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FEDERAL BUILDING SECURITY
PLEASE NOTE: The following transcript is a portion of the official hearing record of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Additional material pertinent to this transcript may be found on the web site of the Committee at [http://www.house.gov/transportation]. Complete hearing records are available for review at the Committee offices and also may be purchased at the U.S. Government Printing Office.
PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
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TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS
APRIL 24, 1996
Printed for the use of the
Committee on Transportation and Infrastucture
COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTUCTURE
BUD SHUSTER, Pennsylvania, Chairman
DON YOUNG, Alaska
WILLIAM F. CLINGER, Jr., Pennsylvania
THOMAS E. PETRI, Wisconsin
SHERWOOD L. BOEHLERT, New York
HERBERT H. BATEMAN, Virginia
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
SUSAN MOLINARI, New York
WILLIAM H. ZELIFF, Jr., New Hampshire
THOMAS W. EWING, Illinois
WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland
Y. TIM HUTCHINSON, Arkansas
BILL BAKER, California
JAY KIM, California
STEPHEN HORN, California
BOB FRANKS, New Jersey
PETER I. BLUTE, Massachusetts
JOHN L. MICA, Florida
JACK QUINN, New York
TILLIE K. FOWLER, Florida
VERNON J. EHLERS, Michigan
SPENCER T. BACHUS, Alabama
JERRY WELLER, Illinois
ZACH WAMP, Tennessee
TOM LATHAM, Iowa
STEVEN C. LaTOURETTE, Ohio
ANDREA SEASTRAND, California
RANDY TATE, Washington
SUE KELLY, New York
RAY LaHOOD, Illinois
BILL MARTINI, New Jersey
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCDAN FRISA, New York
TODD TIAHRT, Kansas
RICHARD H. BAKER, Louisiana
JAMES L. OBERSTAR, Minnesota
NICK J. RAHALL II, West Virginia
ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania
WILLIAM O. LIPINSKI, Illinois
ROBERT E. WISE, Jr., West Virginia
JAMES A. TRAFICANT, Jr., Ohio
PETER A. DeFAZIO, Oregon
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
JERRY F. COSTELLO, Illinois
PETE GEREN, Texas
GLENN POSHARD, Illinois
BUD CRAMER, Alabama
BARBARA-ROSE COLLINS, Michigan
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, District of Columbia
JERROLD NADLER, New York
PAT DANNER, Missouri
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
JAMES E. CLYBURN, South Carolina
CORRINE BROWN, Florida
JAMES A. BARCIA, Michigan
BOB FILNER, California
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCEDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, Texas
BILL K. BREWSTER, Oklahoma
KAREN McCARTHY, Missouri
FRANK MASCARA, Pennsylvania
THOMAS C. SAWYER, Ohio
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
JUANITA MILLENDER-McDONALD, California
ELIJAH E. CUMMINGS, Maryland
Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Economic Development
WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland, Chairman
ANDREA SEASTRAND, California
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
PETER I. BLUTE, Massachusetts
STEVEN C. LaTOURETTE, Ohio
DAN FRISA, New York
BUD SHUSTER, Pennsylvania
JAMES A. TRAFICANT, Jr., Ohio
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, District of Columbia
EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, Texas
FRANK MASCARA, Pennsylvania
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJAMES L. OBERSTAR, Minnesota
Barram, David J., Acting Administrator, U.S. General Services Administration, accompanied by Randy Lash, Acting Assistant Commissioner, Federal Protective Service, and David Bibb, Deputy Commissioner, Public Building ServiceS
Bowen, Bruce, Deputy Assistant Director, Office of Investigations, U.S. Secret Service
Coon, Eugene L., Jr., Associate Director for Operations, United States Marshals Service, accompanied by Stacey Hilton, Court Security Division
O'Hanlon, William P., Chief, Facilities, Management, and Security Section, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Opfer, Robert J., Chief, Security Countermeasures Section, Federal Bureau of Investigation
PREPARED STATEMENTS SUBMITTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJohnson, Hon. Eddie Bernice, of Texas
Oberstar, Hon. James L., of Minnesota
Traficant, Hon. James A., Jr., of Ohio
PREPARED STATEMENTS SUBMITTED BY WITNESSES
Barram, David J
Coon, Eugene L., Jr
O'Hanlon, William P
SUBMISSIONS FOR THE RECORD
Barram, David, Acting Administrator, U.S. General Services Administration:
Responses to questions from Rep. Traficant
ComparionFederal Protective Police Officers Versus Contract Security Guards
Representative Contract Guard Costs, chart
Responses to questions from Rep. Gilchrest
Federal Bureau of Investigation responses to post hearing questions
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCFEDERAL BUILDING SECURITY
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 1996
U.S. House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Economic Development
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 8:33 a.m. in room 2253, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Wayne Gilchrest (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. GILCHREST. The Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Economic Development will come to order. Good morning, everybody.
Today the subcommittee is meeting to review issues pertaining to Federal building security. Approximately 1 year ago today, a devastating event took place in Oklahoma City when a car bomb exploded outside the Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 persons and destroying 10 buildings and damaging 320 others. This tragic event prompted quick and decisive action by the Federal Government. The President established a task force composed of representatives from the United States Marshals Service, Department of Justice, the General Services Administration, the Department of State, the Secret Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to review Federal building vulnerability.
