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April 30, 2015

Report: Federal Building Security Still Needs Improvement

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement in response to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report he requested on the securing of federal buildings by the Federal Protective Service (FPS) and United States Marshals Service (USMS).

In the report, entitled "Actions Needed to Better Manage Security Screening at Federal Buildings and Courthouses" (GAO-15-445), the GAO found that:

  • Many challenges exist in protecting these buildings – including a lack of resources and the need to balance security with access to the public.
  • FPS protective security officers passed covert tests at a low rate while FPS also reduced testing scenarios.
  • FPS and USMS reported wide variations in prohibited item record keeping, suggesting a lack of a unified policy and strategy. GAO recommended that the agencies develop and implement a strategy for using covert and intrusion testing, and prohibited-items data.

Congressman Thompson released the following statement with the report:

"This report is another in a line of many which show that FPS is lagging in ensuring our federal facilities across the nation are properly secured. We need to ensure that record keeping and testing procedures are properly uniform and robust. This is the only way to access security performance and therefore improve security screening. I am glad the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice agreed with the recommendations in the report."

Link to Report

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978