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The LNG Industry provides the appropriate security, planning, prevention and mitigation in close coordination with local, state, and federal authorities, including the United States Coast Guard. These measures significantly reduce risks from intentional events such as terrorist attacks.
The U.S. Coast Guard determines the suitability of a waterway to transport LNG safely; creates safety and security rules for each specific port; works with terminal and ship operators and host port authorities to ensure that policies and procedures conform to required standards; and works with operators to conduct emergency response drills; has the authority to receive background checks of crews; conducts ship searches; and requires the use of Sea Marshals (specially trained and armed U.S. Coast Guard personnel).Companies tightly control access to facilities through gated security and continuous surveillance monitoring. All personnel undergo identity and background checks. Supplies and equipment are inspected before entering facilities.
Federal regulations authorize safety zones to safeguard carriers, harbors, ports and waterfront facilities. These zones are determined on a case-by-case basis as part of a facility security plan to minimize vulnerability. The regulations requiring exclusion zones around LNG facilities ensure people and property are protected.
Risks resulting from intentional events such as terrorist attacks, can be greatly reduced with the appropriate security, planning, mitigation, and prevention. The LNG industry has these precautions in place.
By Scott Higham and Robert O’Harrow Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, May 24, 2007; A01
Excerpt from the story:
After the Cole bombing, the Navy decided it would deploy hundreds of 82-foot-long, 8-foot-wide, floating rubberized barriers to prevent terrorists from getting close to its ships while in port. The barriers would be held in place by a system of anchors, large foam buoys and chains. A network of underwater sensors would detect potential threats.
NCIS had preferred contractors it wanted to hire for the job, auditors would find, and it did not want to undertake an elaborate and time-consuming open competition for the work.
So NCIS turned to the GSA and a program at the time reserved for small businesses that permitted government agencies to hire companies without seeking traditional bids. The program allowed government officials to buy products and services directly from companies after their prices for labor and overhead had been approved by GSA contracting officials. GSA collects user fees from companies for helping to facilitate those kinds of transactions.
In the boat-barrier case, the GSA, at the request of NCIS, selected Northern NEF of Colorado Springs as the prime contractor for the project, documents show.
Northern was a small technology firm — small enough that did not have to compete under federal rules for government contracts unless they were worth more than $3 million. It had never worked on a boat-barrier project before, but it had worked for the Pentagon on other projects.
Northern was told by NCIS officials to hire P-Con Consulting of Alexandria. The company’s sole employee was Patrick Condon, who already worked as a security consultant to NCIS. Condon received a title for his role in the project: deputy program manager for Navy boat barriers.
“Northern NEF officials said they had been directed by the Navy to procure the barriers through the consulting firm instead of dealing directly with the manufacturer,” auditors wrote in a 2004 report. “We found documentary evidence that showed the consulting firm was the Navy’s ‘recommended’ contractor.”
P-Con, in turn, hired a company in England to manufacture the barriers and one in Northern Virginia to install them.
The former director of government programs for Northern, Dave Nelson, said in a recent interview that he did not know why NCIS selected his company or why his company was directed to hire P-Con.
“Northern played middleman,” Nelson said.
Northern stayed below the $3 million threshold when it sought payments for the work from the GSA, invoices show. Each individual payment was approved by NCIS and the GSA as though they were separate projects, even though the work was being done under one contract.
Federal contracting regulations prohibit splitting up payments to avoid competition limits.
“Almost all of the over $53 million in boat barrier harbor tasks we analyzed were split to avoid the competitive threshold,” GSA auditors wrote in their report.
Between September 2001 and February 2003, at least 30 invoices came in under the $3 million limit. Three examples:
· 55 boat barriers for $2.6 million on Sept. 28, 2001.
· 24 for $1.4 million on Oct. 1.
· 58 for $2.9 million on Oct. 12.
On May 9, 2002, three invoices came in for an identical amount — $2,956,762 each. On Feb. 14, 2003, six invoices came in for $2,678,813 apiece.
GSA officials later told auditors they “believed each order represented a discrete boat-barrier system installed at a discrete harbor, but this was clearly not the case.”
Nelson said Northern officials knew the project was being structured to stay beneath the $3 million cap. But he said company officials believed that it was being done properly by NCIS and GSA in the interests of speed and national security.
“It was pretty obvious what they were doing,” said Nelson, who is now at another company. “We figured somebody who was in authority knew what they were doing. We didn’t go out and try to win this work. It just came our way.”
At each step in the process, Northern and P-Con received a percentage of the proceeds from the project.
For example, the base cost for each boat barrier was supposed to be $45,250. Northern charged a 4.8 percent fee for “acting as GSA’s order administrator,” the auditors said. P-Con charged a 7.5 percent on all expenses as a “Consultant Markup.” The final cost to taxpayers for each boat barrier was $50,978.65, auditors estimated.
Even larger markups took place for the installation of the barriers and the buoys to hold them in place, documents show. The base cost for each buoy was supposed to be $31,000. The company responsible for installing the barriers added a 9.8 percent administrative fee and another unspecified 20 percent fee. Company officials told auditors the fees were the standard industry markup.
Northern charged another 5 percent fee. The final cost to taxpayers for each buoy was $42,825.68, documents show.
“Millions of dollars were wasted by compensating the contractors for doing little more than placing orders with other favored contractors to do the actual work,” the auditors said.
The navy-built barrier is expected to stretch out into the Mediterranean Sea for nearly one kilometre (about half a mile)
A first 150-metre stretch will be made a concrete wall with its foundations buried into the seabed near the northern Gaza Strip. A floating metal fence will then stretch for another 800 metres, a report in the English-language Jerusalem Post said.
“In order to provide protection for the Israeli homefront and in order to prevent infiltrations of terrorists via the sea, the navy is establishing a security system which will help stop such inflitrations and alert the security forces,” a security source told AFP wire.
It is understood that some of the impetus for the barrier comes from the impending loss of a naval base in southern Gaza, which is home to a vast surveillance system, when the Israeli military pulls out of the territory later this summer.