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Homeland Security

Critical Infrastructure Sector Partnerships


The protection of the nation's critical infrastructure requires an effective and sustainable partnership collaboration framework that fosters integrated, collaborative engagement and interaction among public- and private-sector partners.
The Department of Homeland Security Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP) coordinates with public- and private-sector critical infrastructure partners to mitigate risks to the nation's critical infrastructure by developing and implementing an effective critical infrastructure protection program.
Partnership between the public and private sectors is essential because:

  • The private sector owns and operates the vast majority of the nation's critical infrastructure;
  • Government agencies have access to critical threat information; and
  • Both the private and public sectors control security programs, research and development, and other resources that may be more effective if discussed, shared, and coordinated in a partnership setting.

Together, NIPP 2013: Partnering for Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience and Presidential Policy Directive 21:

  • Establish the mechanisms for collaboration between private sector owners and operators and government agencies
  • Organize the nation’s critical infrastructure into 16 sectors
  • Identify sector-specific agencies (SSAs) for each of the sectors
  • Establish the requirement for partnerships between the federal government; critical infrastructure owners and operators; and state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) government entities

The sector and cross-sector partnership council structure brings together partners from federal and SLTT governments, regional entities, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations. These councils collaborate on critical infrastructure security and resilience programs and approaches and achieve national goals and objectives.

Sector Coordinating Councils (SCC)

The sector partnership model encourages critical infrastructure owners and operators to create or identify Sector Coordinating Councils as the principal entity for coordinating with the government on a wide range of critical infrastructure protection activities and issues.

The SCCs are self-organized, self-run, and self-governed, with a spokesperson designated by the sector membership. Specific membership will vary from sector to sector, reflecting the unique composition of each sector; however, membership should represent a broad base of owners, operators, associations, and other entities within a sector.

Government Coordinating Councils (GCC)

A Government Coordinating Council is formed as the government counterpart for each Sector Coordinating Council (SCC) to enable interagency and cross-jurisdictional coordination. The GCC comprises representatives from across various levels of government (federal, state, local, or tribal), as appropriate to the operating landscape of each individual sector.

Critical Infrastructure Cross-Sector Council

Cross-sector issues and interdependencies are addressed among the Sector Coordinating Councils (SCCs) through the Critical Infrastructure Cross-Sector Council, which comprises the leadership of each of the SCCs. This private sector council coordinates cross-sector issues, initiatives, and interdependencies to support critical infrastructure security and resilience.

Regional Consortium Coordinating Council (RC3)

The RC3 is comprised of regional groups and coalitions around the country that are engaged in various initiatives to advance critical infrastructure security and resilience in the public and private sectors.

Federal Senior Leadership Council (FSLC)

Consisting of senior officials from the sector-specific agencies and other federal departments and agencies that participate in critical infrastructure security and resilience, the FSLC facilitates communication and coordination on critical infrastructure security and resilience across the federal government.

State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Government Coordinating Council (SLTTGCC)

Consisting of representative from across state, local, tribal, and territorial government entities, the SLTTGCC promotes the engagement of SLTT partnership in national critical infrastructure security and resilience efforts. It also provides an organizational structure to coordinate across state and local governments’ jurisdictions, strategies, and programs.

Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council (CIPAC)

Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council (CIPAC) supports the sectors’ interests to jointly engage in critical infrastructure discussions and to participate in a broad spectrum of activities. CIPAC forums support deliberations on critical infrastructure issues that require consensus and make formal recommendations to the federal government. CIPAC-covered activities convene GCC and SCC representatives when there is a need to seek consensus on an issue. As such, CIPAC may be used at the sector, cross-sector, or working group levels, depending on the topic and deliberation purpose.

National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC)

The National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) provides the President, through the Secretary of Homeland Security, with advice on the security of the critical infrastructure sectors and their information systems. The council is composed of a maximum of 30 members, appointed by the President from private industry, academia, and state and local governments.

Last Published Date: April 14, 2015
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