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The report was issued on June 28, 1995, which called for several improvements to building security. The committee passed an 11(b) resolution directing GSA to recommend ways to replace the Federal building, and to look at security in Oklahoma City. Congress appropriated $105 million for expenses specifically related to the Oklahoma City tragedy, and GSA has spent $32 million for security for Federal buildings nationwide.
On October 19, 1995, the President created the Interagency Security Committee, chaired by the Administrator of the General Services Administration. This Security Committee is charged with establishing Government-wide policies for building security, implementing appropriate security measures in Federal buildings, and developing a centralized Government security base. Other issues under consideration for the long term include collocation of agencies with sensitive or critical mission responsibilities with agencies accomplishing routine Government activities; design; construction and renovation standards, and enhanced risk assistance methodology to address new levels of threats.
This morning we will hear from representatives of the agencies involved in addressing and implementing these security measures, who will provide us with an update on the changes that have occurred in the course of the year. Joining us this morning are the Acting Administrator of GSA and representatives of the FBI, the United States Secret Service, and the United States Marshals Service.
I would like to conclude with a heartfelt thank you for all those people who participated in this past year to bring about a better environment for those Federal employees, the vast majority of whom are hardworking people who contribute a great deal to this Nation, and my thank you goes out to those agencies that have looked for ways to make their jobs more secure for themselves and for their children. So this committee and this Congress are very grateful.
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Mr. GILCHREST. I now yield to the ranking member, Mr. Traficant.
Mr. TRAFICANT. I want to thank everyone for being here today, and certainly to echo the comments of Mr. Gilchrest. Having just recently read about an incident down there in the 4th Circuit Court, where they overturned the conviction of a manI think his name was Hamrickwho threatened the life of Ronald Reagan, among other things, and sent a mail bomb to the U.S. Attorney who had convicted him. The 4th Circuit Court, a three-judge panel, ruled that they overturned the conviction because they said that this bomb that he sent did not detonate and was faulty, and therefore not dangerous.
As a former law enforcement officer, sometimes I wonder if some of these judges sometimes on some of these security issues get their degree from Sears and Roebuck.
I really empathize with what you're doing. I think we on the committee here have to have your recommendations, and I think that where at all possible, we should try to enact those recommendations which are sound and lend to good security. I know it's impossible to stop everyone who attempts to maim or hurt or cause a terrorist act or prove to be a security risk, but I think we have to reduce the potential for those types of problems. The only way we do it is by getting good, factual information from you and trying to place that into some legislative initiative that encompasses those goals that you present. That's what I will try to do.
I want to thank the chairman for calling this meeting, and I look forward to hearing your testimony.
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Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Traficant.
Mr. DUNCAN. I have no statement, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. GILCHREST. Ms. Johnson?
Ms. JOHNSON. I will file a statement, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.
[The prepared statements of Ms. Johnson, Mr. Traficant, and Mr. Oberstar follow:]
Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Mascara?
Mr. MASCARA. I have no opening statement, but I do have some questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you.
Our first panel is the Honorable David Barram, Acting Administrator of GSA, and Mr. Eugene Coon, Associate Director for Operations, United States Marshals Service.
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Mr. Barram, you may go first.
TESTIMONY OF DAVID J. BARRAM, ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, U.S. GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, ACCOMPANIED BY RANDY LASH, ACTING ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, FEDERAL PROTECTIVE SERVICE, AND DAVID BIBB, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, PUBLIC BUILDING SERVICES; AND EUGENE L. COON, JR., ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR OPERATIONS, UNITED STATES MARSHALS SERVICE, ACCOMPANIED BY STACEY HILTON, COURT SECURITY DIVISION
Mr. BARRAM. Thank you, Chairman Gilchrest and members of the subcommittee. I am Dave Barram, Acting Administrator of the General Services Administration. Accompanying me is Randy Lash, Acting Assistant Commissioner of the Federal Protective Service, and behind me is Deputy Commissioner David Bibb of Public Buildings Services. I thank you for inviting me to testify about GSA and Federal building security. With your permission, I would like to submit my written remarks for the record.
America's public buildings have historically been landmarks of democracy, symbols of our system of self-government in which our citizens, both visitors and employees, have taken pride. All of our protective actions must ensure that the public has access to these symbols of democracy.
It is important to remember that the occupants of all Federal buildings are individual Americans, going about their jobs of serving the public. At GSA our stated mission is to improve the effectiveness of the Federal Government by ensuring quality work environments for its employees.
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In the year since the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was the target of a domestic terrorist bombing, GSA has worked to ensure quality work environments by responding in several ways to protect tenants and visitors in GSA-controlled facilities nationwide. Usually, I think we move too slowly in Government, but GSA moved immediately and with great speed to establish a command center in Oklahoma City, and within less than 48 hours Federal operations in the area were resumed. Along with our rescue and recovery operations, we instituted a nationwide heightened security alert. Our Federal Protective Service instituted a heightened level of security awareness that included the inspection of packages, briefcases, and vehicles, as well as tighter control of visitors and others within and around GSA-controlled facilities.
We mobilized our force of over 4,000 Federal Protective Service personnel and contract security guards, and Federal Protective Officers (FPOs) were placed on 12-hour shifts to provide increased uniformed presence and visibility.
