ROSSLYN, Va.,—The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) responded today to the House of Representatives’ passage of H.R. 5855, the fiscal year 2013 Homeland Security Appropriations bill.
“NEMA-member technologies are critical to the security of air travel,” said Kyle Pitsor, NEMA Vice President of Government Relations. “The Homeland Security appropriations bill makes significant investments in many areas, including air passenger and baggage screening operations where NEMA member products play the leading role. We are also pleased to see continued support for efforts at the border to protect intellectual property rights by Customs and Border Protection.”
Specific programs of interest to NEMA include:
Digital Imaging Communications for Security (DICOS)
Adoption and deployment of the Digital Imaging Communications for Security (DICOS) standard, developed by the industry in collaboration with Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology (S&T) Directorate and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), would increase security and reduce costs by ensuring interoperability, increasing flexibility, and reducing personnel needs.
The House does not speak to this issue and NEMA supports the Senate language which encourages S&T to complete its review of DICOS expeditiously.
Aviation Screening Operations
NEMA welcomes the recommendation for spending $3.97 billion to cover current aviation passenger and baggage screening operations and all currently programmed acquisitions, including 1,250 Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) systems for passenger screening and Advanced Technology x-ray systems.
NEMA notes that the House bill recommends a funding level of $100 million for procurement and installation of Explosive Detection System (EDS), rather than the $117.3 million requested by the Administration and supported by NEMA.
The House also declined the Administration’s request to devote specific funding to maintenance and repair of screening equipment, stating that House appropriators “recognize the need to recapitalize the EDS technology currently in place throughout the Nation and expects that TSA will ensure that funding provided is targeted at those systems most in need of replacement or upgrades.” In so doing, the House missed an opportunity to direct TSA to prioritize maintenance of this equipment that is so vital to the safety of air travelers and the security of our air transport system.
DHS Research and Development
NEMA supports the increase in funding for DHS S&T’s Research, Development, and Innovation (RD&I) activities, which include explosives detection. The $405.5 million designated for all RD&I activities is above the $139.7 million level of FY2012 and would allow S&T to fully fund and prioritize many of its projects.
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
NEMA is also pleased with the allocation of $10 million for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that supports interdiction and seizure of products that violate intellectual property rights, as well as the provision of $10 million for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to support the National IPR Coordination Center, which enables the U.S. Government to better combat intellectual property theft as an interagency hub for sharing information, developing initiatives, coordinating enforcement actions, and conducting investigations.
NEMA is the association of electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers, founded in 1926 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Its member companies manufacture a diverse set of products including power transmission and distribution equipment, lighting systems, factory automation and control systems, and medical diagnostic imaging systems. Worldwide annual sales of NEMA-scope products exceed $120 billion.