Increased port partnerships to supplement security funding panel says
| 12.20.2006 | 06:25:23 | Views: 2956 | ID:
December 20 '06: A panel of government officials and business leaders from the shipping and ports industry told the White House recently that increased funding and cooperative security programs driven by federal homeland security grant money would help to increase the level of protection of goods coming into-and-out-of-the U.S. as well as protecting American citizens against a terrorist attack, Reuters AlertNet reported.
In addition to the increased federal funding and cooperative security programs, the panel said a national director of port and cargo security should be created who would be "appointed by President George W. Bush and to report to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff," Reuters reported.Anthony Coscia, chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the creator of the panel told the news wire service, "The federal government must realize the vulnerabilities that our ports face and work with us to identify new ways to reduce risk." Among the recommendations of the panel: that federal legislation would set security check standards for all cargo; a "Port Security User Fee" which would "offset capital and operating costs" to help fund port security upgrades; response and recovery plans after a disaster; a comprehensive risk-management plan "that will form the basis for resource allocation decision making," a press release from the panel said. The panel was created by Coscia "in March after Dubai Ports World, owned by the United Arab Emirates, caused an uproar when it bought assets at six U.S. ports as part of its $6.8 billion purchase of British port operator P&O in February," Reuters reported.
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