In the year since the tragedy we at GSA have worked closely with the other agencies appearing before you today, as well as local law enforcement, to coordinate operational efforts and maintain critical intelligence-and information-sharing activities.
If I may, Mr. Chairman, I would like to share with you a list of what we have done to date.
We participated in the Vulnerability Assessment Study of Federal Office Buildings.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCWe established 6,500 Building Security Committees.
We approved 8,000 of the recommendations of the Building Security Committees and are moving forward with their implementation.
As you said, we have spent approximately $32 million to maintain moderate-level security since April 19, 1995, and we anticipate in spending, at a minimum, an additional $120 million for operations.
We will add 150 additional Federal Protective Service officers in fiscal year 1996 and an additional 197 officers in fiscal year 1997.
In compliance with the Executive Order, an Interagency Security Committee has been established, which I will chair. In fact, I will be chairing my first session of this group this afternoon.
If I may make a personal observation, Mr. Chairman, I have been very happily surprised at how good GSA is. My own experience with GSA prior to my arrival here was fine, but not remarkable; Roger Johnson and I had talked on occasion, so I was not unaware and not negative about the organization. But almost everyone else I heard from in Washington was negative. So when I was arrived, I was surprised at the level of competence of the managers and their focus on their customers, who are generally Federal employees. I believe the reaction of the agency during the tragedy and its aftermath is an example of the excellent work done by GSA employees.
In closing, Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you and the members of this subcommittee for your support of our efforts in the security area, and particularly your immediate request for our assessment of the housing needs in Oklahoma City. I look forward to continuing our dialogue on this and other issues.
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Randy and David and I will be happy to answer any questions you and the members of the subcommittee may have.
Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Coon?
Mr. COON. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, good morning. Joining me this morning is Ms. Stacey Hilton from our Court Security Division.
Last Friday, April 19, at 9:02 a.m., Central Standard Time, Americans across the Nation observed a moment of silence to remember those who lost their lives on that date in 1995 in the tragic bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. That event, perhaps more than any other in recent memory, caused Federal agencies to reconsider the measures necessary to protect ourselves from terrorism and threats of violence.
The day after the bombing in Oklahoma City, the President directed the Department of Justice to assess the vulnerability of U.S. Federal buildings, especially their vulnerability to acts of terrorism and other forms of violence. Because of our expertise in providing security to Federal courts, Attorney General Reno asked the U.S. Marshals Service to coordinate the Vulnerability Assessment Study.
Preserving the safety and integrity of the judicial process is the Marshals Service's highest priority. We are continually looking for ways to enhance the security of the Federal courts. In our approach to the Vulnerability Assessment, we sought to build upon our experience by extending the security criteria developed by the Service for Federal courts to other Federal office buildings. Never before has such a review of office buildings been undertaken. Prior to the study, there were no Government-wide standards for security at Federal facilities. Moreover, there was no central data base for information on security already in place.
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Given the urgency of the task, the study proceeded along two tracks: first, the development of recommended minimum standards, and second, a survey of existing security conditions. We assembled two working groups, a Standards Committee and a Profile Committee, to accomplish these tasks.
The Standards Committee was comprised of security specialists and other representatives from the Department of Justice, the U.S. Secret Service, the General Services Administration, the State Department, the Social Security Administration, and the Department of Defense. Through the identification and evaluation of various types of security measures which could be used to counter potential vulnerabilities, the Standards Committee developed 52 security standards that can be applied to various Federal facilities. Standards were developed for perimeter, entry, interior security, and for security planning. Because of the disparity of Federal facilities and of security needs, the Standards Committee divided Federal sites into five security levels, ranging from level 1 to level 5.
The study calls for measures such as stringent controls over facility parking; perimeter monitoring by closed-circuit television; intrusion detection systems; x-ray screening of mail; and the installation of shatterproof glass on exterior windows. The study also recommends that any new buildings be set back a specified distance from the street.
The report reemphasizes GSA's primary responsibility for implementing Federal facility security, upgrading the Federal Protective Service, and creating an Interagency Security Committee.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCThe task of the second working group, the Profile Committee, was to develop a questionnaire for use in surveying Federal facilities in order to determine their existing security situations and to identify future security needs and the estimated cost for such enhancements. Using the questionnaire, Deputy U.S. Marshals and GSA security specialists made site visits within a 60-day period to over 1,200 locations. They collected information that was consolidated into a data base, grouped by categories corresponding to the five security levels set by the Standards Committee. Using the set of recommended minimum standards and a set of profiles, the Department of Justice made a number of recommendations for increasing security measures, noting that the typical Federal facility at each security level lacks some of the elements required to meet the minimum standards set out in the study.
Thus the Department recommended that, where feasible, facilities be brought up to the minimum security standards. Additionally, the Department recommended that Building Level Security Committees be established to address individual building security issues.
The Marshals Service is extremely proud to have played a unique role in coordinating the Vulnerability Assessment Study, and on behalf of the men and women of the Marshals Service I want to thank the members of the subcommittee for the opportunity to provide input.
This concludes my statement, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you very much, Mr. Coon.
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Mr. TRAFICANT. I would like to start out with Mr. Barram first of all to say good luck, welcome on board, and we hope that you can continue on with the downsizing and other actions over there at GSA that have proven to be successful, while helping the country, and yet keeping the agency viable.
Mr. BARRAM. Thank you.
