COAC establishes five subcommittees
During the past few years the Commercial Operations Advisory Committee has become more of a debating society whose opinions were listened to but often ignored by the Department of Homeland Security.
But Congress breathed new clout into the COAC by requiring in new port security legislation that DHS and Customs and Border Protection consult with the federal advisory committee in 14 major areas to develop plans, programs and pilot projects.
Michael Mullen, assistant commissioner for international affairs and trade relations at CBP, pledged at the Nov. 9 COAC meeting in New York that his office would help the industry do its job by making sure the right subject matter experts are available to brief COAC as needed.
Meanwhile, COAC voted to restructure its subcommittee arrangement to meet the congressional mandates. The five subcommittees are:
* Supply chain security and public-private information sharing, co-chaired by Bethann Rooney, port security manager for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; and Anthony Barone, director of global logistics policy for Pfizer.
* Information Requirements, chaired by Bruce Leeds, from the Boeing Co.
* Container Security, led by Christopher Koch, president of the World Shipping Council.
* Container Security Initiative and Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, co-chaired by Lisa Schimmelpfenning of Wal-Mart Stores; and Curtis Spencer, president of IMS Worldwide.
* Organizational Issues, headed by Bradley Shorser, customs compliance manager at Sears Holdings Management Corp.
COAC members also voted for Leeds to replace Karen Phillips of Canadian National Railway as chairman and lead liaison to CBP. Phillips' term, along with those of 10 other members, expires at the end of the year.
With tight congressional deadlines for many programs, Mullen said 'We really want to hit the ground running.'