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entitled 'Homeland Security: The Federal Protective Service Faces 
Several Challenges That Hamper Its Ability to Protect Federal 
Facilities' which was released on June 18, 2008.

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United States Government Accountability Office: 
GAO: 

Report to Congressional Requesters: 

June 2008: 

Homeland Security: 

The Federal Protective Service Faces Several Challenges That Hamper Its 
Ability to Protect Federal Facilities: 

GAO-08-683: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-08-683, a report to congressional requesters. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

In 2003, the Federal Protective Service (FPS) transferred from the 
General Services Administration (GSA) to the Department of Homeland 
Security (DHS). FPS provides physical security and law enforcement 
services to about 9,000 GSA facilities. To accomplish its mission of 
protecting GSA facilities, FPS currently has an annual budget of about 
$1 billion, 1,100 employees, and 15,000 contract guards located 
throughout the country. Recently, FPS has faced several challenges 
protecting GSA facilities and federal employees. 

This report provides information and analysis on (1) FPSs operational 
challenges and actions it has taken to address them, (2) funding 
challenges FPS faces and actions it has taken to address them, and (3) 
how FPS measures the effectiveness of its efforts to protect GSA 
facilities. To address these objectives, we conducted site visits at 7 
of FPSs 11 regions and interviewed FPS, GSA, tenant agencies, and 
local law enforcement officials. 

What GAO Found: 

FPS faces several operational challenges that hamper its ability to 
accomplish its mission, and the actions it has taken may not fully 
resolve these challenges. FPSs staff decreased by about 20 percent 
between fiscal years 2004 and 2007. FPS has managed the decreases in 
its staffing resources in a manner that has diminished security at GSA 
facilities and increased the risk of crime or terrorist attacks at many 
GSA facilities. For example, with the exception of a few locations, FPS 
no longer provides proactive patrols at GSA facilities to detect and 
prevent criminal incidents and terrorism-related activities. FPS also 
continues to face problems with managing its contract guard program and 
ensuring that security countermeasures, such as security cameras and 
magnetometers, are operational. For example, according to FPS, it has 
investigated significant crimes at multiple high-risk facilities, but 
the security cameras installed in those buildings were not working 
properly, preventing FPS investigators from identifying the suspects. 
To address some of its operational challenges, FPS is moving to an 
inspector-based workforce, which seeks to eliminate the police officer 
position and rely primarily on FPS inspectors for both law enforcement 
and physical security activities. FPS believes that this change will 
ensure that its staff has the right mix of technical skills and 
training needed to accomplish its mission. FPS is also hiring an 
additional 150 inspectors and developing a new system for completing 
building security assessments. However, these actions may not fully 
resolve FPSs operational challenges because, for example, inspectors 
might not be able to fulfill both law enforcement and physical security 
roles simultaneously. 

FPS also faces funding challenges, and the actions it has taken to 
address them have had some adverse implications. To fund its 
operations, FPS charges each tenant agency fees for its security 
services. In fiscal years 2005 and 2006, FPSs projected expenses 
exceeded its collections and DHS had to transfer funds to make up the 
difference. FPS also instituted cost-saving measures such as 
restricting hiring and travel and limiting training and overtime. 
According to FPS, these measures have affected staff morale, safety and 
increased attrition. FPS has been authorized to increase the basic 
security fee four times since it transferred to DHS, currently charging 
tenant agencies 62 cents per square foot for basic security services. 
Because of these actions, FPSs collections in fiscal year 2007 were 
sufficient to cover costs, and FPS projects that collections will also 
cover costs in fiscal year 2008. However, FPSs primary means of 
funding its operationsthe basic security feedoes not account for the 
risk faced by specific buildings, the level of service provided, or the 
cost of providing services, raising questions about equity. Several 
stakeholders also expressed concern about whether FPS has an accurate 
understanding of its costs to provide security at federal facilities. 

FPS has developed output measures, but lacks outcome measures to assess 
the effectiveness of its efforts to protect federal facilities. Its 
output measures include determining whether security countermeasures 
have been deployed and are fully operational. However, FPS has not 
developed outcome measures to evaluate its efforts to protect federal 
facilities that could provide FPS with broader information on program 
results. FPS also lacks a reliable data management system for 
accurately tracking performance measures. Without such a system, it is 
difficult for FPS to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of its 
efforts, allocate its limited resources, or make informed risk 
management decisions. 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO recommends, among other things, that the Secretary of DHS direct 
the Director of FPS to develop and implement a strategic approach to 
better manage its staffing resources, evaluate current and alternative 
funding mechanisms, and develop appropriate measures to assess 
performance. DHS concurred with our recommendations. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-08-683]. For more 
information, contact Mark Goldstein at (202) 512-2834 or 
goldsteinm@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

FPS's Ability to Accomplish Its Mission Is Hampered by Operational 
Challenges and Its Actions May Not Fully Resolve These Challenges: 

FPS Has Taken Some Actions to Resolve Operational Challenges, but Its 
Actions May Not Fully Resolve These Challenges: 

FPS Faces Funding Challenges, and Its Actions to Address Them Have Had 
Adverse Implications: 

FPS Faces Limitations in Assessing Its Performance: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments: 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Homeland Security: 

Appendix III: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Figures: 

Figure 1: Composition of FPS Workforce, Fiscal Year 2007: 

Figure 2: Security Levels of FPS's Portfolio of 9,000 GSA Facilities: 

Figure 3: FPS's Projected Collections in Fiscal Year 2008 Total $230 
Million: 

Figure 4: FPS's Workforce, Fiscal Years 2004 through 2007: 

Figure 5: Composition of FPS's Workforce by Position, Fiscal Years 2004 
through 2007: 

Figure 6: FPS's Attrition Rates, Fiscal Years 2004 through 2007: 

Figure 7: Amount of Fees Collected by FPS, Fiscal Years 2006 through 
2009: 

Abbreviations: 

ACA: Assimilative Crimes Act: 

BSA: building security assessment: 

BSC: building security committee: 

COTR: contracting officer technical representative: 

DHS: Department of Homeland Security: 

DOJ: Department of Justice: 

FBI: Federal Bureau of Investigation: 

FPS: Federal Protective Service: 

FSRM: Federal Security Risk Manager: 

GSA: General Services Administration: 

ICE: Immigration and Customs Enforcement: 

OMB: Office of Management and Budget: 

PART: Performance Assessment Rating Tool: 

RAMP: Risk Assessment Management Program: 

SWA: Security Work Authorization: 

[End of section] 

United States Government Accountability Office:
Washington, DC 20548: 

June 11, 2008: 

Congressional Requesters: 

In 2003, the Federal Protective Service (FPS) transferred from the 
General Services Administration (GSA) to the Department of Homeland 
Security (DHS). It is responsible for providing physical security and 
law enforcement services to about 9,000 GSA facilities.[Footnote 1] 
Within DHS, FPS is part of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement 
(ICE) component, the largest investigative arm of DHS. FPS is fully 
funded by the security fees it collects from the agencies it protects 
and does not receive a separate appropriation. To accomplish its 
mission of protecting GSA facilities, FPS currently has an annual 
budget of about $1 billion, about 1,100 employees, and 15,000 contract 
guards located throughout the country. While there has not been a large-
scale attack on a domestic federal facility since the terrorist attacks 
of September 11, 2001, and the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah 
Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, ongoing terror threats and 
crime require that FPS effectively manage its resources to protect the 
over 1 million employees as well as members of the public that work in 
and visit GSA facilities each year. 

Recently, FPS has faced several challenges. Chief among them is 
ensuring that it has sufficient staffing and funding resources to 
accomplish its mission of protecting GSA facilities. It has also faced 
challenges in assessing the physical security of the facilities it 
protects and overseeing its contract guard program. To help address 
these challenges, in 2007, FPS adopted a new approach to protect GSA 
facilities. Under this approach, FPS plans to essentially eliminate its 
police officer position and mainly use inspectors and special agents to 
perform multiple law enforcement and physical security duties 
concurrently and will place more emphasis on physical security 
activities, such as completing building security assessments (BSA), and 
less emphasis on law enforcement activities, such as proactive patrol. 
In addition, while FPS plans to maintain a level of 15,000 contract 
guards, the majority of the guards are stationed at fixed posts, which 
they are not permitted to leave, and do not have arrest authority. 
These challenges have raised questions about FPS's ability to 
accomplish its facility protection mission. 

You requested that we review FPS's efforts to protect GSA facilities 
since it transferred to DHS. This report provides information and 
analysis on (1) FPS's operational challenges and actions it has taken 
to address them, (2) funding challenges FPS faces and actions it has 
taken to address them, and (3) how FPS measures the effectiveness of 
its efforts to protect GSA facilities. 

To determine operational challenges FPS may face in protecting GSA 
facilities and actions it has taken to address them, we conducted site 
visits at 7 of FPS's 11 regions, which have responsibility for 
protecting about 5,169, or about 58 percent, of the approximately 9,000 
buildings in FPS's portfolio. To select the regions, we considered the 
number of federal buildings in each region, geographic dispersion 
across the United States, the number of FPS employees in each region, 
and input from FPS and GSA officials. At these locations, we 
interviewed a total of 167 FPS police officers, inspectors, special 
agents, management, and support staff; 53 GSA regional management and 
security officials; representatives from 22 building security 
committees (BSC); and 8 local law enforcement agencies about FPS's 
efforts to protect federal employees, facilities, and the public. We 
also interviewed officials at FPS and GSA headquarters. We reviewed and 
analyzed laws related to jurisdictional issues at GSA facilities and 
FPS authority, and various FPS planning documents. We also analyzed FPS 
staffing data from fiscal years 2004 through 2007 to identify trends in 
staffing and attrition. To determine funding challenges FPS may face, 
we interviewed budget officials from the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB), ICE Office of the Chief Financial Officer, FPS, and GSA. 
We analyzed appropriation acts, the President's budget for FPS, and 
budget justifications for fiscal years 2004 through 2009. To determine 
how FPS measures the effectiveness of its efforts, we analyzed FPS's 
fiscal year 2008 through 2011 strategic plan and other reports, and 
interviewed officials from FPS's Risk Management Division. Because of 
the sensitivity of some of the information in this report, we cannot 
provide information about the specific locations of crimes or other 
incidents discussed. We conducted this performance audit from April 
2007 to June 2008 in accordance with generally accepted government 
auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform 
the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a 
reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit 
objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable 
basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 
See appendix I for further details about our methodology. 

