DHS completes National Infrastructure Protection Plan

The Homeland Security Department has completed its National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP), agency officials announced today.

“The NIPP represents an unprecedented initiative … that integrates critical infrastructure security efforts, sets protection goals and supporting objectives, and focuses resources according to risk,” DHS officials said in a statement.

The plan provides procedures for establishing and coordinating priorities, and it will help in the annual budget processes for all federal agencies that are responsible for protecting critical infrastructure, DHS officials said. NIPP will enhance the protection of physical and cyber assets and improve information sharing among public- and private-sector partners.

President Bush issued Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 in December 2003 to guide NIPP's policy development and establish it as the authority on national critical infrastructure protection.

The report incorporates about 10,000 comments received in two rounds of public review, DHS officials said. DHS worked with nearly 300 federal, state, local, tribal and private-sector partners to revise the draft NIPP issued last December.

Robert Stephan, DHS' assistant secretary for infrastructure protection, said last December he was not pleased by the lack of detail in the interim draft NIPP released in February and demanded more specifics in the new draft. Experts in the private sector also complained the draft plan did not contain specific enough information.

DHS will release reports for each of 17 critical infrastructure sectors within 180 days, a DHS statement said.

The critical infrastructure sectors are: agriculture and food; energy; public health and health care; banking and finance; drinking water and water treatment systems; information technology; telecommunications; postal and shipping; transportation systems, including mass transit, aviation, maritime, ground or surface, and rail and pipeline systems; chemical; commercial facilities; government facilities; emergency services; dams; nuclear reactors, materials and waste; the defense industrial base; and national monuments and icons.

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