6 CFR § 27.250 - Inspections and audits.

§ 27.250 Inspections and audits.

(a) Authority. In order to assess compliance with the requirements of this part, authorized Department officials may enter, inspect, and audit the property, equipment, operations, and records of covered facilities.

(b) Following preliminary approval of a Site Security Plan in accordance with § 27.245, the Department will inspect the covered facility for purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this part.

(1) If after the inspection, the Department determines that the requirements of § 27.225 have been met, the Department will issue a Letter of Approval to the covered facility.

(2) If after the inspection, the Department determines that the requirements of § 27.225 have not been met, the Department will proceed as directed by § 27.245(b) in “Review and Approval of Site Security Plans.”

(c) Time and manner. Authorized Department officials will conduct audits and inspections at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner. The Department will provide covered facility owners and/or operators with 24-hour advance notice before inspections, except

(1) If the Director or Executive Assistant Director determines that an inspection without such notice is warranted by exigent circumstances and approves such inspection; or

(2) If any delay in conducting an inspection might be seriously detrimental to security, and the Associate Director for Chemical Security determines that an inspection without notice is warranted, and approves an inspector to conduct such inspection.

(d) Inspectors. Inspections and audits are conducted by personnel duly authorized and designated for that purpose as “inspectors” by the Secretary or the Secretary's designee.

(1) An inspector will, on request, present his or her credentials for examination, but the credentials may not be reproduced by the facility.

(2) An inspector may administer oaths and receive affirmations, with the consent of any witness, in any matter.

(3) An inspector may gather information by reasonable means including, but not limited to, interviews, statements, photocopying, photography, and video- and audio-recording. All documents, objects, and electronically stored information collected by each inspector during the performance of that inspector's duties shall be maintained for a reasonable period of time in the files of the Department of Homeland Security maintained for that facility or matter.

(4) An inspector may request forthwith access to all records required to be kept pursuant to § 27.255. An inspector shall be provided with the immediate use of any photocopier or other equipment necessary to copy any such record. If copies can not be provided immediately upon request, the inspector shall be permitted immediately to take the original records for duplication and prompt return.

(e) Confidentiality. In addition to the protections provided under Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information in § 27.400, information received in an audit or inspection under this section, including the identity of the persons involved in the inspection or who provide information during the inspection, shall remain confidential under the investigatory file exception, or other appropriate exception, to the public disclosure requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552.

(f) Guidance. The Executive Assistant Director shall issue guidance identifying appropriate processes for such inspections, and specifying the type and nature of documentation that must be made available for review during inspections and audits.

[72 FR 17729, Apr. 9, 2007, as amended at 86 FR 41892, Aug. 4, 2021]