Safety Act awards continue, although slower

The pace of Support for Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act (Safety Act) designations and certifications by the Homeland Security Department is fairly brisk this year, but not as rapid as in 2006.


DHS has made 32 awards under the Safety Act so far in 2007, compared to 57 in the first eight months of 2006, according to DHS announcements and industry news releases.



Overall, the department said, it approved for Safety Act liability protections three technologies in 2004, 46 in 2005, 84 in 2006 and 29 technologies through August 2007. Three additional awards were recently announced by the companies involved.



Congress created the Safety Act in 2002 to encourage contractors to invent new anti-terrorism products and services without fear of massive lawsuits in the event of a major attack. Under the act, approved products and services receiving Safety Act certification would face little or no liability if the technologies failed in connection with a terrorist attack. A lesser award, signifying similar protections, is termed a designation.



Information technology-related certifications and designations awarded under the Safety Act in 2007 include:




  • IBM’s Global Name Scoring, a software application to improve the accuracy of name searching and identity verification by providing ranked search results of names based on linguistic, phonetic and specific cultural variation patterns. Also, IBM’s Automated Commercial Environment suite of software, hardware and infrastructure to access data in the international supply chain to anticipate, identify, track and intercept high-risk shipments.

  • Lockheed Martin’s MetroGuard early-warning system including remote detector units and base station control computers that receive and process sensor data for system operators and first responders.

  • Northrop Grumman Space and Mission Systems’ Tactical Automated Security System, which provides planning services for the development and integration of perimeter-access security measures and responses.

  • BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration provides the First Responder Interoperable Communications System, or First InterComm, a system of devices that enable communications among disparate radio systems and other devices.


Alice Lipowicz writes for Washington Technology, an 1105 Government Information Group publication.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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