Federal Facilities: Selected Facilities' Emergency Plans Generally Reflect Federal Guidance

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Federal agencies occupying facilities owned or leased by the General Services Administration (GSA) are responsible for preparing and maintaining occupant emergency plans (OEP), with assistance or guidance from the Federal Protective Service (FPS) and others, and the majority of selected federal facilities' OEPs GAO reviewed reflect federal guidance. As required by federal regulations, all 20 selected facilities had OEPs and had designated officials, who are responsible for maintaining OEPs and initiating action according to the OEP in the event of an emergency, including the evacuation of ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. October 25, 2013.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Federal agencies occupying facilities owned or leased by the General Services Administration (GSA) are responsible for preparing and maintaining occupant emergency plans (OEP), with assistance or guidance from the Federal Protective Service (FPS) and others, and the majority of selected federal facilities' OEPs GAO reviewed reflect federal guidance. As required by federal regulations, all 20 selected facilities had OEPs and had designated officials, who are responsible for maintaining OEPs and initiating action according to the OEP in the event of an emergency, including the evacuation of facility occupants. Consistent with federal guidance, officials at 19 of the 20 selected facilities reported that they review and update OEPs at least annually, and officials at 1 facility said they were in the process of updating their OEP. When requested, FPS provides OEP guidance, such as templates to facility officials. Officials at 14 facilities reported using FPS guidance or feedback for their OEPs, officials at 1 facility reported not using FPS guidance, and officials at 5 facilities said they used their own agency's guidance. FPS also checks OEPs during periodic facility security assessments--conducted at least every 3 to 5 years-- to assess overall facility risk. GSA officials said they have a role in coordinating directly with facilities to provide guidance and feedback on OEPs, and to help facility officials plan drills and exercises. To assist agency officials as they develop OEPs that best fit individual facilities and agency needs, the Interagency Security Committee (ISC), a Department of Homeland Security-chaired policy development organization, in April 2010 identified 10 minimum elements, such as exercises or evacuating occupants with special needs, that should be addressed in an OEP. Thirteen of the 20 selected facilities addressed all 10 minimum elements in OEPs or related documents. Seven facilities' OEPs did not address at least 1 of the 10 elements; however, lack of an element does not necessarily indicate potential vulnerabilities for that facility because the intent of the element may be addressed by other procedures or modified based on facility characteristics. For example, evacuation exercises were not included in OEPs for 2 facilities located in leased GSA space; however, officials said they participate in drills conducted by building management. The 20 selected facility OEPs were unique to each facility and how OEPs addressed particular elements."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • October 25, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Federal Facilities: Selected Facilities' Emergency Plans Generally Reflect Federal Guidance, report, October 25, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc297789/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.