Mr. TRAFICANT. My line of questioningI have a number of questions that I would ask unanimous consent that the entire package be submitted to the witnesses, and that their responses in writing be spread across the record, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. GILCHREST. Without objection.
[The questions and the answers thereto follow:]
Mr. TRAFICANT. With that, I have a couple of questions within those that I would like to address today.
You know, we've heard over a number of years how important the presence of a guard is as a deterrent, naturally, to crime and some of these actions. I would like to know what your procedures are for hiring contract guards, how much it costs the taxpayer for contract guards, and has there ever been by GSA any cost comparison analysis to compare those costs of in-house guards versus those contracted-out guards? And if it shows any differences or security problems from use of any contract guards.
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Mr. BARRAM. I will ask Randy Lash to comment on the procedure we use to hire contract guards. He is much more familiar with the issue. Then we will come back to the second part of the question.
Mr. LASH. Essentially, hire contract guards through the basic guard service contract, and the contractor has the prime responsibility to hire the individuals under the contract. However, there are certain requirements that we mandate the contractor to follow.
First, there is a background check through the Federal Bureau of Investigations that we run on all of our contract guard employees.
We currently require the contractor to provide training to the officers based on a manual which we have developed, pertaining to the types of functions that we require of the guard service.
We test each individual guard on the manual, and on the information that they receive during their training.
We require firearms training, safety test training for the firearms, as well as range qualifications for those individuals that carry a firearm during their duty.
Mr. TRAFICANT. They are not all armed?
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMr. LASH. No, sir, they are not.
Mr. TRAFICANT. What is the discrepancy in pay between a contract guard and an in-house guard?
Mr. LASH. Currently, on the average, we pay a contractor about $17.50 an hour for their services. Our FPO contract rate is somewhat higher than that once you add all the overhead into it. I don't have the exact dollar figure$19.30, is it?
Mr. TRAFICANT. My question is, have you ever done any cost comparison analysis between the two? Also, maybe in response to that, where are your in-house officers trained? And do you have a coordinated, consolidated type of training program?
Mr. LASH. Yes, sir, we do. All of our Federal Protective Officers are trained at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia.
Mr. TRAFICANT. You also show here $282 million in spending over the next 2 years for security enhancements. These enhancementsis this equipment? Personnel? What's the breakdown on this?
Mr. LASH. It's a combination of things; $132 million of that is for capital equipment, things like the x-ray machines and closed-circuit television, things like that. We have at least $120 million in operating costs, and we've already spent $32 million, as I mentioned earlier. So it's a combination of those three things.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMr. TRAFICANT. Before I close with my questioning on GSA, you know, as a former law enforcement official, I think consistency in service of your personnel would probably be very important to control that one variable. I am one who believes that maybe we should be looking at a GSA security force. I know that the cost-effectiveness or the cost-consciousness of the situation involving contract guards is good; some of them are ex-policemen, and they have good lobbying, but I think the overall coordination of an in-house service might just be better. I would like to ask that that study, that comparison of contract versus in-house, be made and be made available to this committee so that we could decide it.
[Information received follows:]
Mr. TRAFICANT. The second question I have concerns Mr. Coon. How does the Marshals Service interact with the Administrative Office of the Courts in developing the security budget?
Mr. COON. We work very closely with the Administrative Office of the Courts. We participate in all of their committees, and one of their most important ones is their Subcommittee on Security.
Mr. TRAFICANT. How do you feel about this new issue, where we're talking about security potential and risk from parking under courthouses? What is your position on the juxtaposition of parking and the way some of these buildings are designed, with parking facilities under the courthouses, which has now come under some form of review and controversy?
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Mr. COON. As set forth in the study, I believe the recommendation states that employee parking only should be permitted under these facilities.
Mr. TRAFICANT. Finally, then, how does the Service gain access to information which may have an effect on how the Marshals protect a particular judge or defendant in one of these courthouses? How do you get that information? How do you distribute that information? What is the system like? What might be the needs or the failings of that, or what do you need to enhance that?
Mr. COON. The way we get information is primarily from the investigative agencies who are involved in the original case. We rely heavily on the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, and their resources to provide us with intelligence.
We also have our own analytical support unit and threat analysts who provide us with cross-sections of information from those various agencies, as well as other databases that are available to us.
Mr. TRAFICANT. Do you detect a growing trend in overt threats to judges and court officials and others that you protect?
Mr. COON. We have experienced increased threats over the last several years, yes.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMr. TRAFICANT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Traficant.
Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, just very briefly.
Following up on Mr. Traficant's question, when you say that you are paying a contractor $17.50 per hour, does that mean that you're paying it to the contracting company itself, and they could be paying the guard at a much lower rate, a minimum wage or a little above a minimum wage? Or did you mean that that's what they're actually paying the guard himself?
Mr. LASH. That's the hourly rate that we pay the contractor and not necessarily what the contract guards themselves would be paid.
Mr. DUNCAN. Do you know what a typical payment rate is for the guards themselves when they are working under a contractor?
Mr. LASH. It depends on the location. We use the Department of Labor labor rates for the contract guard positions. That can vary from city to city, but it certainly is below the $17.50 per hour that we pay the contractor.
Mr. DUNCAN. And going from Mr. Coon's last comment about the increased threats, can you tell us how many threats you have registered or reported for Federal buildings last year across the country?
