Cooperative Purchasing Supported at SIA Government Summit


Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and GSA Administrator Lurita Doan voiced their support of expanding cooperative purchasing at the Security Industry Association’s (SIA) 2007 Government Summit.

Security Sales & Integration was the official media sponsor of the Government Summit, which was held June 11-13 at the Hilton Embassy Row hotel in Washington, D.C. Check out SSI‘s Special Homeland Security Section in the May issue for more information about this event and other government security issues.

Speaking on June 12, both Waxman and Doan cited the importance of expanding access to the schedules program to state and local governments and the savings it would deliver to taxpayers.

“Extending cooperative purchasing to schedule 84 is a major policy priority for SIA,” says Richard Chace, CEO and executive director of SIA. “Once enacted, this policy will provide state and local governments with flexibility and cost savings while giving greater exposure to our members’ products and services. We are pleased to have key policymakers’ support for this important industry initiative.”

SIA Government Relations Director Don Erickson is scheduled to meet next week with the office of Rep. Ed Towns (D-NY), chair of the House Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization and Procurement, to discuss proposed legislation extending cooperative purchasing to schedule 84.

Following are other highlights from the 2007 event.

June 11:The Summit launched with a session on the challenges associated with TWIC implementation. Featuring representatives from the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), International Organization of Master Mates & Pilots, and the Transportation Security Association (TSA), participants heard a range of perspectives and gained a more balanced understanding of both the challenges and opportunities facing TWIC implementation.

The next session delved into the privacy debate and use of RFID technology. Panelists included the CATO Institute’s Jim Harper, who presented his concerns regarding the REAL ID Act and the use of RFID with human identification. Doug Cram, Security Holding Group, Jeremy Grant from Stanford Washington Research Group and Dan Combs of Global Identity Solutions examined the factors driving ID management, and dispelled myths surrounding the use of smart cards and RFID.

June 12:Former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card kicked off the program with an engaging discussion on the importance of educating lawmakers on the issues. He stressed the importance of trade associations and their ability to effectively lobby on behalf of the industry. Card also talked about the role of OMB in the policy and budget process and advised attendees to get engaged in the process.

Waxman discussed the House Oversight agenda and the importance of keeping government and contractors accountable for their actions. He stressed “contracting rules need to be clear, fair and fast.” Waxman also voiced his support for expanding cooperative purchasing.

A panel featuring Molly Wilkinson, chief acquisition officer for GSA, Jeff Koses, director, Federal Acquisition Service, and Kellie Stoker, division director of the Law Enforcement and Security division at GSA Southwest, examined the newly created Federal Acquisition Service (FAS). Wilkinson said the new division would revitalize the workforce, enhance financial management and accountability, and provide businesses with flexibility for acquisition solutions.

Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX) stopped by to accept SIA’s 2007 Global Security Leadership award. McCaul addressed the crowd and spoke about his new cyber security legislation designed to criminalize “botnet” attacks, broaden the criminalization of electronic data theft, reflect the influence of organized cyber crimes syndicates, expand sentencing guidelines, and boost needed resources for cyber crime law enforcement.

June 13:Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) kicked-off the morning with a discussion focused on revitalizing the U.S. education system. He spoke about the need to increase the number of math and science majors, as well as improve the quality of our teachers. Gordon also discussed health care and IT interoperability, and noted that his committee recommended NIST’s budget be doubled to better handle its workload.

A panel session on standards and procurement featuring Roy Higgins, chief of the Advanced Technology Flight at Hanscom Air Force Base, and Craig Ziegler, project engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Electronic Security Center, provided an insightful look into how the Security Equipment Integration Working Group (SEIWG) and Army Corps of Engineers use specifications and standards in their procurement decisions.

At lunch, James Powers, Homeland Security advisor to Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA) discussed homeland security procurement challenges facing his state and how the security industry can get involved. Powers said the private sector needs to build awareness of their security products and services to the municipalities and county governments.

Following lunch there was a panel discussion on the SAFETY Act, part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. This session informed members as to what types of equipment is eligible, what the Act covers, and the different classifications available under the SAFETY Act. Participants learned that the liability caps extend to equipment manufacturers as well as integrators.

The final panel discussion centered on FISMA compliance. In this lively session participants learned about the history of FISMA, the need for audit trails that provide forensic evidence in the event of an investigation, the classification of IT system types, the Federal Information Protection Standards (FIPS) and NIST special publications (SP) that apply as well as how to certify and accredit a system.

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