Legislation introduced to improve DHS-private sector interaction

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, on Thursday joined Rep. Curt Curt Clawson (R-Fla.) in co-sponsoring a bill that would facilitate improved interaction between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the private sector.

H.R. 5712, or the "DHS Private Sector Office Engagement Act," would require that the department release economic impact reports as its policies change, direct the DHS to identify ways to reduce associated burdens on the private sector, require coordination with the private sector on the part of DHS in identifying resources from the sector, and promote existing public-private partnerships -- as well as develop new partnerships -- to address homeland security.

“Homeland Security promotes economic security and vice versa," Clawson said. "With more than 85 percent of critical infrastructure owned by the private sector, DHS needs a robust mechanism to understand the needs of the private sector. H.R. 5712 is important legislation that will clearly focus the department on activities that will have a measurable impact on our security and our economy. Having come to the Congress as a former CEO, this is the kind of partnership our marketplace needs to help our economy grow."

The bill would also require accountability measures on the department, including strategic plans and outcome-based metrics on performance.

According to McCaul, this bill is a necessary step as the amount of cooperation between DHS and the private sector have decreased significantly, hurting opportunities to better both parties.

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U.S. Department of Homeland Security

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