HSA Focuses on Homeland Security

Wednesday, September 04, 2002
The Homeland Security Industries Association (HSIA), kicked off its formation today by presenting seven position statements that recommend how government and industry can work together on critical homeland security areas. The HSIA position statements address airport security; port and maritime security; protection against bio-terrorism and chemical agent attacks, radiological and nuclear security; critical infrastructure protection and physical security; information technology security; security equipment and information sharing security; and best business practices. HSIA is a non-profit organization founded by Washington attorney Bruce Aitken, Co-chair of Aitken, Irvin, Berlin & Vrooman, LLP, who serves as its President. Bruce d'Grazia, Vice President of Springfield, VA-based Versar, Inc, serves as Chairman of the association, and Joseph D'Agostino, executive vice president of Newark, NJ-based Haynes Security, Inc. is Vice Chairman. The new association will serve four major purposes for its members, including: * monitoring and analysis of homeland security related legislation, regulations hearings * review and disseminate to members information related to federal, state, and local requests for proposals related to homeland security procurement * development of papers, reflecting industry positions that may be shared with federal, state, and local government officials * provide a networking forum for its members. "There is no greater national or international priority than homeland security. It is the business of all business," Aitken said, "While the federal and state governments have necessarily taken an increased role in homeland security since the events of 9/11/2001, the private sector has to be ready to partner on the execution side. We believe the HSIA will prove mutually beneficial to the vitally important homeland security mission before us all." d'Grazia explained, "There are associations where homeland security is a part of their mission -- they touch on it from a variety of areas. HSIA is the only trade association that focuses entirely on homeland security, and we think our role is key as the nation moves forward to further protect the homeland." Position Statements Offer Guidance, Reality The seven HSIA position statements address key areas of focus in a national homeland security program and offer guidance on how HSIA members might assist. "These position statements are indicative of the input we envision from HSIA. The statement points blend industry expertise, reality, and knowledge. Some of the suggestions endorse things the government is already doing, while others expand proposals and legislation currently under consideration," Aitken said.

"In the area of port and maritime security, HSIA is supporting consideration of adoption of the National Maritime Work Identification project and a requirement for background checks for personnel working in the maritime/port environment," he added. "On critical infrastructure and physical security, HSIA is encouraging greater information exchange among all government officials and broadband spectrum management," the HSIA president said. More than 60 companies have been active in forming HSIA, which first met a month ago, according to Aitken.

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