Results in Brief: 

FPS continues to face several operational challenges that have hampered 
its ability to accomplish its mission to protect GSA facilities and the 
actions it has taken may not fully resolve these challenges. Since the 
transfer, while FPS has maintained 15,000 contract guards, its staff 
has decreased by about 20 percent, from almost 1,400 employees at the 
end of fiscal year 2004 to about 1,100 employees at the end of fiscal 
year 2007. This decrease in staff has contributed to diminished 
security and increased the risk of crime or terrorist attacks in many 
GSA facilities. For example, FPS has decreased or eliminated law 
enforcement services such as proactive patrol in many FPS locations. 
Reports issued by multiple government entities acknowledge the 
importance of proactive patrol in detecting and preventing criminal 
incidents and terrorism-related activities before they happen. 
Moreover, FPS has not resolved long-standing challenges, such as 
improving the oversight of its contract guard program. For example, one 
FPS regional official reported that some guard posts had not been 
inspected in 18 months, while another reported that some posts had not 
been inspected in over 1 year. In addition, FPS faces difficulties in 
ensuring the quality and timeliness of BSAs, which are a core component 
of FPS's mission. At one location, one regional supervisor stated that 
while reviewing a BSA for an address he personally visited, he realized 
that the inspector completing the BSA had not actually visited the site 
because the inspector referred to a large building when the actual site 
was a vacant plot of land owned by GSA. FPS has also experienced 
problems ensuring that security countermeasures, such as security 
cameras and magnetometers, are operational. For example, according to 
FPS, it has investigated significant crimes at multiple high-risk 
facilities, but the security cameras installed in those buildings were 
not working properly, preventing FPS investigators from identifying the 
suspects. To address some of its operational challenges, FPS is 
changing to an inspector-based workforce, seeking to eliminate the 
police officer position and rely primarily on FPS inspectors for both 
law enforcement and physical security activities. FPS believes that 
this change will ensure that its staff has the right mix of technical 
skills and training needed to accomplish its mission. FPS is also 
hiring an additional 150 inspectors and developing a new system for 
BSAs. However, these actions may not fully resolve the operational 
challenges FPS faces. For example, FPS's ability to provide law 
enforcement services under its inspector-based workforce approach may 
be diminished because FPS will rely on its inspectors to provide these 
services and physical security services simultaneously. Also, while the 
additional 150 FPS inspectors will increase FPS's staff to 1,200, this 
staffing level is still below the 1,279 employees FPS had at the end of 
fiscal year 2006, when, according to FPS officials, tenant agencies 
were experiencing a decrease in security services. 

FPS faces several funding challenges, and the actions it has taken to 
address them have had adverse implications. FPS's collections have not 
been sufficient to cover operational costs in recent years and FPS's 
primary means of funding its operations--the basic security fee--does 
not account for the risk faced by particular buildings, and depending 
on that risk, the level of service provided to tenant agencies or the 
cost of providing those services. To fund its operations, FPS charges 
each tenant agency fees for its security services. Since FPS 
transferred to DHS, its projected expenses exceeded its revenues by $70 
million in fiscal year 2005 and $57 million in fiscal year 2006. DHS 
and FPS have addressed these projected shortfalls in a variety of ways. 
For example, DHS transferred emergency supplemental funding, and FPS 
instituted a number of cost-saving measures to address its budgetary 
challenges, such as restricting hiring and travel, limiting training 
and overtime, and suspending employee performance awards. According to 
FPS officials, these measures have had a negative effect on staff 
morale, are partially responsible for FPS's high attrition rates, and 
could reduce the performance and safety of FPS personnel. FPS also 
increased the basic security fee charged to tenant agencies from 35 
cents per square foot in fiscal year 2005 to 62 cents per square foot 
in fiscal year 2008. Because of these actions, fiscal year 2007 was the 
first year FPS's collections were sufficient to cover its costs. FPS 
also projects that collections will cover its costs in fiscal year 
2008. However, FPS's basic security fee does not fully account for the 
risk faced by a particular building. For example, level I facilities 
may face less risk because they are typically small storefront-type 
operations with a low level of public contact. However, these 
facilities are charged the same basic security fee of 62 cents per 
square foot as a level IV facility that has a high volume of public 
contact, may contain high-risk law enforcement and intelligence 
agencies and highly sensitive government records. In addition, FPS's 
basic security fee raises questions about equity because it does not 
account for the level of service provided or the cost of those 
services. For example, a recent FPS workload study estimated that the 
agency spends about six times more hours providing services to higher- 
risk buildings than lower-risk buildings. A 2007 Booz Allen Hamilton 
report said FPS's cost of providing services does not align with the 
fees it charges customers, potentially resulting in some customers 
being overcharged. We have reported that basing government fees on the 
cost of providing a service promotes equity, especially when the cost 
of providing the service differs significantly among different users, 
as is the case with FPS. Finally, several stakeholders question whether 
FPS has an accurate understanding of the costs of providing security at 
GSA facilities. 

FPS is limited in its ability to assess the effectiveness of its 
efforts to protect GSA facilities. To determine how well it is 
accomplishing its mission to protect GSA facilities, FPS has identified 
some output measures that are a part of OMB's Performance Assessment 
Rating Tool. These measures include determining whether security 
countermeasures have been deployed and are fully operational, the 
amount of time it takes to respond to an incident, and the percentage 
of BSAs completed on time. Some of these measures are also included in 
FPS's federal facilities security index, which is used to assess its 
performance. However, FPS has not developed outcome measures to 
evaluate the net effect of its efforts to protect GSA facilities. While 
output measures are helpful, outcome measures are also important 
because they can provide FPS with broader information on program 
results, such as the extent to which its decision to move to an 
inspector-based workforce will enhance security at GSA facilities or 
help identify the security gaps that remain at GSA facilities and 
determine what action may be needed to address them. In addition, FPS 
does not have a reliable data management system that will allow it to 
accurately track these measures or other important measures such as the 
number of crimes and other incidents occurring at GSA facilities. 
Without such a system, it is difficult for FPS to evaluate and improve 
the effectiveness of its efforts to protect federal employees and 
facilities, allocate its limited resources, or make informed risk 
management decisions. According to FPS officials, the agency is in the 
process of developing a system that will allow it to better assess its 
efforts and expects to have the system fully implemented in 2011. 

To improve FPS's ability to address its operational and funding 
challenges and to ensure that it has useful performance measures and 
reliable information to assess the effectiveness of efforts to protect 
GSA facilities, we recommend that the Secretary of Homeland Security 
direct the Director of FPS to take the following six actions: 

* develop and implement a strategic approach to mange its staffing 
resources that, among other things, determines the optimum number of 
employees needed to accomplish its facility protection mission and 
allocate these resources based on risk management principles and the 
agency's goals and performance measures; 

* clarify roles and responsibilities of local law enforcement agencies 
in regard to responding to incidents at GSA facilities; 

* improve FPS's use of the fee-based system by developing a method to 
accurately account for the cost of providing security services to 
tenant agencies and ensuring that its pricing structure takes into 
consideration the varying levels of risk and service provided at GSA 
facilities; 

* evaluate whether FPS's current use of a fee-based system or an 
alternative funding mechanism is the most appropriate manner to fund 
its operations; 

* develop and implement specific guidelines and standards for measuring 
its performance, including outcome measures to assess its performance 
and improve the accountability of FPS; and: 

* improve how FPS categorizes, collects, and analyzes data to help it 
better manage and understand the results of its efforts to protect GSA 
facilities. 

We provided a draft of our report to DHS for review and comment. DHS 
concurred with our findings and recommendations. 

Background: 

As the primary federal agency that is responsible for protecting and 
securing GSA facilities and federal employees across the country, FPS 
has the authority to enforce federal laws and regulations aimed at 
protecting federally owned and leased properties and the persons on 
such property and, among other things, to conduct investigations 
related to offenses against the property and persons on the property. 
To protect the over 1 million federal employees and about 9,000 GSA 
facilities from the risk of terrorist and criminal attacks, in fiscal 
year 2007, FPS had about 1,100 employees, of which 541, or almost 50 
percent, were inspectors, as shown in figure 1.[Footnote 2] FPS also 
has about 15,000 contract guards. 

Figure 1: Composition of FPS Workforce, Fiscal Year 2007: 

[See PDF for image] 

This figure is a pie-chart depicting the following data: 

Composition of FPS Workforce, Fiscal Year 2007: 
Inspectors: 50%; 
Police officers: 19%; 
Agents: 9%; 
All others: 22%. 

Source: GAO analysis of FPS data. 

Note: "Inspectors" includes an unknown number of physical security 
specialists, who do not have law enforcement authority. "All others" 
include administrative and support staff. 

[End of figure] 

FPS inspectors[Footnote 3] are primarily responsible for: 

* responding to incidents and demonstrations, 

* overseeing contract guards, 

* completing BSAs for numerous buildings,[Footnote 4] 

* serving as contracting officer technical representatives (COTR) for 
guard contracts, 

* collecting and reviewing time cards for guards, and: 

* participating in tenant agencies' BSC meetings. 

FPS police officers are primarily responsible for: 

* patrolling GSA facilities, 

* responding to criminal incidents, 

* assisting in the monitoring of contract guards, and: 

* responding to demonstrations at GSA facilities and conducting basic 
criminal investigations. 

FPS physical security specialists, who do not have law enforcement 
authority, are responsible for: 

* completing BSAs, 

* participating in tenant agencies' BSC meetings, and: 

* assisting in the monitoring of contract guard services. 

Special agents are the lead entity within FPS for: 

* gathering intelligence for criminal and antiterrorist activities, 
and: 

* planning and conducting investigations relating to alleged or 
suspected violations of criminal laws against GSA facilities and their 
occupants. 

According to FPS, its 15,000 contract guards are used primarily to 
monitor facilities through fixed post assignments and access control. 
According to FPS policy documents, contract guards may detain 
individuals who are being seriously disruptive, violent, or suspected 
of committing a crime at a GSA facility, but do not have arrest 
authority. 

FPS provides law enforcement and physical security services to its 
customers. Law enforcement services provided by FPS include proactive 
patrol and responding to incidents in or around GSA facilities. 
[Footnote 5] Physical security services provided by FPS include the 
completion of BSAs, oversight of contract guards, participation in BSC 
meetings, and the recommendation of security countermeasures. The level 
of physical protection services FPS provides at each of the 
approximately 9,000 facilities varies depending on the facility's 
security level. To determine a facility's security level, FPS uses the 
Department of Justice's (DOJ) Vulnerability Assessment Guidelines, 
which are summarized below. 

* A level I facility has 10 or fewer federal employees, 2,500 or fewer 
square feet of office space, and a low volume of public contact or 
contact with only a small segment of the population. A typical level I 
facility is a small storefront-type operation, such as a military 
recruiting office. 

* A level II facility has between 11 and 150 federal employees; more 
than 2,500 to 80,000 square feet; a moderate volume of public contact; 
and federal activities that are routine in nature, similar to 
commercial activities. 

* A level III facility has between 151 and 450 federal employees, more 
than 80,000 to 150,000 square feet and a moderate to high volume of 
public contact. 

* A level IV facility has over 450 federal employees; more than 150,000 
square feet; a high volume of public contact; and tenant agencies that 
may include high-risk law enforcement and intelligence agencies, 
courts, judicial offices, and highly sensitive government records. 

* A Level V facility is similar to a Level IV facility in terms of the 
number of employees and square footage, but contains mission functions 
critical to national security. FPS does not have responsibility for 
protecting any level V buildings. 

On the basis of the DOJ Vulnerability Assessment Guidelines, FPS 
categorized the approximately 9,000 GSA facilities in its portfolio 
into five security levels, as shown in figure 2. 

