DHS gets speedier with Safety Act approvals

Six more products and services won Safety Act certifications and designations in April as the Homeland Security Department picks up the pace of approvals.

DHS has now granted 17 products and services some level of liability protection under the act.

Congress created the Safety Act in 2002 to protect makers of innovative anti-terrorism products and services from the huge financial losses that might result if those companies were to be sued for damages following a terrorist attack.

On April 21, certifications to an "Approved Product List" were awarded to Wackenhut Corp. of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., for its consulting and risk management services and to HDR Security Operations Inc. of Orlando, Fla., which received two separate certifications: for its planning services, including vulnerability assessments and countermeasure planning, and for its design services for integrating countermeasures into system design.

Other recent certification winners were IBM Corp. of Armonk, N.Y.'s First Responder Interoperability Solution, granted April 18, and Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda, Md.'s Marine Traffic Management System, granted April 1.

Receiving a Safety Act designation, which represents a lower level of liability protection than the certification, was Covenant Aviation Security of Bolingbrook, Ill., on April 18. Covenant, which currently provides about 1,200 personnel to San Francisco International and Tupelo Regional airports, was awarded the designation for its private screening services of airport passengers and baggage.

Previously, FirstLine Transportation Security Inc., of Nashville, Tenn. received Safety Act designation for its airline passenger and baggage screening services on Feb. 25.

Of more than 70 initial applications under the Safety Act, four certifications and designations were granted in 2004 and 13 have been granted in 2005. Of the total, 14 are certifications and three are designations.

The Safety Act [Support for Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act] was included in the legislation creating the Homeland Security Department in October 2002. The goal was to stimulate contractors to develop new anti-terrorism equipment and by reducing the risk of liability if the technologies or products failed while preventing or responding to a terrorist attack.

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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