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Mr. COON. I don't have that information with me right now, but I would gladly provide it to you.
Mr. LASH. Mr. Duncan, in our Federal buildings we experience, on an average, over 11,000 criminal incidents per year.
Mr. DUNCAN. And what would those primarily consist of? When you say ''criminal incidents,'' would that be somebody coming through a machine whom you discover carrying a knife or a gun or
Mr. LASH. Yes, it could be. Principally, the predominant offense that we see in our Federal buildings is theft.
Mr. DUNCAN. Theft?
Mr. LASH. Theft.
Mr. DUNCAN. All right. Thank you very much.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Duncan.
Mr. MASCARA. Gentlemen, as a former member of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee, we held some hearings, and I had some questions that still have not been answered. I am generally opposed to privatizing Federal functions, especially as they relate to security. Maybe we need to think about how we rework this Government, but in the case of security I think we're going in the wrong direction.
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Isn't it true that over the past 20 years, the number of Federal buildings has increased in this country? Is that a correct statement?
Mr. BARRAM. The number of buildings? That must be true. Our inventory has declined since 1975, from 1,920 government-owned buildings in 1975 to 1,700 in 1996.
Mr. MASCARA. And isn't it true that you have responsibility for about, what, 8,000 of the 26,000 buildings that we have around the country?
Mr. BARRAM. Yes.
Mr. MASCARA. And isn't it true that the number of people who are protecting these buildings have continued to decline over the number of years that we're talking about here?
Mr. BARRAM. The FPS numbers have gone down.
Mr. MASCARA. Yes. So we have the number of people who are protecting these buildings going down
Mr. BARRAM. Contract guards is up.
Mr. MASCARA. But overall, isn't it true that the number of people who are responsible, both uniformed and security guards that are being contracted for, have gone down, while the number of buildings has gone up?
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Mr. LASH. Since the early 1970s, we had a force of well over 5,000 employees, and since that time it has gone down.
Mr. BARRAM. And part of the reason for that, of course, is that we are able to rely on more sophisticated technology.
Mr. MASCARA. Okay.
Mr. COON. If I may follow up on that, as far as the Marshals Service, we are concerned with security for the judiciary. As the number of judicial facilities has increased over the last several years, so has our attendant security force.
Mr. MASCARA. And also we learned that for those other 18,000 buildings, the responsibility and authority for protection of those fall under various agencies? Different agencies have the responsibility for security, so there is really no central authority for Federal buildings throughout the country. So we have a fragmented-type systemthis agency, or Agriculture, or whatever, would have responsibility for security and contracting out services?
Mr. BARRAM. Yes, and we have individual building responsibilities. We actually made a point of that over the last year, to make each building address its own security issues, with guidelines.
Mr. MASCARA. Wouldn't it be more effective to have some kind of central authority that would have overall responsibility for some kind of uniform security across this country and across the 26,000 buildings that we're responsible for, rather than having these different agencies doing what they want to do when they want to do it as it relates to security?
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Mr. BARRAM. One of the results of the DOJ Vulnerability Study was to develop standards for building security. So we have done that, we are doing that, so we will have more central guidelines.
I myself would make a distinction between guidelines and central control.
Mr. MASCARA. I want to get back to the line of questioning that my colleague, Congressman Traficant, talked about, the training of security guards. It was indicated that Georgia is the location where we train our uniformed officers. I would like for you to state the difference between the training given to the uniformed officers, those in the protective services, and those that are contracted for, the types of training that they must undergo in order to work in our Federal buildings.
Mr. LASH. They are in some cases similar, such as first aid training, CPR training, which our contract guards receive as well as our officers.
However, the training that our officers receive at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center is focused on police-type activities: the preliminary investigations of crimes committed on our property; police response to various situations.
Our contract guards are primarily focused on the types of functions that they perform, principally access control and those kinds of functions, as opposed to the police functions.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMr. MASCARA. But isn't it true that the officers who go through the Georgia facility receive 8 weeks of intensive training, whereas the contract guards receive 80 hours of training?
Mr. LASH. That's correct.
Mr. MASCARA. How do we justify the difference in the efficiency and the ability of the officers to protect Federal facilities when one group is given 8 weeks of intensive training, and the other group is given 80 hours of training?
Mr. LASH. I think essentially the difference is based on the responsibilities, duties and functions that we require of the two different groups. Again, the Federal police officer assumes and is responsible for police-type functions, which we believe requires intensive training above and beyond what we would require of a contract guard.
Essentially, for the contract guards, their duties principally focus on access control as opposed to police-type responses.
Mr. MASCARA. How many uniformed officers do you have at GSA?
Mr. LASH. I think we have 362 uniformed police officers.
Mr. MASCARA. And that's down considerably?
Mr. LASH. It is down, yes, sir.
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Mr. MASCARA. Is there a 1988 law that calls for having 1,000 uniformed officers at GSA? In 1988, was a law passed requiring that we have 1,000?
Mr. BARRAM. Yes, sir.
Mr. MASCARA. Are we, then, breaking the law?
Mr. BARRAM. Since 1988 we have not added; in fact, in line with the general approach to reduce the number of people in the agency, we have fewer people.
