In the January 6, 2017 all-hands meeting, Superintendent Helis assured the regiment of midshipmen and faculty that there was “a way ahead to restore training on commercial ships.” That begs the question — what is the way ahead? What are the criteria that a shipping company must meet in order to have midshipmen assigned to its ships?
In Secretary Fox’s letter to Helis (which was issued the same day as the all-hands meeting) Fox stated,
“you are authorized to resume Sea Year training on commercial vessels in a phased, company-by-company manner, provided that MARAD and the Academy have determined that a company has complied with the credentialing criteria established by the SCCT [Shipboard Climate Compliance Team], as recommended in the LMI report.”
The letter indicates that the SCCT has actually “established” [past tense] the credentialing criteria. The same day that Secretary Fox’s letter was issued, the Academy issued its “action plan” and stated that the creation of the credentialing criteria was a “completed” task:
“Shipboard Climate Compliance Team (SCCT) develop a Sea Year Credentialing Process in conjunction with the industry and maritime unions (Completed)“
So where are the criteria? Why have they not been widely published? Is there some reason that the midshipmen, the parents, and the alumni should not see these criteria? Are they a state secret? Note that on the day of the all-hands meeting, DOT was quick to publish no fewer than six documents relating to the LMI report and the “restoration” of sea year on commercial ships. Yet it couldn’t be bothered to post the actual criteria that are going to decide whether a shipping company can begin hosting midshipmen on sea year?
MARAD is quick to accuse people of believing in wild conspiracies; but, when MARAD hides information that should be public, it creates the basis for such beliefs. Some stakeholders are beginning to believe that MARAD has deliberately made the criteria so difficult that no company can possibly meet them. They argue that MARAD is hiding the criteria so that we won’t be able to raise a ruckus if the criteria are impossible to meet. MARAD can quickly dispel such fears by publishing the criteria. And this blog will be happy to publish them if MARAD (or anyone else) sends them to:
Andy Simpson 82 [at] Save Kings Point.com [no spaces]
FWIW, I don’t buy the theory that the standards have been made deliberately too difficult to meet. I have a different theory: MARAD doesn’t want them made public because it knows it will be widely criticized when they are finally made public — because they will virtually mirror what industry proposed to MARAD on June 26, 2016 — only ten days after the
stand down cancellation was announced.