Executive Order 13905

Overview

On February 12, 2020, President Trump signed Executive Order 13905 entitled “Strengthening National Resilience through Responsible Use of Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Service.” The E.O. initially appeared on the White House website and was later published in the Federal Register. On February 14, 2020, Dr. Mike O’Connor, CEO of Satelles, issued a Position Statement in response to E.O. 13905. In this statement, Dr. O’Connor endorsed the executive order’s emphasis on PNT resilience, diversity, and urgency in order to protect our national critical infrastructure.

Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of E.O. 13905 is to establish policy and implementation steps to strengthen the resilience of PNT services, upon which U.S. critical infrastructure depends. The policy set out by the E.O. is to ensure that disruption or manipulation of PNT services do not undermine reliable and efficient functioning of critical infrastructure. To this end, the Federal Government shall engage the public and private sectors to identify and promote the responsible use of PNT services.

The E.O. specifies nine separate but related policy implementation steps and assigns action responsibility primarily to the Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security as well as to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

The foundation for policy implementation is for the Secretary of Commerce, in coordination with the heads of agencies responsible for various critical infrastructure sectors, to develop “PNT profiles” within one year. These profiles will identify systems, networks, and assets that are dependent on PNT; identify appropriate PNT services; and describe how to manage associated risks. DHS will plan to test vulnerabilities identified, and the results will be used to update the PNT profiles.

Within 90 days of these PNT profiles being established, federal heads of infrastructure sectors will develop contractual language (through DHS) for products, systems, and services that use PNT services. The goal will be to encourage the private sector to use and develop new and secure PNT services.

The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council will incorporate these requirements into federal contracts for PNT services within 180 days of the development of contractual language. Within one year of the release of PNT profiles, Departments and agencies will report their progress to OSTP, and each year annually thereafter. Also, within a year of the order, OSTP will develop a national plan for secure services that are not dependent on global navigation satellite systems (GNSS).

Finally, within 180 days of the order, the Department of Commerce shall make available a GNSS-independent source of Coordinated Universal Time to support critical infrastructure owners and operators in the private and public sectors.

In sum, the E.O. sets out a federated approach for determining resilient PNT requirements and establishes contractual mechanisms for meeting these needs through the marketplace.

We view the E.O. as a positive and welcome development. As indicated above, our viewpoints are explained in detail in the Position Statement released on February 14, 2020.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has defined 16 critical infrastructure sectors whose assets, systems, and networks, whether physical or virtual, are considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on national security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof.

Many of the E.O.’s directives reference actions or deliverables expected from the SSAs. As described in the E.O., a “Sector-Specific Agency” (SSA) is the executive department or agency that is responsible for providing institutional knowledge and specialized expertise as well as leading, facilitating, or supporting the security and resilience programs and associated activities of its designated critical infrastructure sector in the all-hazards environment.

In most cases a single agency is designated as the SSA for a sector, but there are a few sectors that have two SSAs.

Sector SSA(s)
Chemical DHS
Commercial Facilities DHS
Communications DHS
Critical Manufacturing DHS
Dams DHS
Defense Industrial Base DoD
Emergency Services DHS
Energy DOE
Financial Services USDT
Food and Agriculture USDA and HHS (joint)
Government Facilities DHS and GSA (joint)
Healthcare and Public Health HHS
Information Technology DHS
Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste DHS
Transportation Systems DHS and DOT (joint)
Water and Wastewater Systems EPA

The E.O. directs the Secretary of Commerce to work with the heads of the SSAs for all 16 critical infrastructure sectors to create PNT profiles. While each of the sectors will have its own PNT requirements, some have a high dependency on PNT services, including Communications, Energy, Financial Services, Information Technology, and Transportation Systems.

The following table provides a chronological view of the actions and deliverables from Section 4 of E.O. 13905:

Implementation Directive Responsible Party / Parties Triggering Milestone Due No Later Than
Develop plans to engage critical infrastructure owners/operators Secretaries of DOT, DOE, and DHS 180 days after E.O. is issued 8/10/2020
Make available a GNSS-independent source of Coordinated Universal Time Secretary of Commerce 180 days after E.O. is issued 8/10/2020
Develop PNT profiles Secretary of Commerce will lead but coordinate with the heads of SSAs and consult with the private sector 1 year after E.O. is issued 2/12/2021
Develop critical infrastructure PNT vulnerability test plans Secretary of Homeland Security will lead but coordinate with the heads of SSAs 1 year after E.O. is issued 2/12/2021
Develop national plan for R&D and pilot testing of alternative PNT services Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) 1 year after E.O. is issued 2/12/2021
Develop contractual language from PNT profiles Heads of SSAs and the heads of other executive departments and agencies will lead and, where necessary, coordinate with/through the Secretary of DHS 90 days after PNT profiles are published 5/13/2021
Complete pilot programs with critical infrastructure owners/operators Secretaries of DOT, DOE, and DHS 1 year after engagement plans are developed 8/10/2021
Incorporate PNT requirements into federal contracts Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council in consultation with heads of SSAs and heads of other agencies 180 days after contract language is finalized 11/9/2021
Submit PNT profile adoption reports Heads of SSAs and the heads of other executive departments and agencies will lead and, where necessary, coordinate with/through the Secretary of DHS 1 year after PNT profiles are published 2/12/2022

E.O. 13905 in the Federal Register (source: Federal Register)

E.O. 13905 on WhiteHouse.gov (source: WhiteHouse.gov)

Statement from Press Secretary (source: WhiteHouse.gov)

Satelles Position Statement on E.O. 13905 (source: Satelles)

List of Critical Infrastructure Sectors (source: DHS / CISA)

DHS Statement on the President’s Executive Order to Strengthen National Resilience through Responsible Use of Positioning, Navigation & Timing (source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

President Donald J. Trump Signs Executive Order on Strengthening National Resilience through Responsible Use of Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Services to Keeping the Promise to Make America Safe and Resilient (source: U.S. Department of Commerce)

Executive Order on Strengthening National Resilience through Responsible Use of Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Services (source: U.S. Department of Transportation)

Statement from USDOT on Presidential Executive Order on Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (source: U.S. Department of Transportation)

President Issues Executive Order on Responsible Use of PNT Services (source: U.S. Office of Space Commerce)

White House Order to Make GPS Resilience Part of Federal Contract Requirements (source: Inside GNSS)

Executive Order requires resilience of critical PNT infrastructure (source: GPS World)

Trump signs order to test U.S. infrastructure’s vulnerability to GPS outage (source: Reuters)

Trump directs U.S. government agencies to protect critical infrastructure that relies on GPS (source: SpaceNews)

Trump signs executive order to guard critical infrastructure that relies on GPS (source: The Hill)

Trump wants US to be less reliant on GPS with new executive order (source: C4ISRNET)

Trump administration aims to protect GPS with new exec order (source: TechCrunch)

Executive order looks to safeguard GPS infrastructure (source: Federal Computer Week)

New Executive Orders for GPS, Space Council (source: SpacePolicyOnline.com)

EO seeks to secure services such as GPS (source: Politico)

White House Seeks to Strengthen Critical Infrastructure Resilience with Executive Order on PNT Services (source: ExecutiveGov.com)