If I understand correctly, we are now working to try to repeal that law because that 1,000 number is probably not the right number. We have done an assessment, and the number is higher than we have today; we've already talked about the 347 new people we're going to hire, and we think that gets closer to what we ought to have. But we're not at 1,000; we're a lot less.
Mr. MASCARA. Sir, in 1995 you had 409 police officers, and that was down from 640, so you had a decline of 231 officers over those few years?
Mr. BARRAM. Yes, sir.
Mr. MASCARA. So how are we all to feel saferI'm not here trying to be inflammatory in my remarks; I'm a structured person and I'm an accountant, so I look at numbers and the numbers don't add up, and I'm concerned that somehow in our search for a balanced budget we are somehow compromising the security across this country, and maybe we need to reprioritize some of the things we're doing and give the money to law enforcement and security for the buildings across the country.
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Did the 1994 buy-out affect the number of officers that you had in ouragainquest to downsize? People were given $25,000 stipends to retire. Did that also affect the number?
Mr. BARRAM. It had some effect, yes.
Mr. COON. As far as the Marshals Service, it had no impact because of the Court Security Officer Program that we manage. We have, as I stated, increased the numbers of security officers who are present at judicial facilities throughout the country. Our responsibilityalthough GSA has responsibility for all Federal buildings, the Marshals Service is responsible primarily for the judiciary. Our training of our court security officers in a lot of respects mirrors those requirements of GSA.
I think one area where we may differ is that our court security officers are required to have 3 years of prior law enforcement experience.
Mr. MASCARA. I only have one more question. Have you considered reconfiguring the tenants in Federal buildings so as to separate those agencies that might be more susceptible to hate groups fromlet's say, the ATF or the FBI or other agencies, from day care centers and social services? Have you considered that as a measure that you might want to look at?
Mr. BARRAM. Yes. We have a new policy where we will look at those high-risk agencies and those more routine-acting agencies, as the chairman mentioned in his opening comments. As leases come up, as we do relocating of groups, this is going to be a major consideration.
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I don't think this is a cut-and-dried situation, however. To me, the IRS shouldn't feel like a high-risk agency, nor should the Bureau of Mines. They are people doing a job; there are a lot of customers, a lot of Americans, who come to those offices. Should they be considered high-risk and not put with Social Security? I don't know
Mr. MASCARA. Well, it's just a general statement. I didn't intend to pick on the IRS.
Mr. BARRAM. You wouldn't be a good American.
Mr. MASCARA. I just generally have some concerns about the diminishing numbers of people who are responsible for protection in this country, and I just thought it necessary that I go away, at least, wanting all of you to know that I'm concerned, and if there's something we should do, I think all of these agencies should speak up and be quite frank about it. And if any of you think that the dwindling numbers will compromise the security in this country, I think you have the same responsibility that I have to say it, and I don't care whether you are junior or not; and if you're fired, you probably will not get in JFK's ''Profiles in Courage'' for stepping forward and saying that, but I go to bed with a good conscience every night and I will after today, saying that I said what I said. Someone needs to do something about that, and it's not Republican, it's not Democrat. Security is people's lives.
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Mr. BARRAM. Let me just add that we are doubling the size of our uniformed officers as soon as we possibly can get it done. You're right.
Mr. MASCARA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Mascara.
Ms. NORTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Welcome, Mr. Barram, and welcome to all of you who have this important responsibility.
Some places in this country are more vulnerable than others, and the District, of course, justifiably, is considered the most vulnerable.
I must say that as one looks at the reaction of GSA and the Federal agencies, one is impressed with how blunt the instrument can be. I will say what I think about closing Pennsylvania Avenue, for the Secret Service. It is not that I oppose it; it is that it was done with huge insensitivity and with no sense of how to provide for a city of more than half a million people who had their downtown stripped and cut in half. If you all think that the GSA or the Secret Service or any other Federal agency in the name of protection can go about doing anything it wants to in this city, I want everybody to understand that you're going to hear from me every time.
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It seems to me that with every sense of the vulnerability of this city at this time, and even if it were the healthiest jurisdiction in the country, the application of security in individual spots ought to be done always within the context of a living, breathing city.
Now, I want to ask of Mr. Lash, following up first on the questions that have been asked, and I hope you recognize that each member from each side has started out by asking about these guards. And I think that is because generally, security guards are notoriously uneven.
I have to tell you that I am now concerned about ''notorious uneveness'' within the Federal service, based on what I have heard. Let me ask Mr. Lash this.
Mr. Lash, if I were to propose, in this time of deficit reduction, that you cut the number of hours of training of security guards down to what they are in the private sectorbecause, after all, you've found a way to save money by going to the private sector, who sometimes apparently give less training than we dowhat would be your response?
Mr. LASH. At this point in time I'm not certain as to your meaning. We haven't cut
Ms. NORTON. My hypothetical was the following, so that I am understood.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCOne of the members elicited from you that there werehow many months?
Mr. BARRAM. Eighty hours versus 8 weeks.
Ms. NORTON. Eighty hours versus 8 weeks.
My question is: suppose everybody had the same amount of training. Would you be willing to cut the number of hours of training for guards trained in Georgia?
Mr. LASH. Firstagain, I would relate to my earlier statement in terms of training in relationship to the responsibilities that we expect from the contract guards, and the training that we provide our uniformed officers, and the duties and functions that we expect from them.
