Agencies falling short on PDD-63, councils report

Agencies falling short on PDD-63, councils report

Slipshod implementation of Presidential Decision Directive 63 threatens the government's ability to meet its deadline for establishing protections for the nation's critical infrastructures, according to a new administration report.

Many agencies fail to understand how PDD-63 applies to them, use imprecise performance measures and have failed to advance beyond the planning stage, said the report from the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency and the Executive Council on Integrity and Efficiency. Reviews by 21 inspectors general form the basis for the report, which the councils issued last month.

If the directive is not implemented, systems supporting the country's critical infrastructures remain at risk, the report concluded. As directed by PDD-63, federal agencies are supposed to establish security measures by May 22, 2003.

It also noted that many agencies have filed incomplete infrastructure plans, which makes hitting the 2003 deadline iffy.

Several agencies have not started work on PDD-63 programs; they assumed they were exempt because the directive had not specifically named them, as it had 19 agencies, the report said.

Part of the problem is that many agencies have no coordinated management to implement PDD-63, said the report, which accused agencies of failing to identify the systems most important to their day-to-day operations.

Additionally, terms in the directive are not clearly defined, leading to a variety of interpretations among agencies, the councils said.

But agencies are not solely to blame, the report said.

Administrative organizations responsible for coordinating and managing the directive's implementation also have failed to provide support and information, causing fundamental elements to be ignored, the report concluded.

'Tony Lee Orr


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