Homeland Security: Protecting Federal Facilities Remains a Challenge for the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Protective Service

GAO-11-813T Published: Jul 13, 2011. Publicly Released: Jul 13, 2011.
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As part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Protective Service (FPS) is responsible for protecting federal employees and visitors in approximately 9,000 federal facilities owned or leased by the General Services Administration (GSA). FPS has a budget of approximately $1 billion and maintains approximately 1,200 full-time employees and about 13,000 contract security guards that help accomplish the agency's facility protection mission. This testimony is based on past reports and testimonies and discusses challenges FPS faces in carrying out its mission with regard to (1) risk management, (2) strategic human capital planning, (3) oversight of its contract guard program, and (4) ensuring that its fee-based funding structure is the appropriate mechanism for funding the agency. GAO also addresses the extent to which FPS has made progress in responding to these challenges. To perform this work, GAO used its key facility protection practices as criteria, visited FPS regions and selected GSA buildings, reviewed training and certification data for FPS's contract guards, and interviewed officials from DHS, GSA, guard contractors, and guards.

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