Special Homeland Security Section: SIA to Host D.C. Summit

The cornerstone of the Security Industry Association’s (SIA) government relations program is its robust legislative agenda that seeks to influence government spending and procurement policies for the association’s membership. The SIA legislative agenda includes a number of meaningful policy issues that will have a profound impact upon the electronic security industry and the government marketplace.

Take for example the new cooperative purchasing rule issued by the General Services Administration (GSA) that allows state and local governments to buy products and services through the GSA Schedules program in advance of natural disaster and terrorist attacks. This provision was advocated by SIA and it will significantly increase state and local business for many physical security vendors.

Additionally, SIA has been leading the industry’s charge to ensure full funding for the Port Security Grant Program. This program provides essential financial assistance to port areas seeking to make physical security enhancements. 

At SIA’s request, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, chair of the House Maritime Subcommittee, and 41 of her colleagues wrote a letter to the House Budget Committee urging full funding of the program. Key supporters of this initiative included House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson and Ranking Member Pete King. Several members of the Senate took similar action. 

SIA’s government relations department provides its members with timely programming that offers insight into the policies behind marketplace developments. Through Web seminars that provide access to key government officials at GSA, legislative analysis of proposals that may restrict or expand the government marketplace, and sponsorship of an annual Government Summit that educates attendees about emerging procurement issues, SIA members are better prepared to grow their bottom line. 

Agenda Includes Interactivity
This year’s Government Summit will be held at the Hilton Embassy Row Hotel in Washington, D.C. on June 11-13. It will feature well-known keynote speakers including former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, GSA Administrator Lurita Doan, House Science Committee Chairman Bart Gordon and James Powers, homeland security advisor to Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. 

The Summit will also include sessions that inform attendees about how the SAFETY Act can be leveraged to better market security products, and offer techniques to vendors on how they can work with state and local customers to “earmark” or guarantee federal appropriations for security projects. This event will also offer a preconference session on TWIC implementation, and how our industry can address privacy concerns raised about the use of certain technologies within security projects.

A new feature to this year’s Government Summit is the inclusion of two interactive joint sessions with government end users that will provide additional networking opportunities. 

Following an introductory grassroots session during the Summit, SIA will prepare attendees to meet with their congressional representatives about cooperative purchasing legislation and the need to ensure that federal grantees can buy security products through the Schedules Program. 

SIA is committed to developing a strong grassroots network with its members. And SIA will soon launch a congressional site visit program, which will entail its members inviting their representatives to visit their facilities in the home district. This will help develop strategic relationships between companies and their elected officials as well as local press opportunities. 

For information on any of SIA’s government relations activities, you should regularly access the SIA “Security Policy Update” — a new weekly podcast and hotline service that provides timely information regarding state and federal legislation, Congressional hearing schedules, executive branch updates, and SIA government relations initiatives. It can be accessed by dialing (703) 647-8580 or visiting www.siaonline.org.

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