DHS infrastructure group searches for relevance

A DHS-based infrastructure advisory group wants to make its work more urgent and actionable for stakeholders.

Shutterstock image (by gyn9037): High voltage towers, electricity infrastructure.
 

A Homeland Security advisory group is sharpening its focus and methods to get information on critical infrastructure out to stakeholders.

The National Infrastructure Advisory Council studies potential risks for critical infrastructure, both in the real world and in cyberspace. The 15-year-old group is also charged with recommending solutions to reduce risks to infrastructure. At the behest of the White House, the group polled senior government and private-sector leaders to see what it could do better in the future.

NIAC found that its mission and operations are not well understood by stakeholders and policymakers, that its recommendations don't always reach the target audience, that customers would appreciate interim findings as studies progress and that its final reports "may be too dense for easy use" by NIAC stakeholders.

Additionally, the group found that recommendations that are outside existing agency missions and budget frameworks are often ignored.

NIAC also charted some topics for future investigation, including making plans for dealing with risks incurred during a possible long-term power grid or fuel shortage disruption, improving the use of commercial insurance incentives to reward infrastructure firms that invest in resiliency, improving public-private information sharing and more.

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