NERC has submitted a petition for approval, to the extent necessary, of modifications to the Compliance section of Reliability Standard CIP-014 and request for expedited action. This petition addresses a change in the Compliance section of the standard; no changes are proposed to the mandatory and enforceable sections. The Compliance section is included in NERC’s Reliability Standards template to identify the CEA, evidence retention requirements, and the compliance monitoring and assessment processes that NERC and the Regional Entities may use to monitor compliance with the standard. Neither the FPA, FERC regulations, nor the NERC ROP specify that changes to the non-mandatory sections of a Reliability Standard require Commission approval as they are for informational and guidance purposes only. Out of an abundance of caution and in recognition of FERC’s instruction to ensure that CIP-014 compliance evidence is protected from public disclosure, NERC is submitting the change to the Compliance section for Commission approval, to the extent necessary.
NERC included the “Additional Compliance Information” provision in the Compliance section of CIP-014 to address heightened concerns regarding the protection of CIP-014 evidence. The ERO Enterprise has determined, however, that it should no longer treat CIP-014 evidence any differently than other sensitive evidence it collects during its Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program (“CMEP”) activities. With the advent of the ERO Secure Evidence Locker (“SEL”), NERC has a highly secure means of collecting and analyzing CIP-014 evidence in the same manner as any other sensitive evidence collected as part of CMEP activities.