NASCO Year in Review
As the national leader and voice of the contract security industry, NASCO is constantly interacting with Congress, federal agencies, state legislators, regulators, the courts, and the media on a variety of industry related issues. NASCO also works closely with state associations, business groups, contractor organizations, and security organizations on mutual issues of concern.
2018 NASCO Year in Review
2018 was another busy year for NASCO and its members at the federal, state and local level governmental level and in numerous other fora of importance to contract security companies.
The signature state legislative achievement of 2018 was the culmination of a two-year NASCO team effort to enact legislation in the state of Connecticut that allows applicants for security officer licenses to be employed while their application is being processed by the State Police. In 2016, the State Police ended a long-standing unofficial temporary licensing policy and the immediate result was delays of 12 to 16 weeks for a new employee to be able to start working. This significantly impacted the hiring process for both persons seeking jobs and for companies and lead to increased operational costs. Working with local lobbyists and legislators, NASCO and its members in Connecticut mounted a year plus long effort that came to a successful fruition with the passage of the law in May 2018 and new law went into effect in July ending the crippling delays.
The past year also saw a lot of other state level activities affecting the industry and while NASCO was not successful in stopping Rhode Island from installing a sales tax of security services, through its contacts at state agencies and state associations and through the use of a state legislative tracking service, NASCO was able to provide its members with timely updates and information on state legislative and regulatory activities affecting the industry.
NASCO continued to maintain its contact with state regulators through its participation in the International Association of Security and Investigative Regulators (IASIR). And for the fifth straight year, NASCO was the lead sponsor of the annual IASIR conference that took place in October in Scottsdale. In addition, NASCO continued to work with John Jay College of Criminal Justice to update and improve the electronic database of State security officer licensing laws, regulations, and polices that John Jay created for NASCO in 2017.
In 2018 NASCO also continued to pursue industry interests at the federal level. NASCO continued to work with Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and the National Council of Investigative and Security Services on proposed legislation that will provide security officer employers with “on demand” non-state-based access to FBI checks on applicants and officers. This legislation would amend a previous law that NASCO helped pass (the “Private Security Officer Employment Authorization Act of 2004”) that already authorized such checks, but only through a state entity.
While better FBI screening for security officers remains a NASCO priority, another long-time priority issue for NASCO at the federal level that did see some positive movement in 2018 was the enactment of changes to law governing the TSA Screening Partnership Program (SPP). The SPP is a 15-year-old program that allows airports to use private companies, under contract with TSA, to screen passengers and baggage. Currently 21 airports, including San Francisco International Airport are part of the program, and numerous studies and testing have shown that private screeners, who operate under the same requirements as federal screeners, are more effective and more customer service oriented. In 2018, NASCO and its member worked with the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on changes to the SPP statutory language that would provide airports with; more data on screener performance, more visibility into the selection of the private screening company, and lessen the time and complexity of the SPP procurement process. Such provisions were included in the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act which was enacted in October.
NASCO also continued to work on a variety of issues related to the DHS Federal Protective Service which maintains a 14,000 strong contract security officer force to protect federal properties. NASCO worked with Congress, the GAO and DHS to provide input into the decision of where to place FPS in the aftermath of the enactment of the CISA Act, which in converting FPS’ current DHS home the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) into the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, required that FPS be moved elsewhere. NASCO weighed in strongly in favor of FPS remaining (elsewhere) in DHS.
Finally at the federal level, NASCO remained an active participant on the DHS Emergency Services Sector Coordinating Council on a national Crisis Event Response and Recovery Access (CERRA) Framework.
Tracking and providing information to members on federal, state and local labor and employment developments and litigation remained a key focus for NASCO in 2018. While the dangers for employers at the federal level have significantly decreased under the current Administration, at the state and local level, troublesome decisions, new laws and other detrimental activities abounded, and NASCO continued to provide its members with as much warning, information and useful analysis as possible on such developments. NASCO is able to do this through its membership in the Littler Workplace Policy Institute and subscriptions to other Littler services. NASCO also works closely with U.S. Chamber labor and employment experts, and subscribes to additional labor and employment law monitoring and analysis services. In addition, NASCO members were able to obtain and share information on employment, labor and other topics affecting the industry at two NASCO “Legal Forums” held in 2018, one in conjunction with the CEO Roundtable in February in Fort Lauderdale and the other at the Washington Summit in D.C. in June. At these forums, NASCO member company counsel, executives, and outside counsels came together to discuss topics such as the impact of legalized marijuana on employment, employee social media, employee screening, and other topics. The Roundtable and Summit featured presentations by industry and market analysts, technology and product developers, political analysts, federal officials, members of Congress and others.
NASCO welcomed two new members in 2018, SOS Security and United Security and by the end of the year, NASCO members combined employed over 450,000 security officers in the United States.