Figure 2: Security Levels of FPS's Portfolio of 9,000 GSA Facilities: 

[See PDF for image] 

This figure is a pie-chart depicting the following data: 

Security Levels of FPS's Portfolio of 9,000 GSA Facilities: 
Level I: 26%; 
Level II: 52%; 
Level III: 8%; 
Level IV: 10%; 
Others: 4%. 

Source: GAO analysis of FPS data. 

Note: "Other" includes 364 level 0 buildings (4 percent of its 
portfolio), 11 level V facilities (0.12 percent of its portfolio), and 
two buildings with an unknown security level. 

[End of figure] 

FPS also follows DOJ guidance for completing BSAs.[Footnote 6] DOJ 
guidance states that BSAs are required to be completed every 2 to 4 
years, depending on the security level of the building. For example, a 
BSA for a level IV building is completed every 2 years and every 4 
years for a level I building. As part of each assessment, the inspector 
is required to conduct an on-site physical security analysis using 
FPS's Federal Security Risk Manager (FSRM) methodology and interview 
the Chairman and each member of the BSC, GSA realty specialists, 
designated officials of tenant agencies, site security supervisors, and 
building managers. After completing their assessments, inspectors make 
recommendations to the BSC for building security countermeasures. The 
BSC is responsible for approving the recommended countermeasures. In 
some cases, FPS has delegated the protection of facilities to tenant 
agencies, which may have their own law enforcement authority or may 
contract separately for guard services. 

FPS is a reimbursable organization and is fully funded by collecting 
security fees from tenant agencies. To fund its operations, FPS charges 
each tenant agency a basic security fee per square foot of space 
occupied in a GSA facility. In 2008, the basic security fee is 62 cents 
per square foot and covers services such as patrol, monitoring of 
building perimeter alarms, and dispatching of law enforcement response 
through its control centers, criminal investigations, and BSAs. FPS 
also collects an administrative fee it charges tenant agencies for 
building specific security services such as access control to 
facilities' entrances and exits; employee and visitor checks; and the 
purchase, installation, and maintenance of security equipment, 
including cameras, alarms, magnetometers, and X-ray machines. In 
addition to these security services, FPS provides agencies with 
additional services upon request, which are funded through reimbursable 
Security Work Authorizations (SWA), for which FPS charges an 
administrative fee. For example, agencies may request additional 
magnetometers or more advanced perimeter surveillance capabilities. 

While FPS's fiscal year 2008 annual budget totals $1 billion, for the 
purposes of this report we are focusing on the fees FPS estimates it 
will collect for the security services it provides to tenant 
agencies.[Footnote 7] For example, in fiscal year 2008, FPS estimates 
collections will total about $230 million, of which $187 million will 
be from its basic security services, $23 million from building specific 
services, and $20 million from SWAs, as shown in figure 3. 

Figure 3: FPS's Projected Collections in Fiscal Year 2008 Total $230 
Million: 

[See PDF for image] 

This figure is a pie-chart depicting the following data: 

FPS's Projected Collections in Fiscal Year 2008 Total $230 Million: 
Basic security fees: 81% ($187 million); 
Building specific fees: 10% ($23 million); 
Security work authorization fees: 9% ($20 million). 

Source: GAO analysis of FPS data. 

[End of figure] 

FPS's Ability to Accomplish Its Mission Is Hampered by Operational 
Challenges and Its Actions May Not Fully Resolve These Challenges: 

FPS currently faces several operational challenges, such as a decrease 
in staff, that make it difficult to accomplish its facility protection 
mission. This decrease in staff has affected FPS's ability to provide 
mission-critical services such as proactive patrol, contract guard 
oversight, and quality BSAs in a timely manner. FPS is taking steps to 
address these challenges. For example, FPS is moving to an inspector- 
based workforce, hiring 150 additional inspectors, and developing a new 
system to improve the quality and timeliness of BSAs. However, these 
actions may not fully resolve FPS's operational challenges. 

FPS's Staff Has Steadily Declined Since Transferring to DHS: 

Providing law enforcement and physical security services to GSA 
facilities is inherently labor intensive and requires effective 
management of available staffing resources. However, since transferring 
from GSA to DHS, FPS's staff has declined and the agency has managed 
its staffing resources in a manner that has diminished security at GSA 
facilities and increased the risk of crime or terrorist attacks at many 
GSA facilities. Specifically, FPS's staff has decreased by about 20 
percent, from almost 1,400 employees at the end of fiscal year 2004 to 
about 1,100 employees at the end of fiscal year 2007, as shown in 
figure 4, while the number of buildings FPS has responsibility for has 
increased from approximately 8,800 to about 9,000. Over 60 percent of 
the decrease in staffing occurred in fiscal year 2007, when FPS's staff 
decreased by about 170 employees because FPS offered voluntary early 
retirement, detailed assignments to other ICE and DHS components, and 
did not replace positions that were lost to attrition. In fiscal year 
2008, FPS initially planned to reduce its staff further. However, a 
provision in the 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act requires FPS to 
increase its staff to 1,200 by July 31, 2008.[Footnote 8] According to 
FPS's Director, the agency expects to meet this requirement. In 
addition, according to the Director of FPS, in fiscal year 2010 it 
plans to increase its staff to 1,450. 

Figure 4: FPS's Workforce, Fiscal Years 2004 through 2007: 

[See PDF for image] 

This figure is a line graph depicting the following data: 

FPS's Workforce, Fiscal Years 2004 through 2007: 

Fiscal year: 2004; 
Number of staff: 1384. 

Fiscal year: 2005; 
Number of staff: 1345. 

Fiscal year: 2006; 
Number of staff: 1279. 

Fiscal year: 2007; 
Number of staff: 1109. 

Source: Federal Protective Service. 

[End of figure] 

Between fiscal years 2004 and 2007, the number of employees in each 
position also decreased, with the largest decrease occurring in the 
police officer position. For example, the number of police officers 
decreased from 359 in fiscal year 2004 to 215 in fiscal year 2007, and 
the number of inspectors decreased from 600 in fiscal year 2004 to 541 
at the end of fiscal year 2007, as shown in figure 5. 

Figure 5: Composition of FPS's Workforce by Position, Fiscal Years 2004 
through 2007: 

[See PDF for image] 

This figure is a multiple line graph depicting the following data: 

Composition of FPS's Workforce by Position, Fiscal Years 2004 through 
2007: 

Fiscal year: 2004; 
Police Officers: 359; 
Inspectors: 600; 
Agents: 134; 
All others: 291. 

Fiscal year: 2005; 
Police Officers: 328; 
Inspectors: 612; 
Agents: 139; 
All others: 266. 

Fiscal year: 2006; 
Police Officers: 301; 
Inspectors: 585; 
Agents: 131; 
All others: 262. 

Fiscal year: 2007; 
Police Officers: 215; 
Inspectors: 541; 
Agents: 104; 
All others: 249. 

Source: Federal Protective Service. 

Note: "Inspectors" includes an unknown number of physical security 
specialists, who do not have law enforcement authority. "All others" 
include administrative and support staff. 

[End of figure] 

Critical Law Enforcement Services Have Been Reduced or Eliminated: 

At many facilities FPS has eliminated proactive patrol of GSA 
facilities to prevent or detect criminal violations. The FPS Policy 
Handbook states that patrol should be used to prevent crime and 
terrorist actions and delegates responsibility for determining the 
frequency and location of patrols to FPS's Regional Directors. The 
elimination of proactive patrol has a negative effect on security at 
GSA facilities because law enforcement personnel cannot effectively 
monitor individuals surveilling federal buildings, inspect suspicious 
vehicles (including potential vehicles for bombing federal buildings), 
and detect and deter criminal activity in and around federal buildings. 
While the number of contract guards employed in GSA facilities will not 
be decreased, most are stationed at fixed posts, which they are not 
permitted to leave, and do not have arrest authority. According to a 
FPS policy document, contract guards are authorized to detain 
individuals. However, according to some regional officials, some 
contract guards do not exercise their detention authority because of 
liability concerns. 

According to some FPS officials at regions we visited, not providing 
proactive patrol has limited its law enforcement personnel to a 
reactive force. In addition, FPS officials at several regions we 
visited said that proactive patrol has, in the past, allowed its police 
officers and inspectors to identify and apprehend individuals that were 
surveilling GSA facilities. In contrast, when FPS is not able to patrol 
federal buildings, there is increased potential for illegal entry and 
other criminal activity at federal buildings. For example, in one city 
we visited, a deceased individual had been found in a vacant GSA 
facility that was not regularly patrolled by FPS. FPS officials stated 
that the deceased individual had been inside the building for 
approximately 3 months. 

Reports issued by multiple government entities acknowledge the 
importance of proactive patrol in detecting and deterring terrorist 
surveillance teams, which frequently use information such as the 
placement of armed guards and proximity to law enforcement agency 
stations when choosing targets and planning attacks. These 
sophisticated surveillance and research techniques can be derailed by 
active law enforcement patrols in and around federal facilities. 
According to several inspectors and police officers in one FPS region, 
proactive patrol is important in their region because, in the span of 1 
year, there were 72 homicides within three blocks of a major federal 
office building and because most of the crime in their area takes place 
after hours, when there are no FPS personnel on duty. Tenant 
representatives in some regions we visited have noticed a decline in 
FPS's law enforcement presence in recent years and believe this has 
negatively affected security. For example, one tenant stated that FPS 
used to provide proactive patrols in the area at night and on weekends 
but stopped in early 2006. Most tenant representatives we interviewed 
believe that FPS's law enforcement function is highly valued and would 
like to see more police officers patrolling their facilities. 

In addition to eliminating proactive patrol, many FPS regions have 
reduced their hours of operation for providing law enforcement services 
in multiple locations, which has resulted in a lack of coverage when 
most federal employees are either entering or leaving federal buildings 
or on weekends when some facilities remain open to the public. 
Moreover, FPS police officers and inspectors in two cities explained 
that this lack of coverage has left some federal day care facilities 
vulnerable to loitering by homeless individuals and drug users. Some 
FPS police officers and inspectors also said that reducing hours has 
increased response time in some locations by as much as a few hours to 
a couple of days, depending on the location of the incident. For 
example, one consequence of reduced hours is that some police officers 
often have to travel from locations in another state in order to 
respond to incidents in both major metropolitan and rural locations. 

The decrease in FPS's duty hours has jeopardized police officer and 
inspector safety, as well as building security. Some FPS police 
officers and inspectors said that they are frequently in dangerous 
situations without any FPS backup because many FPS regions have reduced 
their hours of operation and overtime. In one region, FPS officials 
said that a public demonstration in a large metropolitan area required 
that all eight police officers and inspectors scheduled to work during 
the shift be deployed to the demonstration for crowd control. During 
the demonstration, however, two inspectors had to leave the 
demonstration to arrest a suspect at another facility; two more also 
left to respond to a building alarm. Four FPS personnel remained to 
cover the demonstration, a fact that contributed to an unsafe 
environment for FPS staff. 

