TWIC Program Updates

This post provides information (of sorts) on (1) the status of the US Coast Guard’s interim guidance for voluntary use of TWIC readers and (2) the progress of the TWIC Reader Pilot Program being run by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
As to USCG guidance on voluntary use of TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential) readers in advance of the future regulatory requirement, it has apparently passed regulatory review at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). A notice posted by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) indicates the regulatory review was completed on February 23rd with a “Concluded Action” of “Consistent with Change.” I couldn’t find a definition of “Consistent with Change” on the OIRA website, but it presumably means that the Coast is now authorized to publish its policy document, although OIRA wanted some relatively minor changes. So, keep your eyes on the Federal Register.
TSA “is concluding the TWIC Reader Pilot Program,” “[a]fter working through many challenges,” according to testimony of TSA Administrator John S. Pistole before a House of Representatives subcommittee two weeks ago. What’s left is “wrapping up formal data collection, and working on the report to Congress.” That statement, three sentences on how many TWICs had been issued, appeals dealt with, etc., and a claim that TSA was coordinating its TWIC efforts with the Coast Guard “to ensure a high level of security and operational effectiveness,” made up the one paragraph that was all that the Administrator had to say about maritime transportation security in seven and a half pages of prepared remarks. Surface transportation security rated four paragraphs (including one in his introductory section); the rest was all aviation. It’s a good thing we’ve got the Coast Guard!
Tip of the Hat: To P.J. Coyle’s most excellent blog, Chemical Facility Security News, where I first learned of the OIRA notice.
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By Professional Mariner Staff