Homeland Security: Challenges Associated with Federal Protective Service's Contract Guards and Risk Assessments at Federal Facilities

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Federal Protective Service (FPS) faces challenges ensuring that contract guards have been properly trained and certified before being deployed to federal facilities around the country. In a September 2013 report, GAO found that providing active-shooter-response and screener training is a challenge for FPS. For example, according to officials at five guard companies, their contract guards have not received training on how to respond during incidents involving an active-shooter. Without ensuring that all guards receive this training, FPS has limited assurance that its guards are prepared for such ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. October 30, 2013.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Federal Protective Service (FPS) faces challenges ensuring that contract guards have been properly trained and certified before being deployed to federal facilities around the country. In a September 2013 report, GAO found that providing active-shooter-response and screener training is a challenge for FPS. For example, according to officials at five guard companies, their contract guards have not received training on how to respond during incidents involving an active-shooter. Without ensuring that all guards receive this training, FPS has limited assurance that its guards are prepared for such a threat. Similarly, officials from one of FPS's contract guard companies stated that 133 (about 38 percent) of its approximately 350 guards have never received screener training. As a result, those guards may be using x-ray and magnetometer equipment at federal facilities that they are not qualified to use, raising questions about their ability to properly screen access control points at federal facilities--one of their primary responsibilities. We were unable to determine the extent to which FPS's guards have received active-shooter-response and screener training. FPS agreed with GAO's 2013 recommendation that they take steps to identify guards that have not had required training and provide it to them. GAO also found that FPS continues to lack effective management controls to ensure its guards have met its training and certification requirements. For instance, although FPS agreed with GAO's 2010 and 2012 recommendations that it develop a comprehensive and reliable system for managing information on guards' training, certifications, and qualifications, it still does not have such a system. Additionally, 23 percent of the 276 guard files GAO examined (maintained by 11 of the 31 guard companies we interviewed) lacked required training and certification documentation. Examples of missing items include documentation of initial weapons and screener training and firearms qualifications."

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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 30, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Homeland Security: Challenges Associated with Federal Protective Service's Contract Guards and Risk Assessments at Federal Facilities, text, October 30, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302240/: accessed October 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.