GAO: DHS Needs to Work With Partners to Coordinate Critical infrastructure Access Control Efforts

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The Government Accountability Office has urged the Department of Homeland Security to collaborate with partners to identify ways on how to coordinate access control initiatives across critical infrastructure sectors.

DHS’ screening coordination office should update its goals and objectives in order to help harmonize screening and credentialing efforts across the department, GAO said in a report published Tuesday.

GAO made the recommendations after it reviewed six federally-administered access control initiatives for critical infrastructure and found that access control efforts have a different impact on users and operators based on their specific interests and roles.

Users and operators told GAO that applicants that seek access to similar types of facilities are likely to be required to make multiple submissions of the same background information.

The congressional budget watchdog also found that SCO’s policy documents – 2006 Credentialing Initiative Report and 2008 Credentialing Framework Initiative – that shape the office’s strategic framework for the coordination of access control efforts within DHS lack updated objectives and goals.

GAO noted that DHS implements partnership models that could provide the department and its partners a mechanism on how to determine methods to correlate credentialing and screening processes.

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