SIA, AAPA Urge DHS to Reconsider Port Allocations

Today, the Security Industry Association (SIA), along with the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano. In the letter, the organizations urge the secretary to reconsider grant allocations assigned to the Fiscal Year 2012 Port Security Grant Program, or to offer waivers on cost share agreements of previously awarded grants.

The letter was sent in response to the DHS grant guidance issued on February 17, 2012, wherein DHS slashed the Port Security Grant Program by 59 percent.

“Every agency has to do more with less; we understand that,” said Marcus Dunn, director of government relations at SIA. “However, what is difficult to understand is the allocation made by DHS.”

SIA, along with AAPA called on DHS to waive cost sharing requirements of previously-issued grants, which would free up dollars currently being held hostage by antiquated matching grant stipulations.

Many ports have applied for -- and have been granted -- funding for critical security components. Unfortunately, those grants have been tied to matching grants. Given the state of the economy, some ports are unable to meet the matching amount, leaving those dollars unclaimed and leaving critical security projects unfinished.

“If the matching amounts were waived, we would really be looking at a budget-neutral situation,” said Dunn. “Many of these projects are scalable and ready to be implemented now.”

In the letter, SIA and the AAPA call on the DHS to collaborate in finding a solution.

The complete letter can be found at http://www.siaonline.org/government.

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