Additionally, FPS has a decreased capacity to handle situations in 
which a large FPS presence is needed while maintaining day-to-day 
operations. For example, during a high-profile criminal trial, 
approximately 75 percent of one region's workforce was detailed to 
coordinate with local law enforcement agencies and other federal law 
enforcement agencies to provide perimeter security for a courthouse, 
leaving few FPS police officers and inspectors to respond to criminal 
incidents and other tenant needs in the rest of the region. This 
problem was also reported by inspectors in several other regions in the 
context of providing law enforcement at public demonstrations and 
criminal trials, which can occur frequently at some GSA facilities. 
According to FPS, in September 2007, it drafted a policy that created 
Crisis Response Teams, which will handle situations in which a large 
FPS presence is needed. 

Adequate Oversight of Contract Guard Program Remains a Challenge: 

Contract guard inspections are important for several reasons, including 
ensuring compliance with contract requirements, guards have up-to-date 
certifications for required training including firearms or cardio 
pulmonary resuscitation, and guards are completing assigned duties. FPS 
policy states that guard posts should be inspected frequently, and some 
FPS officials have stated that guard posts should be inspected once per 
month. However, some posts are inspected less than once per year, in 
part because contract guards are often posted in buildings hours or 
days away from the nearest FPS inspector. For example, one area 
supervisor reported guard posts that had not been inspected in 18 
months, while another reported posts that had not been inspected in 
over 1 year. In another region, FPS inspectors and police officers 
reported that managers told them to complete "2820" guard inspections 
over the telephone, instead of in person.[Footnote 9] In addition, when 
inspectors do perform guard inspections, they do not visit the post 
during each shift; consequently some guard shifts may never be 
inspected by an FPS official. As a result, some guards may be 
supervised exclusively by a representative of the contract guard 
company. Moreover, in one area we visited with a large FPS presence 
officials reported difficulty in getting to every post within the 
required 1-month period. We obtained a copy of a contract guard 
inspection schedule in one metropolitan city that showed 20 of 68 post 
inspections were completed for the month. 

Some tenant agencies have also noticed a decline in the level of guard 
oversight in recent years and believe this has led to poor performance 
on the part of some contract guards. For example, in one city, tenant 
representatives in a major federal building stated that many of the 
tenants complain about the quality of contract guard services because 
they do not have enough guidance from FPS inspectors, and as a result, 
there have been several security breaches, such as stolen property. 
According to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and GSA officials in 
one of the regions we visited, contract guards failed to report the 
theft of an FBI surveillance trailer worth over $500,000, even though 
security cameras captured the trailer being stolen while guards were on 
duty. The FBI did not realize it was missing until 3 days later. Only 
after the FBI started making inquiries did the guards report the theft 
to FPS and the FBI. During another incident, FPS officials reported 
contract guards--who were armed--taking no action as a shirtless 
suspect wearing handcuffs on one wrist ran through the lobby of a major 
federal building while being chased by an FPS inspector. In addition, 
one official reported that during an off-hours alarm call to a federal 
building, the official arrived to find the front guard post empty, 
while the guard's loaded firearm was left unattended in the unlocked 
post. We also personally witnessed an incident in which an individual 
attempted to enter a level IV facility with illegal weapons. According 
to FPS policies, contract guards are required to confiscate illegal 
weapons, detain and question the individual, and notify FPS. In this 
instance, the weapons were not confiscated, the individual was not 
detained or questioned, FPS was not notified, and the individual was 
allowed to leave with the weapons. 

Difficulties in Ensuring Quality and Timeliness of Building Security 
Assessments: 

Building security assessments, which are completed by both inspectors 
and physical security specialists, are the core component of FPS's 
physical security mission. However, ensuring the quality and timeliness 
of them is an area in which FPS continues to face challenges. Many 
inspectors in the seven regions we visited stated that they are not 
provided sufficient time to complete BSAs. For example, while FPS 
officials have stated that BSAs for level IV facilities should be 
completed in 2 to 4 weeks, several inspectors reported having only 1 or 
2 days to complete assessments for their buildings because of pressure 
from supervisors to complete BSAs as quickly as possible. For example, 
1 region is attempting to complete more than 100 BSAs by June 30, 2008, 
3 months earlier than required, because staff will be needed to assist 
with a large political event in the region. In addition, one inspector 
in this region reported having one day to complete site work for six 
BSAs in a predominately rural state in the region. Some regional 
supervisors have also found problems with the accuracy of BSAs. One 
regional supervisor reported that an inspector was repeatedly counseled 
and required to redo BSAs when supervisors found he was copying and 
pasting from previous BSAs. Similarly, one regional supervisor stated 
that in the course of reviewing a BSA for an address he had personally 
visited, he realized that the inspector completing the BSA had not 
actually visited the site because the inspector referred to a large 
building when the actual site was a vacant plot of land owned by GSA. 
According to FPS, the Director of FPS issued a memorandum in December 
2007 emphasizing the importance of conducting BSAs in an ethical 
manner. 

A 2006 report prepared by ICE's Office of Professional Responsibility 
on performance in one FPS region found that nearly all of the completed 
BSAs were missing interviews with required stakeholders and that 
Interagency Security Committee security design criteria were not used 
in the assessment of a preconstruction project as required. 
Additionally, several tenant agencies stated that they are using or 
plan to find contractors to complete additional BSAs because of 
concerns with the quality and timeliness of the assessments completed 
by FPS. Furthermore, we have previously reported that several DHS 
components are completing their own BSAs over and above the assessment 
completed by FPS because FPS's assessments are not always timely or 
lack quality. Similarly, many facilities have received waivers from FPS 
to enable the agencies to complete their own BSAs, and the lack of FPS 
personnel with top secret clearances has led to an increase in the 
number of agencies granted waivers for BSAs. 

Some GSA and FPS officials have stated that inspectors lack the 
training and physical security expertise to prepare BSAs according to 
the standards. Currently, inspectors receive instructions on how to 
complete BSAs as part of a 4-week course at the Federal Law Enforcement 
Training Center's Physical Security Training Program. However, many 
inspectors and supervisors in the regions we visited stated that this 
training is insufficient and that refresher training is necessary in 
order to keep inspectors informed about emerging technology, but this 
refresher training has not been provided in recent years. Regional GSA 
officials also stated that they believe the physical security training 
provided to inspectors is inadequate and that it has affected the 
quality of BSAs they receive. FPS officials have stated the Physical 
Security Training Program curriculum is currently being revised and the 
agency recently conducted a 1-week physical security refresher course 
in one region and plans to conduct this training in three others. 

FPS's ability to ensure the quality and timeliness of BSAs is also 
complicated by challenges with the current risk assessment tool. We 
have previously reported that there are three primary concerns with the 
FSRM system, the tool FPS currently uses to conduct BSAs. First, it 
does not allow FPS to compare risks from building to building so that 
security improvements to buildings can be prioritized. Second, current 
risk assessments need to be categorized more precisely. According to 
FPS, too many BSAs are categorized as high or low, which does not allow 
for a refined prioritization of security improvements. Third, FSRM does 
not allow for tracking the implementation status of security 
recommendations based on assessments.[Footnote 10] 

Some Security Countermeasures Have Not Been Maintained: 

According to FPS, GSA, and tenant agency officials in the regions we 
visited, some of the security countermeasures, such as security 
cameras, magnetometers, and X-ray machines at some facilities, as well 
as some FPS radios and BSA equipment, have been broken for months or 
years and are poorly maintained. At one level IV facility, FPS and GSA 
officials stated that 11 of 150 security cameras were fully functional 
and able to record images. Similarly, at another level IV facility, a 
large camera project designed to expand and enhance an existing camera 
system was put on hold because FPS did not have the funds to complete 
the project. FPS officials stated that broken cameras and other 
security equipment can negate the deterrent effect of these 
countermeasures as well as eliminate their usefulness as an 
investigative tool. For example, according to FPS, it has investigated 
significant crimes at multiple level IV facilities, but the security 
cameras installed in those buildings were not working properly, 
preventing FPS investigators from identifying the suspects. 

Complicating this issue, FPS officials, GSA officials, and tenant 
representatives stated that additional countermeasures are difficult to 
implement because they require approval from BSCs, which are composed 
of representatives from each tenant agency who generally are not 
security professionals. In some of the buildings that we visited, 
security countermeasures were not implemented because BSC members 
cannot agree on what countermeasures to implement or are unable to 
obtain funding from their agencies. For example, a FPS official in a 
major metropolitan city stated that over the last 4 years inspectors 
have recommended 24-hour contract guard coverage at one high-risk 
building located in a high crime area multiple times, however, the BSC 
is not able to obtain approval from all its members. In addition, 
several FPS inspectors stated that their regional managers have 
instructed them not to recommend security countermeasures in BSAs if 
FPS would be responsible for funding the measures because there is not 
sufficient money in regional budgets to purchase and maintain the 
security equipment. 

FPS Has Taken Some Actions to Resolve Operational Challenges, but Its 
Actions May Not Fully Resolve These Challenges: 

FPS is taking steps to address the operational challenges it faces. For 
example, FPS is implementing a plan to move to an inspector-based 
workforce, hiring 150 additional inspectors, and plans to develop and 
implement a new system to improve the quality and timeliness of BSAs. 
However, these actions may not fully resolve its operational challenges 
because, for example, some inspectors may not be able to perform both 
law enforcement and physical security duties simultaneously. 

FPS Is Implementing an Inspector-Based Workforce Approach: 

In 2007, FPS decided to adopt an inspector-based workforce approach to 
protect GSA facilities. According to FPS, this approach will provide it 
with the capabilities and flexibility to perform law enforcement and 
physical security services. Under the inspector-based workforce 
approach, the composition of FPS's workforce will change from a 
combination of inspectors and police officers to mainly inspectors; FPS 
will place more emphasis on physical security, such as BSAs, and less 
emphasis on the law enforcement part of its mission; contract guards 
will continue to be the front-line defense for protection at GSA 
facilities; and there will be a continued reliance on local law 
enforcement. According to FPS, this approach will allow it to focus on 
enforcing the Interagency Security Committee's security standards, 
complete BSAs in a timely manner, manage the contract guard program, 
and test security standards. While FPS's current workforce includes 
police officers, inspectors, criminal investigators/special agents, and 
support staff; police officers will be phased out under FPS's new 
approach. Inspectors will be required to complete law enforcement 
activities such as patrolling and responding to incidents at GSA 
facilities in addition to their physical security activities. Special 
agents will continue to be responsible for conducting investigations. 
According to FPS, an inspector-based workforce will help it to achieve 
its strategic goals such as ensuring that its staff has the right mix 
of technical skills and training needed to accomplish its mission and 
building effective relationships with its stakeholders. 

The inspector-based workforce approach presents some additional 
challenges for FPS and may exacerbate some of its long-standing 
challenges. For example, the approach does not emphasize law 
enforcement responsibilities, such as proactive patrol. In addition, 
having inspectors perform both law enforcement and physical security 
duties simultaneously may prevent some inspectors from responding to 
criminal incidents in a timely manner and patrolling federal buildings. 
For example, some officials stated that if inspectors are in a meeting 
with tenants, it will take them more time to get in their vehicle and 
drive to respond to an incident than it would for a police officer who 
is already in a car or on the street patrolling and that given the 
difficulty with scheduling meetings with BSCs, inspectors may decide 
not to respond to a nonviolent or non-emergency situation at another 
facility. However, according to FPS headquarters officials, if 
MegaCenter protocols are followed, this situation will not occur 
because another inspector would be called to respond to the incident. 

