This week we’ll provide more examples of “The Good” highlighting what it takes to better your facility security.

Access Control

  • Security Measures for Restricted Areas – How is access to certain restricted areas for employees and visitors determined and who authorizes it? The FSO is ultimately responsible and should be the person making this decision.  FSOs authorizing access based on a person’s duties and responsibilities and not delegating that authority can greatly reduce unauthorized access and potentially other security violations.  FSOs need to make the time to exercise this authority and not delegate it to facility supervisors because the FSO is too busy.  When this authority is delegated, it increases your risk of an employee or visitors being given access to restricted areas where those individuals have no business being.

Physical Security

  • Gates – Whether it is the main vehicle gate, the rail gate or the pedestrian gate to the parking lot, they should be kept secured and not left opened for convenience. In addition to keeping gates closed, make sure there are no gaps between or underneath them for personnel to easily gain access.  Leaving gates opened for convenience and not closing gaps enables a breach of security to take place, which may lead to worse things. 

Security procedures

  • Linking company proximity & TWIC cards – Greatly reduce the chance of a breach of security of an expired TWIC card. A lot of facilities integrate their company proximity card, used to gain access to the facility and other areas to include restricted areas, with a person’s TWIC card.  When the TWIC card expires, the connected proximity card’s access is denied.  Some facility’s Physical Access Control System (PACS) also alert the person at least a month prior to the TWIC card expiring.  A way to use technology to reduce human error.
  • Training – An established security training program provides PSDs and All Others with the necessary knowledge required by 33 CFR 105.210 and 105.215 respectively. Since the Maritime Transportation Security Act is a performance based law, some FSOs want to guarantee their PSDs and All Others know their security knowledge by requiring annual training.  The “best of the best” shun computer-based training and use classroom training.  Using technology to ensure everyone completes it annually, the company proximity card is used to document attendance or is associated to the person’s online training account and when annual training is not completed, ACCESS DENIED.  This saves the FSO a lot of time trying to figure out who has and who hasn’t had training, plus everyone stays knowledgeable in their security duties.

Again, how did we find all these best practices?  By getting out and physically checking, confirming and testing all aspects of the Coast Guard’s facility compliance inspection checklist – NVIC 03-03 change 2 during our audits.