Chemical Weapons:

Physical Security for the U.S. Chemical Stockpile

NSIAD-91-200: Published: May 15, 1991. Publicly Released: May 15, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the adequacy of the Department of the Army's physical security measures to guard against attacks on chemical weapons storage and production facilities and against the diversion or theft of those weapons.

GAO found that: (1) the Army only recently approved physical agility standards for guards; (2) the excessive overtime that some guards worked affected their proficiency; (3) at five of the nine storage sites visited, security guard fleets' vehicles had high mileage and were frequently out of service for unscheduled maintenance; (4) the Army transferred personnel who did not meet the requirements of the Chemical Personnel Reliability Program; (5) despite the 1986 Department of Defense (DOD) requirement that the Army conduct formal site vulnerability assessments, the Army did not issue its implementing regulation until 1989; (6) no uniform method existed to enable local commanders to make vulnerability assessments based on identical standards; and (7) there was no provision for considering the impact of the assessment results on the minimum standards.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army has initiated action to monitor and evaluate overtime hours for security guards and the associated costs, and revised Army Regulation 50-6-1.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to monitor and evaluate overtime hours for security guards and associated costs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: According to DOD, the Army has initiated a continuing, objective analysis of the condition and readiness of the security guard motor vehicle fleet and revised Army Regulation 50-6-1 to require this analysis.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to conduct a continuing objective analysis of the condition and readiness of the security guard fleets' motor vehicles at sites where there are concerns about vehicle reliability and take appropriate action to ensure vehicle readiness.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army established this program issue as a special interest item to be evaluated periodically at each program unit through the surety inspection process.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to take actions necessary to ensure that personnel who do not meet the Chemical Personnel Reliability Program qualifications are not assigned to chemical storage sites.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The regulation has been revised to ensure that uniform factors are considered by local commanders and to require that site vulnerability assessments be documented and contain recommended actions to counter identified vulnerabilities. Also, commanders' decisions are to be made a matter of record and a copy of each assessment is to be forwarded to Army Headquarters.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to prescribe uniform and definitive procedures for local commanders of chemical storage sites to follow in performing formal site vulnerability assessments and require the commanders to document the processes they use to ensure that protection afforded chemical weapons is appropriate to risks and threats.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: According to DOD, all vulnerability assessments have been completed and, in response to OASD(C3I) request of November 8, 1991, the Army reviewed these assessments required by new regulation. This review indicated that assessments were adequate and changes to current physical security standards would not be recommended.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to review formal site vulnerability assessments and use the assessment results to determine whether changes to the minimum standards for safeguarding the chemical stockpile are needed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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