Homeland Security: Federal Protective Service Continues to Face Challenges with Contract Guards and Risk Assessments at Federal Facilities

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "FPS faces challenges ensuring that contract guards have been properly trained and certified before being deployed to federal facilities around the country. In its 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 training on how to respond to incidents at federal facilities involving an active-shooter, FPS ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. December 17, 2013.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "FPS faces challenges ensuring that contract guards have been properly trained and certified before being deployed to federal facilities around the country. In its 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 training on how to respond to incidents at federal facilities involving an active-shooter, FPS has limited assurance that its guards are prepared for this threat. Similarly, an official 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, guards deployed to federal facilities may be using x-ray and magnetometer equipment that they are not qualified to use which raises questions about their ability to screen access control points at federal facilities--one of their primary responsibilities. GAO was unable to determine the extent to which FPS's guards have received active-shooter response and screener training, in part, because FPS lacks a comprehensive and reliable system for guard oversight. 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 2012 recommendation that it develop a comprehensive and reliable system for managing information on guards' training, certifications, and qualifications, it does not yet have such a system."

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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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  • December 17, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Homeland Security: Federal Protective Service Continues to Face Challenges with Contract Guards and Risk Assessments at Federal Facilities, text, December 17, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302739/: accessed September 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.