Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Free to Work for FBI for Free

The FBI sponsors a program called InfraGard©. Their mission is to provide a trusted forum for the exchange of knowledge, experience and information related to the protection of our nation’s critical infrastructure from both physical and cyber threats. Infragard combines two trends of the current U.S. government, a reliance on voluntary conduct and contracting out functions to the private sector.

The formalization of InfraGard’s private sector corporate structure allows the INMA and its member IMAs to engage federal, state, and local stakeholders in new and productive programs that are outside the purview of the FBI. This makes the program flexible and agile enough to meet the needs of a wide range of stakeholders in the public and private arena. The INMA currently has an MOU in place with DHS and is working closely with additional government entities.

As a nonprofit corporate entity, InfraGard is not constrained by its original mandate. In an odd imitation of today's private equity corporate structure, InfraGard is not just one corporate entity.

The InfraGard National Members Alliance’s (INMA) The INMA is a non-profit Delaware LLC with 501(c)3 status. The INMA LLC is comprised of 86 separate 501(c)3 InfraGard Member Alliances (IMAs) that represent over 24,000 InfraGard Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) nationwide.

Two years ago, I personally contacted the FBI via their website with concerns about protecting American citizens in unprecedented disasters. Having never heard anything back, maybe the best strategy is to join InfraGard. As the past Disaster Chairman at a Texas Gulf Coast hospital, surely they'd be open to my joining. However, the process sounds daunting:

In order to maintain a level of trust within the membership, all applicants undergo a background check performed by the FBI (for this reason InfraGard membership is currently limited to United States citizens). Applications are then screened according to a defined criteria and then passed to the local chapter for final acceptance (individual chapters may have more strict criteria).

Hopefully San Angelo, with all its patriots, will soon have a chapter. Or maybe I should move to Austin. I think they need me. With nearly 25,000 members, none have yet to post anything on public health and health care. Having experienced both situations, I have lots of material on dead, flooded hospitals and the challenge of evacuating acute care patients while a record strength hurricane churns in the Gulf of Mexico.

If I can blog for free, I can work for the FBI for a similar amount. Just know it will go to the back burner when paying work comes up or when a natural disaster strikes.