Security Protection:

Costs of Services Provided for Selected Cabinet Officials

GGD-95-50: Published: Dec 30, 1994. Publicly Released: Dec 30, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed security protection for selected cabinet-level department officials from October 1991 to June 1994, focusing on: (1) who received security protection at 10 of the 14 cabinet-level departments; (2) why cabinet officials received such protection; (3) the costs of providing such protection; (4) whether security personnel performed personal duties for the officials; and (5) security personnel training.

GAO found that: (1) from October 1991 through June 1994, each of the 10 cabinet secretaries received security protection on at least one occasion; (2) although the extent and frequency of security protection varied significantly among the departments, it generally included protecting the secretaries at their offices and public events, and on official travel; (3) on five occasions, two secretaries received protection while on personal business; (4) two departments occasionally provided protection for their deputy secretaries and one department provided short-term protection to a high-level official who had been threatened; (5) security personnel believed that their protective services were needed due to potential threats to department officials; (6) the 10 departments spent $1.5 million in fiscal year (FY) 1992 on protective services, travel, training, and equipment, $1.6 million in FY 1993, and $2 million in the first 9 months of FY 1994; (7) security protection costs at three departments increased significantly in FY 1994 because of more controversial departmental policies, increased travel, and one secretary's greater public recognition; (8) some security agents reported that they occasionally carried baggage or checked officials through hotels because they either were the only staff available or considered such duties to be security related; and (9) all security agents attended executive protection training courses offered through their own departments or by law enforcement agencies.

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