Safety Act certifications continue at steady clip

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.

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

Overall, the department said it approved for Safety Act liability protections three technologies in 2004; 46 technologies in 2005; 84 technologies 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 fail 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 Corp.'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 Corp.'s MetroGuard early warning system that includes remote detector units and base station control computers that receive and process sensor data for system operators and first responders.
  • Northrop Grumman Space & Mission Systems Corp.'s Tactical Automated Security System provides planning services for the development and integration of perimeter access security measures and responses.
  • BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration Inc. provides the First Responder Interoperable Communications System, or First InterComm, a system composed of devices that enable communications between disparate radio systems and other devices.
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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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