I think we are dealing with two essentially different types of requirements in that, again, the Federal police officer on a day-to-day basis is dealing with law enforcement-type functions and responsibilities, whereas the contract guard is primarily responsible for access control.
Ms. NORTON. How many hours of training does the contract guard get?
Mr. LASH. Right now they get 67 hours of in-house training by the contractor, and another 13 hours of orientation by the Federal Protective Service.
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Ms. NORTON. So what is the difference between the number of hours of training?
Mr. LASH. Well, again, with the contract guards we focus on access control types of activities, as opposed to law enforcement, response to crimes
Ms. NORTON. So you divide this up, knowing that the contract guard has gotten one kind of training through his own employer or his own contractor, and will get what kind of training through you?
Mr. LASH. Through usthrough the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centerit's a whole range of law enforcement-types of subject material.
Mr. BARRAM. What do the contract guards get from us?
Ms. NORTON. Yes.
Mr. BARRAM. It's an orientation.
Mr. LASH. It's 13 hours of orientation.
Ms. NORTON. What do you know about the quality of the training of the contract guards?
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMr. LASH. Well, our control of the quality of that training is obtained through the testing of the contract guards, that we perform. We have provided the contractor with a manual, with the information that we expect the contract guard to know, and then we test the guard on that material. If the guard fails to pass that test, the guard is not allowed to go to work at any of our facilities.
Ms. NORTON. Is that the same test that the in-house guards receive?
Mr. LASH. No, it is different. It has different subject materials.
Ms. NORTON. The in-house guards are different from the contract guards?
Mr. LASH. The in-house police officers that we use
Ms. NORTON. Are you talking about the Capitol Police, or are you talking about something else? Let's say what we're talking about, and maybe this jargon will clear away.
Mr. BARRAM. We have this Federal Protective Officer, who is a police officer, and different than a contract guard. That's the distinction.
Ms. NORTON. All right. The only people that you train are cops, is that what you're telling me?
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Mr. LASH. Yes.
Ms. NORTON. All right.
The guards that we hire, the guards who guard buildings who are not Capitol Police or Secret Service people, are all on contract? We don't train any non-police officer guards here?
Mr. LASH. That is true.
Ms. NORTON. Now, how many contractors are there training these guards?
Mr. LASH. The exact number of contractors doing the training? I don't know what that number is offhand.
Mr. BARRAM. There are 3,000 contract guards, so there is some number of contractors employing them.
Ms. NORTON. And they are hired locally, and if they pass the test you are satisfied that the training is what you would desire?
Mr. LASH. Yes. We use that to ensure that the contract guards have the necessary knowledge to perform those functions that we expect.
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Ms. NORTON. And these contracts are let by individual agencies?
Mr. LASH. They are primarily let by GSA.
Ms. NORTON. In the particular region?
Mr. LASH. Yes.
Ms. NORTON. You indicated that you do not know what the pay of the guards is, is that right?
Mr. LASH. I think that was earlier. I indicated that the pay for our in-house uniformed police officers is $19 an hour.
Mr. BARRAM. It's about $19.30. And the payif you take the total amount of dollars that we pay to contractors, divided by the number of contract guards, it comes out to $17.50 or $17.75.
Ms. NORTON. All right. See, I don't want to compare apples and oranges. I want to make sure what I'm comparing.
If we were talking about Capitol Police or Secret Service cops, then we should have called them that. I want to make clear what we're talking about. We're talking about police who are paid something and who are trained to be cops on the one hand, and we're talking about guards who are trained simply to guard buildings on the other. We ought to divide those apples and oranges. What I am trying to discover is how much a security guard, like the one you have in a Safeway, gets paid, if he happens to work for the Federal Government through a contractor. That's what I want to know.
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Mr. LASH. Again, that depends on the location, based on the Department of Labor wage rates. It does vary from city to city. However, probably a good indication, an average, might be around $9 or $10 an hour.
Ms. NORTON. I wish you would provide the committee with that information.
[Information received follows:]
Ms. NORTON. In the same city, then, you wouldn't expect large fluctuations if there were several Federal buildings, among how the guards were paid?
Mr. LASH. No, there wouldn't be large variations. There may be some, even though the minimum wage is the same for the city, yes.
Mr. MASCARA. Would the gentlelady yield?
Ms. NORTON. I'd be glad to yield.
Mr. MASCARA. You certainly have an interest in the Washington, D.C. area. The information that I had was that after that buy-out, the number of uniformed officers in the Washington area declined from 154 to 108, which is a reduction of 46 officers in the Washington area.
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Mr. BARRAM. These are the Federal Protective Officers, the people trained as police.
Ms. NORTON. Yes.
Mr. BARRAM. There are a number of different agencies that have police-trained officers.
Ms. NORTON. I would hope that if I ask about the difference within a particular jurisdictionI would hope that a large difference within a jurisdiction would trigger the concern of GSA. These are competitive bids, and if somebody paying half or three-quarters of what somebody else is paying, I certainly hope you don't wait until they take the exam to look more closely at where corners are being cut. We are talking about security and we are talking about a profession where there have been, to say the least, very serious repercussions from poorly-trained personnel.
Could I ask about the Security Committees? Are there Security Committees in all agencies of the Federal Government?
Mr. BARRAM. The DOJ Vulnerability Assessment team said we ought to have, and we have established, Building Security Committees for every building.
