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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Oversight Hearing News

House Hearing on TWIC

On October 18, the House Committee on Homeland Security will conduct an oversight hearing on the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. (HK Law)

Oversight Hearing on DHS Law Enforcement Efforts

On February 3, 2004, the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security of the House Committee on the Judiciary conducted an Oversight Hearing on Law Enforcement Efforts within the Department of Homeland Security. Chairman Howard Coble (R-NC) stated that the purpose of the hearing was to examine how the transfer of law enforcement agencies to the new Department has affected the non-terrorism missions of those agencies. Mr. W. Ralph Basham, Director, U.S. Secret Service, testified about how the agency’s traditional missions have merged with the new anti-terrorism mission. Admiral Thomas H. Collins, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, testified that the Coast Guard has always been a multi-mission organization and is adept at balancing competing priorities and creating synergies.

Oversight Hearing on US-VISIT Program

The Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims of the House Committee on the Judiciary conducted an oversight hearing on the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program. This is the program, currently being phased in, that will process all non-citizens entering the United States, including crewmembers on foreign ships. Robert Jacksta, Executive Director of Border Security and Facilitation, Department of Homeland Security, discussed efforts of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to secure U.S borders against terrorism. Robert Mocny, Deputy Director, US-VISIT Program, provided an overview of the program and its current status. Randolph C.

Oversight Hearing On Deepwater

The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure conducted an oversight hearing on Deepwater Implementation. Chairman LoBiondo (R-NJ) expressed concern that the revised implementation plan is lacking in detail, but noted that acquisition should not be further delayed. Admiral Thomas H. Collins, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, testified that the enhanced capabilities requested in the revised plan are necessary to meet the agency’s expanded missions. Ms. Margaret T. Wrightson, Government Accountability Office (GAO), testified that the Coast Guard needs the new assets, but GAO is concerned that the acquisition strategy is not optimum. (HK Law)

Hearing on Cruise Ship Security

On September 19, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation will conduct an oversight hearing on Cruise Ship Security Practices and Procedures. Source: HK Law

TWIC Hearing July 12

On July 12, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will conduct an oversight hearing on the Transportation Worker Identification Card System. (HK Law)

Hearing on USCG Administrative Law System

On July 31, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure conducted an oversight hearing on the Coast Guard’s Administrative Law System. Statements of most witnesses are not yet posted on the Internet. Rear Admiral Brian Salerno, USCG and Captain Thomas Sparks, USCG testified concerning the agency’s suspension and revocation (S&R) process. Source: HK Law

Senate Hearing on TSA Budget Request

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation issued a press release stating that, on March 4, the Committee will conduct an oversight hearing to review the President’s proposed Transportation Security Administration (TSA) budget for fiscal year 2009. Source: HK Law

Senate Hearing on Oil Spill Prevention

On March 4, the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety & Security of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation will conduct an oversight hearing on Protecting our Shores from Oil Spills. Source: HK Law

Hearing on SAFE Port Act

On April 26, the House Committee on Homeland Security will conduct an oversight hearing on implementation of the SAFE Port Act. Source; HK Law

Hearing on New Orleans Oil Spill

On September 16, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will conduct an oversight hearing on the Oil Spill in New Orleans in July 2008 and Safety on the Inland River System. Source: HK Law

Hearing on New Orleans Spill

On September 16, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will conduct an oversight hearing on the Oil Spill in New Orleans in July 2008 and Safety on the Inland River System. Source: HK Law

Oversight Hearing on TWIC Implementation

The House Committee on Homeland Security conducted an oversight hearing on the Implementation of the TWIC Program. In his prepared remarks, Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) expressed his concern that the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program is far behind schedule and that the estimates of the number of workers affected are much understated. Testimony was for the record, as the hearing was interrupted by a floor vote. Rear Admiral Brian Salerno, USCG, explained how the program is being rolled out on a port-by-port basis and that progress is being made with regard to the card reader technology. Ms. Cathleen Berrick…

House Hearing on U.S. Port Security

The Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security of the House Committee on the Judiciary conducted an oversight hearing on U.S. port security. Representative Howard Coble (R-NC) stated that the purpose of the hearing was to focus on the operations and effectiveness of the agencies charged with inspecting ships and cargo entering U.S. ports and on methods used by the public and private sector to enhance the security of the ports. Jayson P. Ahern, Assistant Commissioner, Customs and Border Protection, testified regarding various activities utilized by the agency to target and inspect sea cargo, including the smart box initiative, non-intrusive inspection technology, and the automated targeting system.

