist, Purdy said.


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