The security of the nation's critical infrastructure requires an effective partnership framework that fosters integrated, collaborative engagement and interaction among public- and private-sector partners.
The Department of Homeland Security, National Protection and Programs Directorate's Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP) leads the coordinated national effort with public- and private-sector critical infrastructure partners to enhance the security and resilience of the nation's critical infrastructure.
Because the private sector owns and operates a vast majority of the nation's critical infrastructure, partnerships between the public and private sectors are essential to maintaining critical infrastructure security and resilience. These partnerships create an environment to share critical threat information, risk mitigation, and other vital information and resources.
Sector Partnership Structure
Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21): Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience and the National Infrastructure Protction Plan (NIPP) 2013: Partnering for Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience provide the overarching framework for a structured partnership approach between the government and the private sector for protection, security, and resilience of critical infrastructure. These documents:
- 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.
Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council
The Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council (CIPAC) provides the operational framework for carrying out the sector partnership structure. The CIPAC is aligned with and supports the implementation of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan 2013: Partnering for Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience and Presidential Policy Directive 21: Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience to provide a forum in which the government and private sector entities, organized as coordinating councils, can jointly engage in a broad spectrum of activities to support and coordinate critical infrastructure security and resilience efforts.
The CIPAC convenes critical infrastructure owners, operators, and trade association members of Sector Coordinating Councils (SCC) and members of Government Coordinating Councils (GCC) to engage in intra-government and public-private cooperation, information sharing, and collaboration across the entire range of critical infrastructure protection activities.
Sector Coordinating Councils
The Sector Coordinating Councils (SCCs) are self-organized and self-governed councils that enable critical infrastructure owners and operators, their trade associations, and others to interact on a wide range of sector-specific strategies, policies, activities, and issues. Specific membership varies from sector to sector, reflecting the unique composition of each sector; however, membership is representative of a broad base of owners, operators, associations, and other entities—both large and small—within the sector and serve as the voice and principal entry points for the sector to collaborate with the government on critical infrastructure security and resilience activities.
Government Coordinating Councils
Government Coordinating Councils (GCCs) are formed as the government counterpart for each Sector Coordinating Council (SCC) to enable interagency and cross-jurisdictional coordination. The GCCs are comprised of 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
The Critical Infrastructure Cross-Sector Council provides a forum for SCCs to address cross-sector issues and interdependencies. The Council is composed of the chairs and vice chairs of the SCCs or their official designees to provide senior-level, cross-sector strategic coordination with DHS and the sector-specific agencies and serves a vital role in identifying and disseminating critical infrastructure security and resilience best practices across the sectors.
Federal Senior Leadership Council
The Federal Senior Leadership Council (FSLC) is composed of senior officials from the designated sector-specific agencies and other federal departments and agencies identified in PPD-21. The FSLC facilitates enhanced federal communication and coordination across the sectors focused on critical infrastructure security and resilience.
State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Government Coordinating Council
The State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Government Coordinating Council (SLTTGCC) serves as a forum to ensure that state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) homeland security partners are fully integrated as active participants in national critical infrastructure security and resilience efforts and to provide an organizational structure to coordinate across jurisdictions on SLTT government-level guidance, strategies, and programs. The SLTTGCC also provides information on SLTT-level security and resilience initiatives, activities, and best practices.
Regional Consortium Coordinating Council
The Regional Consortium Coordinating Council (RC3) provides a framework that supports existing regional groups in their efforts to promote resilience activities in the public and private sectors. Composed of a variety of regional groups from around the country, the RC3 supports its member organizations with awareness, education, and mentorship on a wide variety of subjects, projects, and initiatives. The RC3 is engaged in various initiatives to advance critical infrastructure security and resilience, vulnerability reduction, and consequence mitigation,
National Infrastructure Advisory Council
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.