In April 2007, a DHS official and several FPS inspectors testified 
before Congress that FPS's inspector-based workforce will require 
increased reliance on state and local law enforcement agencies for 
assistance with crime and other incidents at GSA facilities and that 
FPS would seek to enter into memorandums of agreement with local law 
enforcement agencies. However, according to FPS's Director, the agency 
recently decided not to pursue memorandums of agreement with local law 
enforcement agencies, in part because of reluctance on the part of 
local law enforcement officials to sign such memorandums and because 96 
percent of the properties in FPS's inventory are listed as concurrent 
jurisdiction facilities where both federal and state governments have 
jurisdiction over the property. Under the Assimilative Crimes Act 
(ACA), state law may be assimilated to fill gaps in federal criminal 
law where the federal government has concurrent jurisdiction with the 
state.[Footnote 11] For properties with concurrent jurisdiction, both 
FPS and state and local law enforcement officers and agents are 
authorized to enforce state laws. FPS police officers, inspectors, and 
agents are also authorized by law to enforce federal laws and 
regulations for the protection of persons and property regarding 
property owned or occupied by the federal government, but state and 
local law enforcement officials would have no authority to enforce 
federal laws and regulations.[Footnote 12] 

As an alternative to memorandums of agreement, according to FPS's 
Director, the agency will rely on the informal relationships that exist 
between local law enforcement agencies and FPS. However, whether this 
type of relationship will provide FPS with the type of assistance it 
will need under the inspector-based workforce is unknown. 
Representatives of seven of the eight local law enforcement agencies we 
visited were unaware of decreases in FPS's workforce or its transition 
to an all-inspector workforce. Officials from five of the eight local 
law enforcement agencies we interviewed stated that their agencies did 
not have the capacity to take on the additional job of responding to 
incidents at federal buildings and stated that their departments were 
already strained for resources. Many of the FPS officials in the seven 
regions we visited also expressed concern about the potential lack of 
capacity on the part of local law enforcement. One regional FPS 
official, for example, reported that there have been incidents in which 
local law enforcement authorities refused to respond to certain types 
of calls, especially in one of the major cities in the region. 

The Secretary of Homeland Security is authorized by law to utilize the 
facilities and services of federal, state, and local law enforcement 
agencies with the consent of the agencies when the Secretary determines 
it to be economical and in the public interest.[Footnote 13] However, 
one local law enforcement official stated that even if the federal 
government were to reimburse the local law enforcement agency for 
services, the police department would not be able to hire and train 
enough staff to handle the extra responsibilities. Three local law 
enforcement agencies stated that they did not know enough about FPS's 
activities in the area to judge their department's ability to take over 
additional responsibility for FPS at GSA facilities. In addition, many 
FPS and local law enforcement officials in the regions we visited 
stated that jurisdictional authority would pose a significant barrier 
to gaining the assistance of local law enforcement agencies. Local law 
enforcement representatives also expressed concerns about being 
prohibited from entering GSA facilities with service weapons, 
especially courthouses.[Footnote 14] Similarly, local law enforcement 
officials in a major U.S. city stated that they cannot make an arrest 
or initiate a complaint on federal property, so they have to wait until 
a FPS officer or inspector arrives. FPS officials and local law 
enforcement agencies have cited confusion over the law as one reason 
for jurisdictional difficulties. 

FPS also provides facility protection to approximately 400 properties 
where the federal government maintains exclusive federal jurisdiction. 
Under exclusive federal jurisdiction, the federal government has all of 
the legislative authority within the land area in question and the 
state has no residual police powers. The ACA also applies to properties 
with exclusive federal jurisdiction, but unlike properties with 
concurrent jurisdiction, state and local law enforcement officials are 
not authorized to enforce state and local laws. Furthermore, like those 
properties with concurrent federal jurisdiction, state and local law 
enforcement officials would have no authority to enforce federal laws 
and regulations. Even if the Secretary of Homeland Security utilized 
the facilities and services of state and local law enforcement 
agencies, according to ICE's legal counsel, state and local law 
enforcement officials would only be able to assist FPS in functions 
such as crowd and traffic control, monitoring law enforcement 
communications and dispatch, and training. 

FPS Plans to Hire Additional Inspectors: 

In the 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Congress included a 
provision requiring FPS to employ no fewer than 1,200 employees, 900 of 
which must be law enforcement personnel. To comply with this 
legislation, FPS is in the process of recruiting an additional 150 
inspectors to reach the mandated staffing levels. These inspectors will 
be assigned to 8 of FPS's 11 regions. According to the Director of FPS, 
the addition of 150 inspectors to its current workforce will allow FPS 
to resume providing proactive patrol and 24-hour presence based on risk 
and threat levels at some facilities. However, these additional 150 
inspectors will not have an impact on the 3 regions that will not 
receive them. In addition, while this increase will help FPS to achieve 
its mission, this staffing level is still below the 1,279 employees 
that FPS had at the end of fiscal year 2006, when, according to FPS 
officials, tenant agencies experienced a decrease in service. In 
addition, in 2006, FPS completed a workforce study that recommended an 
overall staffing level of more than 2,700, including about 1,800 
uniformed law enforcement positions (inspectors and police officers). 
According to this study, with 1,800 law enforcement positions FPS 
could, among other things, provide 24-hour patrol in 23 metropolitan 
areas, perform weekly guard post inspections, allow time for training, 
and participate on BSCs. 

FPS Is Developing a New System for Completing BSAs: 

FPS's Risk Management Division is in the process of developing a new 
tool referred to as the Risk Assessment Management Program (RAMP) to 
replace its current system (FSRM) for completing BSAs.[Footnote 15] 
According to FPS, a pilot version of RAMP is expected to be rolled out 
in fiscal year 2009. RAMP will be accessible to inspectors via a secure 
wireless connection anywhere in the United States and will guide them 
through the process of completing a BSA to ensure that standardized 
information is collected on all GSA facilities. According to FPS, once 
implemented, RAMP will provide inspectors with accurate information 
that will enable them to make more informed and defensible 
recommendations for security countermeasures. FPS also anticipates that 
RAMP will allow inspectors to obtain information from one source, 
generate reports automatically, enable the agency to track selected 
countermeasures throughout their life cycle, address some issues with 
the subjectivity of BSAs, and reduce the amount of time spent on 
administrative work by inspectors and managers. 

FPS Faces Funding Challenges, and Its Actions to Address Them Have Had 
Adverse Implications: 

FPS's collections have not been sufficient to cover its projected 
operational costs in recent years, and FPS has faced projected 
shortfalls twice in the last 4 years. While FPS has taken actions to 
address these gaps, its actions have had adverse implications, 
including low morale among staff, increased attrition, and the loss of 
institutional knowledge as well as difficulties in recruiting new 
staff. Also, FPS's primary means of funding its operations--the basic 
security fee--does not account for the risk faced by particular 
buildings and, depending on that risk, the level of service provided to 
tenant agencies or the cost of providing those services. 

FPS's Collections Have Not Been Sufficient to Cover Operational Costs: 

FPS funds its operations through the collection of security fees 
charged to tenant agencies for security services. However, these fees 
have not been sufficient to cover its operational costs in recent 
years. FPS has addressed this gap in a variety of ways. When FPS was 
located at GSA it received additional funding from the Federal 
Buildings Fund to cover the gap between collections and costs.[Footnote 
16] For example, in fiscal year 2003, the Federal Buildings Fund 
provided for the approximately $140 million difference between FPS's 
collections and costs. Also, the first year after the transfer to DHS, 
fiscal year 2004, FPS needed $81 million from the Federal Buildings 
Fund to cover the difference between collections and the cost of 
operations. While fiscal year 2004 was the last year funding from the 
Federal Buildings Fund was available to support FPS, the agency 
continued to experience budgetary challenges because of the gap between 
operational costs and fee collections, and also because of increases in 
its support costs after the transfer to DHS.[Footnote 17] 

In fiscal year 2005, FPS was authorized to increase the basic security 
fee from 30 cents per square foot to 35 cents per square foot, 
providing approximately $15 million in additional collections.[Footnote 
18] However, FPS's collections were projected to be $70 million short 
of its operational costs that year. To make up for the projected 
shortfall and to avoid a potential Anti-deficiency Act violation, FPS 
instituted a number of cost-saving measures that included restricted 
hiring and travel, limited training and overtime, and no employee 
performance awards. Similarly, in fiscal year 2006, FPS faced another 
projected shortfall of $57 million. To address this projected 
shortfall, FPS maintained existing cost savings measures and DHS had to 
transfer $29 million in emergency supplemental funding to FPS. DHS's 
Acting Undersecretary for Management stated that this funding was 
necessary to avoid a shortfall in fiscal year 2006, and to ensure that 
security at GSA facilities would not be jeopardized. 

In fiscal year 2007, FPS continued its cost-saving measures, which 
resulted in approximately $27 million in savings, and increased the 
basic security fee from 35 cents per square foot to 39 cents per square 
foot. Because of these actions, fiscal year 2007 was the first year 
that FPS did not face a projected shortfall. However, according to a 
FPS memo to the DHS Chief Financial Officer, FPS had recommended 
increasing the basic security fee to 49 cents per square foot in fiscal 
year 2007. The memo also stated that the increase was needed to avoid a 
dramatic reduction in the level of security provided at GSA facilities. 
A basic security fee of 49 cents per square foot in fiscal year 2007 
would have provided approximately $30 million in additional 
collections, which might have negated the need to implement cost-saving 
measures for that year. In addition, Booz Allen Hamilton reported that 
the basic security fees for fiscal years 2006 and 2007 were too low to 
recover FPS's costs of providing security and stated that they should 
have been about 25 cents more per square foot, or about 60 cents per 
square foot.[Footnote 19] In fiscal year 2008, the basic security fee 
increased to 62 cents per square foot, and FPS is projecting that the 
fee will be sufficient to cover its operational costs and that it will 
not have to implement any cost-saving measures, although a FPS official 
noted that the loss of staff in recent years has helped decrease its 
operational costs. In fiscal year 2009, FPS's basic security fees will 
increase to 66 cents per square foot, which represents the fourth time 
FPS has increased the basic security fee since transferring to DHS. 

FPS's Actions to Address Budgetary Challenges Have Had Adverse 
Implications: 

According to FPS, its cost-saving measures have also had adverse 
implications, including low morale among staff, increased attrition and 
the loss of institutional knowledge, as well as difficulties in 
recruiting new staff. In addition, several FPS police officers and 
inspectors said that overwhelming workloads, uncertainty surrounding 
their job security, and a lack of equipment have diminished morale 
within the agency. These working conditions could affect the 
performance and safety of FPS personnel. FPS officials said the agency 
has lost many of its most experienced law enforcement staff in recent 
years, and several police officers and inspectors said they were 
actively looking for new jobs outside FPS. For example, FPS reports 
that 73 inspectors, police officers, and physical security specialists 
left the agency in fiscal year 2006, representing about 65 percent of 
the total attrition in the agency for that year. Attrition rates have 
steadily increased from fiscal years 2004 to 2007, as shown in figure 
6. The attrition rate for the inspector position has increased, despite 
FPS's plan to move to an inspector-based workforce. FPS officials said 
its cost-saving measures have helped the agency address projected 
revenue shortfalls and have been eliminated in fiscal year 2008. In 
addition, according to FPS, these measures will not be necessary in 
fiscal year 2009 because the basic security fee was increased and 
staffing has decreased. 

