Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council (CIPAC)?

CIPAC is an advisory council chartered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on March 24, 2006 (71 FR 14930) to facilitate interactions between government officials at the federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels and representatives of owners and/or operators for each of the critical infrastructure sectors established by Presidential Policy Directive 21 and identified in the National Infrastructure Protection Plan.

What has changed in the 2020 CIPAC Charter?

The renewed CIPAC Charter allows a Sector Risk Management Agency to establish ad-hoc working groups as the sole sponsor/chair and determine its members for urgent or immediate incident related issues; allows CISA to establish cross-sector working groups as the sole sponsor/chair with ability to determine membership and SMEs in order to meet DHS objectives; requires Cross Sector Working Groups to operate under a Charter; and encourages optimal representation of sectors; and emphasizes Ethics and Information Sharing (EIS) for all CIPAC Participants – a term now used to encompass anyone participating in a CIPAC meeting.

How does a Subject Matter Expert differ from a CIPAC Member?

SMEs are not affiliated with a member organization of CIPAC; possesses significant expertise and substantive knowledge that may be used to provide technical or industry-specific information for the purposes of informing the recommendations of a working group, cross-sector working group, affiliated sub-working group(s) or SCC. SMEs may not participate in forming consensus advice or recommendations, or serve in a leadership capacity on a GCC, SCC, Cross-Sector Council, working group, or affiliated sub-working group.

When is the deadline to create Cross Sector Working Group Charters?

CISA will provide CIPAC participants the time they require to develop and approve a charter if one does not already exist.

The CIPAC Charter now requires all participants to attend Ethics and Information Sharing (EIS) Training. How can CIPAC Participants attend training ?

Training will be provided by CISA. The EIS Training program is currently under development by CISA. CISA anticipates that training will be offered online and through virtual briefings that are convenient for CIPAC Members. CISA intends to gradually roll out training throughout 2021 to CIPAC members and will provide updated information once it is available.   

Who must attend EIS Training?

This training is required for all CIPAC participants (this includes CIPAC members and SMEs).

When is the deadline to complete EIS Training?

There is no deadline at this time. CISA will notify CIPAC participants and provide deadlines when the EIS Training program is available.   

How frequently must CIPAC participants attend  EIS Training?

CIPAC participants must attend training annually.

The CIPAC Charter requires non-federal CIPAC participants to sign an acknowledgement of the CIPAC Ethics and Integrity Standards. How can I sign the acknowledgment?

CISA is developing the acknowledgment and an associated process to compliment the EIS Training program. CISA will provide more information on how to comply with this new requirement once it is available. CISA anticipates gradually rolling out this process in conjunction with EIS Training throughout 2021.

Who must sign the CIPAC acknowledgement?

Any CIPAC member or SME that is not a federal employee.

When is the deadline to sign the CIPAC acknowledgement?

There is no deadline at this time. CISA will notify CIPAC participants and provide deadlines when the EIS Training program is available.   

What can we expect going forward?

The CIPAC team will begin offering training in early 2021.  We will continue to provide updates on this process and will make every effort to make the training and acknowledgement process as seamless as possible for all of our CIPAC participants.

Additional Resources

For more information on CIPAC, please refer to the CIPAC website, or e-mail CIPAC@CISA.DHS.GOV.

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