Oversight Hearing on Terrorism Risk Insurance Program

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs conducted an oversight hearing on the terrorism risk insurance program. The Honorable Brian Roseboro, Under Secretary for Domestic Finance of the Treasury Department, testified about implementation of the program. He acknowledged that there has been little “up take” of terrorism insurance, but declined to speculate on the reason. Mr. Richard Hillman, General Accounting Office (GAO), testified that significant progress has been made in the implementation of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), but that Treasury still has numerous tasks unfinished. Mr. John Degnan, The Chubb Corporation, recommended that the TRIA be extended for two additional years. Mr.

Hearing on USCG Operational Readiness

The Subcommittee on Fisheries and Coast Guard of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation conducted an oversight hearing regarding the operational readiness, mission balance, and FY 2006 budget request of the U.S. Coast Guard. Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) expressed concern about whether the monies requested in the budget would be sufficient for the agency’s many missions. Admiral Thomas Collins, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard reviewed the Coast Guard’s recent accomplishments and plans for the future. Master Chief Franklin Welch, USCG, discussed personnel issues and the service’s high retention rate. Margaret Wrightson…

Hearing to Discuss Port Security Grant Program

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will meet on March 18 where the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management will conduct an oversight hearing into homeland security emergency preparedness program budgets. Among other things, the Subcommittee will examine the proposed transfer of the port security grant program from the Transportation Security Administration to the newly-created Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness and the proposed reduction of port security grant funding from $124.5 million in FY2004 to only $46 million in FY2005. The witness will be the Honorable Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Department of Homeland Security. (Source: HK Law)

Hearing on Global Maritime Strategy Initiatives

On December 13, the House Armed Services Committee conducted an oversight hearing on A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower. Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) delivered an opening statement. Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, discussed the integrated capabilities of the three US maritime services and their major defense missions: forward presence; deterrence; sea control; power projection; maritime security; and humanitarian assistance/disaster response. Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant, US Coast Guard, testified concerning the national defense capabilities of the Coast Guard and implementation priorities. General James Conway, Commandant, US Marine Corps, opined that, by 2030, fresh water will be equally as important as oil products.

Senate Hearing on SAFE Ports Act

The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs conducted an oversight hearing on Implementation of the SAFE Ports Act. The Act assigned approximately 100 maritime security tasks. Mr. Stewart Baker, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), testified that the Department has completed half of the assigned tasks and is on track to complete most of the remainder within the statutory timeframe. He specifically cited the Secure Freight Initiative (SFI), Long-Range Tracking and Identification (LRIT), and Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) programs as high priority. He also discussed the gap between the pace of technology and the legislative mandates. Mr.

Senate Hearing on Implementation of the SAFE Port Act

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation conducted an oversight hearing on Implementation of the SAFE Port Act, which was enacted by Congress in 2006. RADM David Pekoske, USCG explained Coast Guard port security efforts, including development of salvage response plans, unannounced inspections of maritime facilities, and long range identification and tracking. Ms. Maurine Fanguy, TSA, explained the significant progress made with respect to implementation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. Mr. Thomas Winkowski, CBP, provided information regarding the Container Security Initiative (CSI) and other programs of the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Mr.

Hearing on Implementation of SAFE Port Act

On April 26, the Subcommittee on Border, Maritime & Global Counterterrorism of the House Committee on Homeland Security will conduct an oversight hearing on implementation of the SAFE Port Act. Witnesses consist of: RDML Craig Bone, US Coast Guard; Mr. Jayson Ahern, US Customs and Border Protection; Ms. Maurine Fanguy, Transportation Security Administration; Mr. Stephen Caldwell, Government Accountability Office; Mr. George Cummings, Port of Los Angeles; Mr. Richard Wainio, Tampa Port Authority; Mr. Leal Sundet, Longshore and Warehouse Union; and Mr. Manny Aschemeyer, Marine Exchange of Southern California. Source: HK Law

U.S. Senator Sends Safety Inquiries to Major Cruise Lines

Photo: Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va)

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation said in a news release that Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va) sent letters to the three largest cruise liners about their passenger safety, security, and health practices. Chairman Rockefeller’s letters to Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian follow a series of oversight letters that he sent in February 2012. “The cruise industry enjoys many advantages operating out of the United States but the advantages to American consumers and taxpayers are less clear,” said Rockefeller.

Hearing on Law of the Sea Convention

The Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works conducted an oversight hearing to examine the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Chairman, Senator James M. Inhofe (R-OK), stated that the purpose of the hearing was to ensure that the Convention is consistent with protecting human health, the environment, and does not adversely affect the sovereignty of the United States. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) pointed out that only by ratifying the Convention will the United States have a seat at the table as the international community makes important decisions relating to issues covered by the Convention. Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) testified that the Convention is largely consistent with current U.S. law, including fisheries conservation and management. John F.

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