Figure 6: FPS's Attrition Rates, Fiscal Years 2004 through 2007: 

[See PDF for image] 

This figure is a multiple line graph depicting the following data: 

FPS's Attrition Rates, Fiscal Years 2004 through 2007: 

Fiscal year: 2004; 
Total Attrition rate: 0.65%; 
Officer Attrition rate: 0.56%; 
Inspector Attrition rate: 0.83%. 

Fiscal year: 2005; 
Total Attrition rate: 7.14%; 
Officer Attrition rate: 5.49%; 
Inspector Attrition rate: 5.72%. 

Fiscal year: 2006; 
Total Attrition rate: 8.76%; 
Officer Attrition rate: 10.96%; 
Inspector Attrition rate: 6.84%. 

Fiscal year: 2007; 
Total Attrition rate: 14.16%; 
Officer Attrition rate: 16.28%; 
Inspector Attrition rate: 11.28%. 

Source: GAO analysis of FPS data. 

Note: "Inspectors" includes an unknown number of physical security 
specialists, who do not have law enforcement authority. "Total 
attrition" includes inspectors, police officers, physical security 
specialists, special agents, and administrative and support staff. 

[End of figure] 

FPS's Basic Security Fee Does Not Account for Risk and Raises Questions 
about Equity: 

FPS's primary means of funding its operations is the fee it charges 
tenant agencies for basic security services, as shown in figure 7. 

Figure 7: Amount of Fees Collected by FPS, Fiscal Years 2006 through 
2009: 

[See PDF for image] 

This figure is a stacked vertical bar graph depicting the following 
data: 

Amount of Fees Collected by FPS, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2009: 

Year: 2006; 
Basic security fees: $112 million; 
Building specific fees: $42 million; 
Security work authorization fees: $53 million; 
Total fees: $207 million. 

Year: 2007; 
Basic security fees: $128 million; 
Building specific fees: $44 million; 
Security work authorization fees: $50 million; 
Total fees: $222 million. 

Year: 2008; 
Basic security fees: $187 million; 
Building specific fees: $23 million; 
Security work authorization fees: $20 million; 
Total fees: $230 million. 

Year: 2009; 
Basic security fees: $190 million; 
Building specific fees: $24 million; 
Security work authorization fees: $20 million; 
Total fees: $234 million. 

Source: FPS. 

Note: Figures do not include pass through funding. Fiscal years 2008 
and 2009 are projections. 

[End of figure] 

However, this fee does not fully account for the risk faced by 
particular buildings or the level of basic security services provided, 
and does not reflect the actual cost of providing services. Some of the 
basic security services covered by this fee include law enforcement 
activities at GSA facilities, preliminary investigations, the capture 
and detention of suspects, and BSAs, among other services. In fiscal 
year 2008, FPS charged 62 cents per square foot for basic security and 
has been authorized to increase the rate to 66 cents per square foot in 
fiscal year 2009. FPS charges federal agencies the same basic security 
fee regardless of the perceived threat to that particular building or 
agency. Although FPS categorizes buildings according to security levels 
based on its assessment of the building's risk and size, it does not 
affect the security fee charged by FPS. For example, level I facilities 
typically face less risk because they are generally small storefront- 
type operations with a low level of public contact, such as a small 
post office or Social Security Administration office. However, these 
facilities are charged the same basic security fee of 62 cents per 
square foot as a level IV facility that has a high volume of public 
contact and may contain high-risk law enforcement and intelligence 
agencies and highly sensitive government records. 

In addition, FPS's basic security rate has raised questions about 
equity because federal agencies are required to pay the fee regardless 
of the level of service it provides or the cost of providing the 
service. For instance, in some of the regions we visited, FPS officials 
described situations where staff are stationed hundreds of miles from 
buildings under its responsibility, with many of these buildings rarely 
receiving services from FPS staff and relying mostly on local law 
enforcement agencies for law enforcement services. However, FPS charges 
these tenant agencies the same basic security fees as buildings in 
major metropolitan areas where numerous FPS police officers and 
inspectors are stationed and are available to provide security 
services. Consequently, FPS's cost of providing services is not 
reflected in its basic security charges. For instance, a June 2006 FPS 
workload study estimating the amount of time spent on various security 
services showed differences in the amount of resources dedicated to 
buildings at various security levels. The study said that FPS staff 
spend approximately six times more hours providing security services to 
higher-risk buildings (levels III and IV buildings) compared to lower- 
risk buildings (levels I and II buildings). In addition, a 2007 Booz 
Allen Hamilton report of FPS's operational costs found that FPS does 
not link the actual cost of providing basic security services with the 
security fees it charges tenant agencies. The report recommends 
incorporating a security fee that takes into account the complexity or 
the level of effort of the service being performed for the higher-level 
security facilities. The report states that FPS's failure to consider 
the costs of protecting buildings at varying risk levels could result 
in some tenants being overcharged. We also have reported that basing 
government fees on the cost of providing a service promotes equity, 
especially when the cost of providing the service differs significantly 
among different users, as is the case with FPS.[Footnote 20] 

Changes in FPS's security fees have also had adverse implications for 
agencies, specifically the frequent late notifications about rate 
increases. In the last 3 years, FPS has increased its rates but has not 
notified agencies of these increases until late in the federal budget 
cycle. According to an official from ICE's Office of the Chief 
Financial Officer, FPS is required to announce its basic security fee 
at the same time GSA announces its rent charges, which are typically 
set by June 1 of the preceding year. However, since transferring to 
DHS, FPS has not complied with this schedule. For example, FPS 
announced that its administrative security fees for fiscal year 2007 
would increase from 8 percent to 15 percent several months after tenant 
agencies received their annual appropriation for 2007. In March of 
fiscal year 2008, FPS announced that the basic security fee for fiscal 
year 2008 would increase from 57 cents per square foot to 62 cents per 
square foot and that the increase would be retroactive. Consequently, 
most tenant agencies have to fund these unexpected increases outside of 
the federal budget cycle. GSA officials said this would have a 
significant impact on many federal agencies, causing them to divert 
funds from operational budgets to account for this unexpected increase 
in cost. 

Several Stakeholders Have Expressed Concern about FPS's Ability to 
Determine Its Costs of Providing Security Services: 

Several stakeholders have raised questions about whether FPS has an 
accurate understanding of the cost of providing security at GSA 
facilities. An official from ICE's Office of the Chief Financial 
Officer said FPS has experienced difficulty in estimating its costs 
because of inaccurate cost data. In addition, OMB officials said they 
have asked FPS to develop a better cost-accounting system in past 
years. The 2007 Booz Allen Hamilton report found that FPS does not have 
a methodology to assign costs to its different security activities and 
that it should begin capturing the cost of providing various security 
services to better plan, manage, and budget its resources. We have also 
previously cited problems with ICE's and FPS's financial system, 
including problems associated with tracking expenditures.[Footnote 21] 
We also have previously reported on the importance of having accurate 
cost information for budgetary purposes and to set fees and prices for 
services. We have found that without accurate cost information, it is 
difficult for agencies to determine if fees need to be increased or 
decreased, accurately measure performance, and improve efficiency. 
Also, federal accounting standards and the Chief Financial Officers Act 
of 1990 require agencies to maintain accurate cost data and set 
standards for federal agencies that include requirements for 
determining and reporting on the full costs of government services. 

FPS Faces Limitations in Assessing Its Performance: 

To determine how well it is accomplishing its mission to protect GSA 
facilities, FPS has identified some output measures that are a part of 
OMB's Performance Assessment Rating Tool. These measures include 
determining whether security countermeasures have been deployed and are 
fully operational, the amount of time it takes to respond to an 
incident, and the percentage of BSAs completed on time. Some of these 
measures are also included in FPS's federal facilities security index, 
which is used to assess its performance. However, FPS has not developed 
outcome measures to evaluate the net effect of its efforts to protect 
GSA facilities. While output measures are helpful, outcome measures are 
also important because they can provide FPS with broader information on 
program results, such as the extent to which its decision to move to an 
inspector-based workforce will enhance security at GSA facilities or 
help identify the security gaps that remain at GSA facilities and 
determine what action may be needed to address them. The Government 
Performance and Results Act requires federal agencies to, among other 
things, measure agency performance in achieving outcome-oriented goals. 
Measuring performance allows organizations to track the progress they 
are making toward their goals and gives managers critical information 
on which to base decisions for improving their progress. In addition, 
we and other federal agencies have maintained that adequate and 
reliable performance measures are a necessary component of effective 
management. We have also found that performance measures should provide 
agency managers with timely, action-oriented information in a format 
conducive to helping them make decisions that improve program 
performance, including decisions to adjust policies and priorities. 
However, FPS does not appear to be using these key management practices 
to manage its security program. 

FPS is also limited in its ability to assess the effectiveness of its 
efforts to protect GSA facilities, in part because it does not have a 
data management system that will allow it to provide complete and 
accurate information on its security program. Without a reliable data 
management system, it is difficult for FPS and others to determine the 
effectiveness of its efforts to protect GSA facilities or for FPS to 
accurately track and monitor incident response time, effectiveness of 
security countermeasures, and whether BSAs are completed on time. 

Currently, FPS primarily uses Web Records Management System (WebRMS) 
and Security Tracking System (STS) to track and monitor output 
measures. These output measures include FPS's efficiency in response to 
calls for law enforcement assistance; determining whether appropriate 
security countermeasures have been recommended, deployed, and are fully 
operational; and to what extent BSAs are completed on time.[Footnote 
22] However, FPS acknowledged that there are weaknesses with these 
systems that make it difficult to accurately track and monitor these 
output measures. For example, according to FPS, STS, which is used to 
track security countermeasures, does not allow for tracking the 
implementation status of recommended countermeasures, such as security 
cameras, bollards, or X-ray machines. Without this ability, FPS has 
difficulty determining whether it has mitigated the risk of GSA 
facilities to crime or a terrorist attack. 

In addition, according to many FPS officials at the seven regions we 
visited, the data maintained in WebRMS may not be a reliable and 
accurate indicator of crimes and other incidents for several reasons. 
First, because FPS does not write an incident report for every 
incident, not all incidents are entered in WebRMS. Second, according to 
FPS, there are many incidents phoned into the MegaCenter that would not 
show up in WebRMS because FPS police officers or inspectors did not 
complete the report. Third, the types and definitions of prohibited 
items vary not only region by region, but also building by building. 
For example, a can of pepper spray may be prohibited in one building, 
but allowed in another building in the same region. Standard guidelines 
and definitions would minimize the amount of subjectivity that police 
officers and inspectors may apply when deciding how and what types of 
information to enter in WebRMS. Finally, according to FPS, having fewer 
police officers has decreased the total number of crime and incident 
reports entered in WebRMS because there is less time spent on law 
enforcement activities. The officials in one FPS region we visited 
stated that 2 years ago there were 25,000 reports filed through WebRMS. 
However, this year they are projecting about 10,000 reports because 
there are fewer FPS police officers to respond to an incident and write 
a report if necessary. 

