The following is an excerpt.
According to CASA’s director Magnus Langseth, the Norwegian government’s new white paper on societal security is full of challenges. Recently, he shared his views with the Standing Committee on Justice.
Tuesday 19 January there was a public Parliament hearing regarding the new report. The same day, SFI CASA’s directors Magnus Langseth and Tore Børvik published a chronicle on the subject in the regional newspaper Adresseavisen.
They state that the white paper lacks guidelines to establish a national set of rules that can protect civilian buildings and structures and thus, people´s life and health. Langseth’s message to the parliamentarians was pretty much the same. When it comes to working on preventive physical security, there is still a way to go.
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The new Security Act from 2019 plays a crucial role in the white paper. The law requires that all companies with potentially exposed objects and infrastructure must themselves assess risk and ensure sound security. This is a challenge, according to SFI CASA’s top leaders. They state that the law requires a comprehensive competence that most companies lack. Their most important tool is the current Norwegian standards. Which bring more challenges. The standards state minimally about principles for calculating loads such as explosions, shocks, collisions, shelling, and so on.
«For the companies that must comply with the law, it is very demanding to find advisers with the right competence. This brings me to the last, but not the least challenge I want to point out. There is no full education in this country in this field today. We simply do not educate people with comprehensive engineering expertise in safety. Design is often outsourced to professional environments that lack comprehensive security expertise. The result can quickly be insufficient security and inefficient cost-effective solutions». Mr Langseth said.
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By the end of his 5-minute presentation, Mr Langseth informed that the SIMLab research group is in dialogue with the Ministry of Justice on the possibilities of establishing a new, national centre for research within physical security. This initiative will help educate more civil engineers and doctoral engineers, trained to use the latest tools and to think holistically about safety.
In all, close to 30 participants were publicly sharing their views on the white paper. The Standing Committee on Justice will submit their recommendation on 23 February. The Parliament plan to discuss the white paper on 9 March.