Coast Guard Personnel Records Storage Areas Need Fire Protection Systems

GGD-81-72: Published: Apr 22, 1981. Publicly Released: Apr 22, 1981.

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Martin M. Ferber
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The U.S. Coast Guard maintains over 6,000 officer and over 30,000 enlisted personnel records in two rooms at the Transpoint Building in Washington, D.C. GAO reviewed the official personnel records of the Coast Guard to determine how efficiently the records were being maintained.

GAO believes that the Coast Guard should acquire fire protection systems to protect its records. Although the government leases the Transpoint Building, government-occupied space is subject to the building fire safety standards established by the Public Buildings Service (PBS). According to PBS criteria, only one of the two rooms used to store the records requires an automatic sprinkler protection system. However, GAO believes that the importance of the records and the expense of replacing them warrants installation of the system in both rooms. The Coast Guard stated that it intends to install a fire protection system during the upcoming renovation of the building.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Coast Guard agreed that fire protection measures are needed, but the work is still being included in a bigger renovation project. However, since the Coast Guard has done all that it can in trying to obtain sprinkler protection from GAO, this recommendation is being closed as essentially complete.

    Recommendation: The Coast Guard should take action now to protect the records because the renovation has already been delayed once and could be delayed further.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation: United States Coast Guard


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