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Highlights

The war on terrorism has made physical security for federal facilities a governmentwide concern. The Interagency Security Committee (ISC), which is chaired by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is tasked with coordinating federal agencies' facility protection efforts, developing protection standards, and overseeing implementation. GAO's objectives were to (1) assess ISC's progress in fulfilling its responsibilities and (2) identify key practices in protecting federal facilities and any related implementation obstacles.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Directorate of Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection 1. The Secretary of Homeland Security should direct the Chair of ISC to develop an action plan that identifies resource needs, implementation goals, and time frames for meeting ISC's ongoing and yet-unfulfilled responsibilities. The action plan should also be used to propose strategies for addressing the range of challenges ISC faces. Such an action plan would provide a road map for DHS to use in developing resource priorities and for ISC to use in communicating its planned actions to agencies and other stakeholders, including Congress.
Closed - Implemented
DHS has issued an Interagency Security Committee Action Plan for calendar years 2007-2008 in response to GAO's recommendation.
Interagency Security Committee 2. The Chair of ISC, with input from ISC member agencies, should consider using our work as a starting point for establishing a framework of key practices that could guide agencies' efforts in the facility protection area. This initiative could subsequently be used by agencies to evaluate their actions, identify lessons learned, and develop strategies for overcoming obstacles.
Closed - Implemented
The Interagency Security Committee (ISC) has established working groups to guide agencies' facility protection efforts. These working groups align with the key practices identified in GAO-05-49 and address key practices including performance measurement, allocation of resources based on risk management, strategic human capital management, and technology. This approach provides a framework for using GAO's key practices to guide agencies' efforts.

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