GAO has called on the Federal Protective Service to produce more detailed analyses of security needs in buildings that agency protects, saying the current reports do not provide enough information for tenant agencies to decide on the recommendations.
The FPS, part of DHS, provides security service at some 9,000 facilities where federal agencies have a presence including actions such as routine security screening and responding to incidents. In discussion groups that GAO convened with representatives from 27 randomly selected facilities, “stakeholders expressed satisfaction with the professionalism of FPS personnel and commended FPS’s coordination in responding to law enforcement incidents.”
However, GAO said its review of security assessment reports on 27 facilities found that the reports “lacked information that could help stakeholders make decisions to accept or reject FPS’s recommendations.”
Missing information included the assumptions FPS made to produce the cost estimates and the sources FPS used to create the estimate. “In one report, for example, FPS recommended additional fencing and provided a cost estimate with an exact dollar amount. However, FPS did not document the assumptions it used to develop the estimate, such as the height and linear feet of fence or the fencing material,” it said.
“By providing detailed information about the cost estimates in facility security assessment reports, FPS could better inform stakeholders and potentially increase implementation of recommended security measures, designed to increase the safety of people and property at these facilities,” it said.
It said DHS concurred with that recommendation “but stated that clarifying cost estimates is unlikely to lead to increased adoption of security measures.” GAO said the department’s planned actions “while helpful, are not fully in line with the recommendation.”