FPS officials also stated that inspectors and police officers often 
have to enter the same information into multiple data systems, leading 
to a greater risk for human error, such as transposing numbers, 
affecting the accuracy of the data. Our past work has shown that when 
data management systems are not integrated and compatible, excessive 
use of resources and inconsistent analysis of program results can 
occur. 

FPS has recognized the need to improve its current data management 
systems. As mentioned earlier, FPS is developing RAMP and expects it to 
be fully operational in 2011. According to FPS, the development and 
implementation of RAMP will provide it with an integrated system and a 
set of standard guidelines to use when collecting information, such as 
the types and definition of incidents and incident response times. FPS 
is also planning to procure a computer-assisted dispatch system for use 
at its MegaCenters, which will help to improve its ability to 
accurately track, analyze, and report crime and other incidents. 

Conclusions: 

Providing law enforcement and physical security support services to GSA 
facilities requires effective management of available staffing and 
funding resources. Since FPS transferred to DHS, its understanding of 
its staffing needs has changed frequently, and it is unclear whether 
the agency has an accurate estimate of the number of employees needed 
to achieve its mission. While FPS has taken some actions to address the 
operational and funding challenges it faces, many of these actions may 
not fully resolve these challenges. For example, FPS currently is in 
the process of changing to an all-inspector workforce and adding 150 
inspectors to its workforce. The additional inspectors could have a 
positive impact on the eight regions where they will be assigned. 
However, it may not enhance FPS's ability to provide law enforcement 
services such as proactive patrol and 24-hour response to GSA 
facilities. In addition, it is unclear whether FPS's inspector-based 
workforce and the additional 150 inspectors will improve its oversight 
of contract guards or the quality and timeliness of BSAs. FPS could 
also benefit from better aligning its staffing resources with the 
agency's goals and performance. This alignment could enable FPS to 
identify gaps in security protection at GSA facilities and assign 
employees to the highest-risk areas. It is also important that FPS 
ensure that its decision to move to an inspector-based workforce does 
not hamper its ability to protect GSA facilities. For example, FPS 
believes that it can rely on the informal relationships that exist 
between it and local law enforcement agencies for assistance with 
responding to incidents at GSA facilities. However, local law 
enforcement agencies and FPS regional officials believe that there are 
jurisdictional issues that need to be clarified. 

Moreover, FPS's primary means of funding its operations--the basic 
security fee--does not account for the level of risk faced by buildings 
and, depending on that risk, the level of service provided or the cost 
of providing security at GSA facilities. This issue raises questions 
about whether some federal agencies are being overcharged by FPS. FPS 
also does not have a detailed understanding of its operational costs, 
including accurate information about the cost of providing its security 
services at GSA facilities with different risk levels. Without this 
type of information, FPS has difficulty justifying the rate of the 
basic security fee to its customers. We have found that by having 
accurate cost information, an organization can demonstrate its cost- 
effectiveness and productivity to stakeholders, link levels of 
performance with budget expenditures, provide baseline and trend data 
for stakeholders to compare performance, and provide a basis for 
focusing an organization's efforts and resources to improve its 
performance. In addition, FPS has generally funded its operations by 
using a fee-based system. However, historically and recently FPS's 
collections have not been sufficient to cover its projected operational 
costs and the steps it has taken to address the projected shortfalls 
have reduced staff morale and diminished security at GSA facilities. 
Thus, we believe it is important that FPS assess whether the fee-based 
system or an alternative funding mechanism is most appropriate for 
funding the agency. 

Given the operational and funding challenges FPS faces, it is important 
that the agency develop and implement business and performance 
management practices that will ensure that it is providing services 
efficiently, effectively, and in accordance with risk-based management. 
Having specific guidance and standards for measuring its efforts to 
protect GSA facilities from the risk of terrorist attacks, crime, or 
related incidents will also be beneficial to FPS. We have found that 
numerous federal and private sector organizations use security-related 
performance measures to help improve security, make decisions about 
risk management and resource allocation, and evaluate program 
effectiveness. Performance measurements can also be used to prioritize 
security needs and justify investment decisions so that an agency can 
maximize limited resources. While the output measures FPS uses are 
helpful, outcome measures are also important because they can provide 
FPS with broader information on program results, such as the extent to 
which its decision to move to an inspector-based workforce will enhance 
security at GSA facilities or help identify the security gaps that 
remain at GSA facilities and what action may be needed to address them. 

Finally, a reliable data management system will allow FPS to provide 
complete and accurate information on its security program. In past 
reports, we have discussed the importance of maintaining timely and 
accurate data to help monitor and improve the effectiveness of 
government programs. We have found that in order to make informed 
decisions and ensure accountability, agencies need data management 
systems that can generate timely, accurate, and useful information. 
Without a reliable data management system, it is difficult for FPS and 
other stakeholders to determine the effectiveness of its efforts to 
protect GSA facilities or for FPS to accurately track and monitor 
incident response time, effectiveness of security countermeasures, and 
whether BSAs are completed on time. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

To improve its ability to address its operational and funding 
challenges and to ensure that it has useful performance measures and 
reliable information to assess the effectiveness of efforts to protect 
GSA facilities, we recommend that the Secretary of Homeland Security 
direct the Director of FPS to take the following six actions: 

* develop and implement a strategic approach to manage its staffing 
resources that, among other things, determines the optimum number of 
employees needed to accomplish its facility protection mission and 
allocate these resources based on risk management principles and the 
agency's goals and performance measures; 

* clarify roles and responsibilities of local law enforcement agencies 
in regard to responding to incidents at GSA facilities; 

* improve FPS's use of the fee-based system by developing a method to 
accurately account for the cost of providing security services to 
tenant agencies and ensuring that its fee structure takes into 
consideration the varying levels of risk and service provided at GSA 
facilities; 

* evaluate whether FPS's current use of a fee-based system or an 
alternative funding mechanism is the most appropriate manner to fund 
the agency; 

* develop and implement specific guidelines and standards for measuring 
its performance, including outcome measures to assess its performance 
and improve the accountability of FPS; and: 

* improve how FPS categorizes, collects, and analyzes data to help it 
better manage and understand the results of its efforts to protect GSA 
facilities. 

Agency Comments: 

We provided a draft of this report to DHS for its review and comment. 
DHS concurred with the report's findings and recommendations. DHS's 
comments can be found in appendix II. 

As agreed with your offices, unless you publicly announce the contents 
of this report earlier, we plan no further distribution until 30 days 
from the report date. At that time, we will send copies of this report 
to the Secretary of Homeland Security, DHS's Assistant Secretary for 
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and appropriate congressional 
committees. We also will make copies available to others on request. In 
addition, the report will be available at no charge on the GAO Web site 
at [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. 

If you have any questions about this report, please contact me at (202) 
512-2834 or goldsteinm@gao.gov. Contact points for our Offices of 
Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on the last 
page of this report. GAO staff who made major contributions to this 
report are listed in appendix III. 

Signed by: 

Mark L. Goldstein: 
Director, Physical Infrastructure: 

List of Requesters: 

The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman:
Chairman:
The Honorable Susan M. Collins:
Ranking Member:
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs:
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Bennie Thompson:
Chairman:
The Honorable Peter King: 
Ranking Member: 
Committee on Homeland Security: 
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable James L. Oberstar:
Chairman:
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure:
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable Daniel K. Akaka: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable George V. Voinovich:
Ranking Member:
Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal 
Workforce and the District of Columbia:
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton:
Chairwoman:
Subcommittee on Public Buildings, Economic Development, and Emergency 
Management:
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure: 
House of Representatives: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

To determine any operational challenges the Federal Protective Service 
(FPS) faces in protecting General Services Administration (GSA) 
facilities and actions it has taken to address those challenges, we 
interviewed about 170 FPS police officers, inspectors, special agents, 
support personnel, and administrators at headquarters and at 7 of FPS's 
11 regions. These 7 regions represent about 59 percent of FPS's 
facility protection portfolio. We also interviewed about 53 GSA 
headquarters and regional management and security officials, 101 tenant 
agency officials from 22 building security committees, and 8 local law 
enforcement agencies about FPS's efforts to protect federal employees, 
facilities, and the public. These 7 regions were selected using both 
quantitative and qualitative criteria in order to maximize diversity 
among the site visits. In selecting regions to visit, we considered the 
number of buildings in each region, geographic dispersion across the 
United States, the number of FPS personnel in each region, and input 
from FPS and GSA officials. We analyzed FPS staffing data from fiscal 
years 2004 through 2007 to identify trends in staffing. To validate 
staffing data received from FPS, we compared the data to staffing 
numbers from the Office of Personnel Management and found them to be 
accurate. We also analyzed laws relating to jurisdictional issues at 
GSA facilities and FPS's authority. We analyzed a FPS workforce study, 
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Professional 
Responsibility performance reports, and the FPS policy handbook. 

To determine any budgetary and funding challenges FPS faces and actions 
it has taken to address them, we interviewed budget officials from the 
Office of Management and Budget, ICE's Office of the Chief Financial 
Officer, FPS, and GSA. We analyzed appropriation acts, and FPS's budget 
and budget justifications for fiscal years 2004 through 2009. In 
addition, we analyzed FPS's 2006 workforce study and a 2007 Booz Allen 
Hamilton activity-based costing study. 

To determine how FPS measures the effectiveness of its efforts, we 
analyzed FPS's strategic plan for fiscal years 2008 through 2011 and 
strategic planning and performance reports and interviewed officials 
from FPS's Risk Management Division. We also analyzed crime and 
incident data from FPS's Web Records Management System and interviewed 
FPS officials about the reliability of the data. Because of 
inconsistency in reporting among regions and problems with ensuring 
that all incidents are included in the data, we determined that this 
data do not reliably capture all crime and incidents in federal 
buildings. 

Because of the sensitivity of some of the information in this report, 
we cannot provide information about the specific locations of crime or 
other incidents discussed. We conducted this performance audit from 
April 2007 to June 2008 in accordance with generally accepted 
government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and 
perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide 
a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit 
objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable 
basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Homeland Security: 

Department of Homeland Security: 

June 3, 2008: 

Mr. Mark Goldstein: 
Director, Physical Infrastructure: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, D.C. 20548: 

Dear Mr. Goldstein: 

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the draft report GAO-08-683 
"The Federal Protective Service Faces Several Challenges That Hamper 
Its Ability to Protect Federal Facilities." 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Immigration and 
Customs Enforcement's Federal Protective Service (FPS) concurs with the 
audit findings of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) regarding 
the challenges faced by FPS. FPS has already undertaken considerable 
steps to implement the audit's findings. 

