Obama issues infrastructure directive

Feb. 12, 2013 at 9:19 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- President Obama issued a directive on critical infrastructure security in the United States to adjust the national approach to reflect the new risk environment.

"The nation's critical infrastructure provides the essential services that underpin American society," the White House said in a fact sheet released Tuesday to coincide with Obama's State of the Union. "Proactive and coordinated efforts are necessary for us to strengthen and maintain secure, functioning, and resilient critical infrastructure -- including the assets, networks, and systems that are vital to public confidence and the nation's safety, prosperity, and well-being."

The effort will be shared among federal, state, local, tribal and territorial entities, as well as public and private owners and operators of critical infrastructure, the fact sheet said.

The directive on critical infrastructure and resilience complements Obama's executive order, also issued Tuesday, concerning cybersecurity.

The White House said three strategic imperatives will drive the federal approach to strengthen critical infrastructure security and resilience:

-- Refine and clarify functional relationships across the federal government to advance a unified effort to strengthen critical infrastructure security and resilience.

-- Enable an effective exchange of information by identifying baseline data and systems requirements for the federal government.

-- Implement an integration-and-analysis function to inform decisions on planning and operations concerning critical infrastructure.

The directive said the development of the functional relationships within the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies related to critical infrastructure security and resilience will be completed within 120 days, the White House said. An assessment of the existing public-private partnership model and recommended options for improving the partnership must be finished within 150 days.

Among other things, the timeline calls for an updated National Infrastructure Protection Plan within 240 days. It also calls for the completion of a national critical infrastructure security and resilience research and development plan within two years.

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