6 U.S. Code § 321m - Voluntary private sector preparedness accreditation and certification program
The Secretary, acting through the officer designated under paragraph (2), shall establish and implement the voluntary private sector preparedness accreditation and certification program in accordance with this section.
The program developed and implemented under this subsection shall assess whether a private sector entity complies with voluntary preparedness standards.
In developing the program under this subsection, the designated officer shall develop guidelines for the accreditation and certification processes established under this subsection.
In adopting one or more standards under subparagraph (B), the designated officer may receive recommendations from any entity described in that subparagraph relating to appropriate voluntary preparedness standards, including appropriate sector specific standards, for adoption in the program.
The designated officer and any entity with which the designated officer enters into an agreement under paragraph (3)(A) shall establish separate classifications and methods of certification for small business concerns (under the meaning given that term in section 632 of title 15) for the program under this subsection.
Not later than 210 days after August 3, 2007, the designated officer shall enter into one or more agreements with a highly qualified nongovernmental entity with experience or expertise in coordinating and facilitating the development and use of voluntary consensus standards and in managing or implementing accreditation and certification programs for voluntary consensus standards, or a similarly qualified private sector entity, to carry out accreditations and oversee the certification process under this subsection. An entity entering into an agreement with the designated officer under this clause (hereinafter referred to in this section as a “selected entity”) shall not perform certifications under this subsection.
Any selected entity shall collaborate to develop procedures and requirements for the accreditation and certification processes under this subsection, in accordance with the program established under this subsection and guidelines developed under paragraph (2)(A)(ii).
Any disagreement among selected entities in developing procedures under clause (i) shall be resolved by the designated officer.
A selected entity may accredit any qualified third party to carry out the certification process under this subsection.
In accrediting qualified third parties to carry out the certification process under this subsection, a selected entity shall ensure, to the extent practicable, that the third parties include qualified small, minority, women-owned, or disadvantaged business concerns when appropriate. The term “disadvantaged business concern” means a small business that is owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, as defined in section 124 of title 13, United States Code of Federal Regulations.
At the request of any entity seeking certification, any selected entity may consider, as appropriate, other relevant certifications acquired by the entity seeking certification. If the selected entity determines that such other certifications are sufficient to meet the certification requirement or aspects of the certification requirement under this section, the selected entity may give credit to the entity seeking certification, as appropriate, to avoid unnecessarily duplicative certification requirements.
The designated officer and any selected entity shall regularly monitor and inspect the operations of any third party conducting certifications under this subsection to ensure that the third party is complying with the procedures and requirements established under subparagraph (B) and all other applicable requirements.
The designated officer, in consultation with representatives of appropriate organizations that coordinate or facilitate the development and use of voluntary consensus standards, appropriate voluntary consensus standards development organizations, appropriate representatives of State and local governments, including emergency management officials, and each private sector advisory council created under section 112(f)(4) of this title, shall annually review the voluntary accreditation and certification program established under this subsection to ensure the effectiveness of such program (including the operations and management of such program by any selected entity and the selected entity’s inclusion of qualified disadvantaged business concerns under paragraph (3)(D)) and make improvements and adjustments to the program as necessary and appropriate.
Certification under this subsection shall be voluntary for any private sector entity.
The designated officer shall maintain and make public a listing of any private sector entity certified as being in compliance with the program established under this subsection, if that private sector entity consents to such listing.
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