The embattled Federal Protective Service (FPS) should take steps to standardize building security measures at federal facilities by working with the tenants of those buildings to define structures, operations, and accountability for their security committees, congressional investigators said August 5. FPS has been under attack in Congress in recent years for its reliance on a 15,000-strong contractor guard workforce to protect roughly 9,000 federal civilian buildings from criminal or terrorist attacks. Congress and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been weighing options to federalize those contractors in whole or in part to compensate for vast variances in their qualifications, training, and procedures. But FPS faces difficulties in collaboration with the General Services Administration (GSA), which owns and manages federal facilities, and federal agencies that occupy the buildings, noted the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a report, Homeland Security: Addressing Weaknesses with Facility Security Committees (FSCs) Would Enhance Protection of Federal Facilities. Each federal building has its own FSC, which is composed of FPS, GSA, and the building tenant agencies. Each committee sets security policy and funding for its building. This approach results in several weaknesses in building security at federal facilities, GAO concluded.
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