FPS recently completed its new Strategic Plan. The plan will help 
ensure that FPS can comply with the staffing requirements mandated in 
the FY 2008 appropriations language. FPS is also adopting a Risk 
Assessment and Management Program (RAMP). RAMP will be a secure, web-
enabled tool to conduct risk assessments at FPS-protected sites, 
recommend appropriate countermeasures, and monitor the effectiveness of 
those measures. 

FPS has also worked to strengthen its communications with its numerous 
stakeholders. FPS has conducted a number of focus group meetings with 
stakeholders to discuss and resolve issues at working levels and to 
identify systemic problems that can be corrected at higher levels. In 
addition, FPS has formed a partnership with its private and public 
sector tenants through an Executive Advisory Council (EAC) to help 
coordinate security strategies and activities and to improve 
communication between FPS and building occupants. 

Below, we address the specific GAO recommendations: 

GAO Recommendation 1: Develop and implement a strategic approach to 
manage [FPS] staffing resources that, among other things, determines 
the optimum number of employees needed to accomplish its facility 
protection mission and allocate these resources based on risk 
management principles and the agency's goals and performance measures. 

ICE Response: Concur. ICE and FPS are using the results of several 
workload studies and analyses to establish a more strategic and risk-
based approach to staffing that identities the resources and funding 
needed to accomplish FPS's mission. This approach will provide an 
opportunity to integrate the strategic goals and objectives defined in 
the ICE FPS Strategic Plan into specific organizational and individual 
performance measures and address mission accomplishment based upon 
levels of risk. 

GAO Recommendation 2: Clarify roles and responsibilities of local law 
enforcement agencies in regards to responding to incidents at GSA 
facilities. 

ICE Response: Concur. ICE will examine responsibilities for local law 
enforcement response to incidents at GSA facilities, in particular, the 
differences in response based upon the type of facility (e.g., leased 
or federally owned). For example, previous analysis has shown that for 
leased facilities. which comprise 81 percent of our inventory, the 
state/local taxes paid by the property owner that support local law 
enforcement response, are included in the lease agreement. Therefore. 
on its face, it appears that local police and fire/rescue response 
might be obligatory. ICE will research this further. 

GAO Recommendation 3: Improve FPS's use of the fee base system by 
developing a method to accurately account for the cost of providing 
security services to tenant agencies and ensuring that its fee 
structure takes into consideration the varying levels of risk and 
service provided at GSA facilities. 

ICE Response: Concur. ICE agrees that the legacy GSA fee methodology 
should be updated to more accurately reflect and assign the cost of 
delivering law enforcement and security services to all facilities FPS 
is responsible for protecting. In theory, the FPS basic security fee 
was designed to enable FPS to provide the most basic of services to all 
customer facilities, regardless of risk level assigned to the facility. 
Once the building security assessment is completed, a risk level for 
that facility is then established. Based on the risk level. appropriate 
countermeasures are designed and installed and the facility is assessed 
a building-specific charge to recover the costs of acquiring, 
installing, and maintaining the countermeasures. 

The additional costs associated with providing higher levels of 
security, both additional law enforcement attention and the increased 
administrative/contracting, support. are intended to be recovered in 
the building specific fee. However, authorized fees and FTE levels have 
not been sufficient to ensure that basic security services are 
available and provided at all facilities that the FPS is tasked to 
protect. Available resources must be prioritized based upon risk. 
vulnerability and consequence. Hence, the ICE FPS has focused its 
resources on the protection of those facilities assigned the highest 
risk level. In the absence of sufficient resources to ensure that the 
same comparable level of basic security services can be provided to all 
facilities and locations. FPS will undertake a study that examines 
alternative fee methodologies that assign costs reflective of services
required to meet the security needs at various risk levels based on 
strategic mission, risk management principles, agency goals, and 
performance goals. 

GAO Recommendation 4: Evaluate whether FPS's current use of a fee-based 
system or an alternative funding mechanism is the most appropriate 
manner to fund the agency. 

ICE Response: Concur. The ICE FPS fee-based system of funding was 
developed by GSA within the context of providing protection for federal 
real property assets and the tenant agencies housed within GSA 
facilities. Like commercial real estate management, GSA developed an 
average cost per square foot to recover the basic cost of protecting 
the inventory and assessed all tenant agencies a prorated share of 
these estimated basic security costs based upon the number of square 
feet each tenant occupies, regardless of risk. In addition to the basic 
security costs, facilities determined to be high risk and requiring 
additional security countermeasures were assessed a building specific 
fee. This fee included costs of the enhanced security measures as well 
as an administrative fee for the additional cost of acquiring, 
installing, overseeing and managing the additional security activities. 

While this system of fees might fit within the real estate mission of 
GSA, it is a paradigm that no longer promotes or assures the 
accomplishment of FPS's mission. The transfer of FPS to the Department 
of Homeland Security significantly altered the focus of the FPS 
mission. Protecting the homeland, securing critical infrastructure, 
risk, vulnerability, and consequence are the new FPS mission foci and 
these security drivers are difficult to translate into the "pennies per 
square foot" legacy GSA real estate-driven cost recovery model. 

ICE FPS will continue its research, development, and recommendation of 
funding options that support the security and protection mission of the 
FPS within DHS. Alternative fee methodologies, along with options that 
include combinations of different fees with other funding sources, will 
be considered. The most-effective options will be proposed for 
consideration in the next available budget cycle. 

GAO Recommendation 5: Develop and implement specific guidelines and 
standards for measuring performance including outcome measures to 
assess its performance and improve the accountability of FPS. 

ICE Response: Concur. Using the ICE FPS Strategic Plan as the 
foundation, FPS has begun updating its current performance measures to 
focus on operational outputs while supporting strategic level outcome 
reporting. FPS is also acquiring new systems to enhance its operational 
capabilities for gathering data and developing action plans to assess 
collective and individual performance. The Risk Assessment and 
Management Program (RAMP) and a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system 
will provide a suite of tools designed to ease the collection, 
analysis, and reporting of performance measure information. This will 
also contribute to more effective management and increase the 
effectiveness of services provided to stakeholders. 

GAD Recommendation 6: "Improve how FPS categorizes, collects, and 
analyzes data to help better manage and understand its efforts to 
protect GSA facilities." 

ICE Response: Concur. ICE FPS is developing systems for collecting and 
analyzing elements of its security and protection operations to 
adequately determine the costs of providing appropriate and adequate 
risk mitigation at GSA facilities. This involves identifying and 
defining information that is needed, establishing automated processes 
for gathering data, and analyzing the output to determine risk levels 
and to acquire and install countermeasures (including contract guard 
services) to mitigate threats to property and people. 

The Risk Assessment and Management Program (RAMP) and a Computer Aided 
Dispatch (CAD) system will provide ready access to the variety of 
information that will permit FPS to maintain appropriate situational 
awareness, as well as the capability to access, analyze, report, and 
utilize information to accomplish the FPS vision of "Secure Facilities, 
Safe Occupants" at costs that are appropriate and equitable. 

We thank you again for the opportunity to review this important report 
and provide comments. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 
Penelope G. McCormack: 
Acting Director: 
Departmental GAO/OIG Liaison Office: 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

Mark L. Goldstein, (202) 512-2834 or goldsteinm@gao.gov: 

Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the contact named above, Tammy Conquest, Assistant 
Director; Daniel Cain; Collin Fallon; Brandon Haller, Aaron Johnson; 
Katie Hamer; Carol Henn; Daniel Hoy; and Susan Michal-Smith made key 
contributions to this report. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] For the purposes of this report, the 9,000 facilities referred to 
are under the control or custody of GSA. 

[2] The number of inspectors includes an unknown number of physical 
security specialists, who do not have law enforcement authority. FPS 
was unable to provide us with the exact number of physical security 
specialists it employs. 

[3] FPS inspectors are also referred to as Law Enforcement Security 
Officers and have responsibilities for completing physical security and 
law enforcement activities. 

[4] FPS officials have stated that there is no official policy on the 
number of buildings assigned to each inspector. The number of buildings 
is entirely dependent on geographic dispersion and risk level. 

[5] Patrol refers to movement within an area for the purpose of 
observation or surveillance to prevent or detect criminal violations, 
maintain security, and be available to provide service and assistance 
to the public. 

[6] On March 10, 2008, the Interagency Security Committee, an 
organization composed of representatives from non-military government 
agencies that provides leadership in physical security programs, 
published new standards for determining the security level of federal 
facilities, which will supersede the standards developed in the 1995 
DOJ vulnerability assessment. It is unclear how the new standards will 
affect the BSA process. 

[7] According to FPS, its budget also includes $638 million in funding 
provided by customer agencies for building-specific and SWA security 
services, called pass through funding. Pass through funding is not 
directly appropriated to FPS, but FPS collects it from customer 
agencies and uses the funds to manage the procurement and installation 
of security countermeasures or other security services provided through 
the building-specific or SWA programs. The remaining $139 million in 
FPS's fiscal year 2008 budget is a contingency amount that FPS is 
authorized to collect to respond to a major disaster if needed. The 
authority to spend this money expires at the end of the fiscal year. 

[8] Pub. L. No 110-161, 121 Stat 1844, 2051 (2007). 

[9] "2820" inspections are named for the forms on which guard 
inspections are completed. 

[10] GAO, Federal Real Property: DHS Has Made Progress, but Additional 
Actions Are Needed to Address Real Property Management and Security 
Challenges, [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-07-658] 
(Washington, D.C.: June 22, 2007). 

[11] 18 U.S.C.  13. 

[12] 40 U.S.C.  1315. 

[13] [3] 40 U.S.C.  1315(d)(3). 

[14] 18 U.S.C.  930(a) 

[15] RAMP will replace several FPS systems, including its Security 
Tracking System and the Contract Guard Employment Requirements Tracking 
System, and may be integrated with other systems associated with the 
BSA program. 

[16] Established by Congress in 1972 and administered by GSA, the 
Federal Buildings Fund is a revolving fund in the U.S. Treasury into 
which federal agency rent and certain other moneys are deposited. 
Moneys deposited into the fund are available, subject to congressional 
appropriation, for GSA's real property management and related 
activities. See 40 U.S.C  592. 

[17] Since the transfer, FPS support costs (e.g., information 
technology, administrative services, and human capital services) paid 
to ICE has increased from approximately $16 million in fiscal year 2004 
to $27 million in fiscal year 2007. 

[18] According to FPS, an increase of 1 cent in the basic security fee 
increases collections by $3 million. 

[19] FPS and ICE hired Booz Allen Hamilton to conduct an activity-based 
cost study. The report assumes building-specific and tenant-specific 
administrative fees would be lower than those charged in fiscal years 
2006 and 2007, suggesting rates of 13.57 percent and 1.70 percent, 
respectively, as opposed to the approved rates of 15 percent and 8 
percent. 

[20] GAO, Federal User Fees: A Design Guide, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-08-386SP] (Washington, D.C.: May 
29, 2008). 

[21] GAO, Homeland Security: Management Challenges Remain in 
Transforming Immigration Programs, [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-
bin/getrpt?GAO-05-81] (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 14, 2004). 

[22] An output measure is the tabulation, calculation, or recording of 
activity or effort and can be expressed in a quantitative or 
qualitative manner. 

[End of section] 

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