In the wake of September 11th, Congress and the Executive Branch drafted various
legislative and administrative policies in response to looming terrorist threats.
Accordingly, the USA
Patriot Act, the Public
Health Security and Bioterrorism Response Act of 2001, and the Enhanced
Border Security Reform Act were signed into law along with the issuance of
the Homeland Security Presidential Decision
Directive-2 (PDD2) and the creation of the Department
of Homeland Security (DHS). Over 22 federal agencies’ functions, responsibilities
and budgets have been transferred to DHS. This new cabinet department is charged
with the responsibility of implementing these new laws, which establish new restrictions
and guidelines in areas of laboratory security, the processing and administration
of foreign student visas, new access to student records and electronic communications,
the registration of facilities and individuals handling certain "select agents,"
and restrictions on certain individuals from access to "select agents."
These topics touch upon key aspects governing university research administration
Implementation of the USA Patriot Act and the biohazard initiatives continues.
The final phase-in of the select agent regulation was completed on June 12th
of this year, with the implementation of mandatory security procedures. Campuses
around the country are trying to assess the cost of implementing the regulations,
as well as additional general increases in security enhancements.
This page provides an update of the new laws and presidential directives that
may affect Harvard and other colleges and universities across the nation. The
federal relations staff continues to work with other Washington educational
associations to help ensure the University’s ability to retain a traditional
"open" research campus while ensuring public safety and accountability
to the underlying concerns of the legislation.
Summary Report on Select Agent Security at Universities (OIG/HHS Report)