Ms. NORTON. All right, within every building?
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMr. BARRAM. Right. That includes tenants, local police people, union members.
Ms. NORTON. Good. That's what I wanted to knowunion members, management?
Mr. BARRAM. Right.
Ms. NORTON. So every identifiable sector is on the Security Committee. They are functioning. Do they meet? What do they do?
Mr. BARRAM. They met and created over 10,000 recommendations which, when we looked at them centrally, ended up at about 8,500. But the committees are still in place and will continue to be in place.
Ms. NORTON. Well, I congratulate you on doing it that way, because I am sure that contribution that employees and others who use the building had to make must have been enormous. And I would urge you to keep these committees in place, and frankly I would regard the notionI wish we had OSHA committees that had everybody on themI think we get greater cooperation, and I think we would get a better product.
Can I ask you about parking?
I can wait until the next one, perhaps, Mr. Chairman.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMr. GILCHREST. For the next panel?
Ms. NORTON. Does the next panel have to do with the Federal courts?
Mr. GILCHREST. The next panelI think the U.S. Marshals Service would have the expertise in this area.
Ms. NORTON. Could I just ask one more?
Mr. GILCHREST. Yes, ma'am.
Ms. NORTON. We have all of these state-of-the-art Federal buildings going up; that is to say, if you consider state-of-the-art kitchens and other such amenities.
Did you find that the courts were already where they needed to be, the newer courthouses that are going up, the ones that are going through the process? Or have you had to do major work on the courthouses that are in planning to make sure that they were going to be secure?
Mr. COON. The U.S. Marshals Service is a member of the Planning Committee, and we have a voice in the recommendations that go into the construction of the new judicial facilities as it pertains to areas of our interest, such as judicial security and the security and handling of prisoners.
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Ms. NORTON. That was not my question. My question was, with courthouses going up already, with a fair number having already been planned, have you looked at those plans relative to the new security concerns? And did you find that those plans needed major revisions in order to make sure that the new courthouses going through, not yet built, would indeed be secure?
Mr. COON. The Marshals Service, with the judiciary, has developed a security plan that was the blueprint for the Vulnerability Assessment Study. So we have those security issues already in place and plans in place.
Ms. NORTON. Here I go again. Let me try it again.
I am talking about courthouses that we have approved that have not been built. I want to know whether, when you went back and looked at thosefirst, did you go back and look at them? Secondly, did you find that already in place was a sufficient sense of security so that they did or did not need major revision?
Ms. HILTON. Yes. The new courthouses are designed with standards to meet those security standards. So the new buildings, yes, are meeting security standards. We continue to work with GSA on the perimeter of those buildings, but essentially the new courthouse facilities only meet the standards. We continue to always try to retrofit our existing facilities.
Ms. NORTON. But they didn't need major revision? Already in the blueprints was what you are now having to do with the older courthouses?
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Ms. HILTON. With very few exceptions, as far as setback and some of the major perimeter concerns. But as far as the facility itself, as far as parking and stuff, we continue to work on it.
Ms. NORTON. Thank you very much.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Ms. Norton.
I just have a couple of quick questions, but before I forgetand I may forgetI want to take a second to make a personal note about Marlene English, who is leaving us, I understand, tomorrow after 16 years on the committeeoh, months?
Mr. GILCHREST. It's 16 months. At any rate, we will miss you and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors, and your wit and sense of humor and dedication have been an inspiration to all. Thank you.
Just very quickly, I would like to ask GSAjust to stay with the guards for just a secondthe system that you have in place, with the police officers and the contract guards, on the one hand are you satisfied with the process that you have instituted for contracting for guards at your various facilities around the country?
Mr. LASH. I think that, as the DOJ study pointed out, there are certain things that we need to do to improve our contracting.
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Mr. GILCHREST. And those things areare they wages? Are they training? Is it where those guards are placed? Does age enter into any of this?
Mr. LASH. It is a number of issues which we are addressing with our new standards that will be out next month. We are increasing the hours of training. We are going to be requiring drug testing for all contract guards
Mr. GILCHREST. On a regular basis?
Mr. LASH. Pardon me?
Mr. GILCHREST. On a regular basis? Or just when you contract them?
Mr. LASH. It will be initially when they come on under our contracts, and then follow-up testing as well. Also, we are also going to require in our higher-risk facilities that, like the U.S. Marshals Service and some of the other agencies, law enforcement experience as well as training from an accredited law enforcement school.
So those are the kinds of things that we are looking at now that will be placed in the new specifications.
Mr. GILCHREST. And are you satisfied with the security checks that you have in place and that the contracting agencies have in place for the people that you hire?
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Mr. LASH. The checks that we are doing now we think are good. Right now we are having a little bit of difficulty in the time that it takes to process the background information. It can be somewhat time-consuming, but we are working on that as well, to reduce that time.
Mr. GILCHREST. But under this year-long study you feel that what you have learned and what you are instituting, that the contracting part of the security is an acceptable risk? It's acceptable to the employees, the Federal employees, as far as security is concerned?
Mr. LASH. I think that for the functions that we require of the contract guards, yes.
Mr. GILCHREST. You said you had a little under 400 actual police officers that go through 8 weeks of training for the facilities around the country. Mr. Mascara alluded to the fact that in 1988 there was some recognition that you probablyotherwise, I don't think it would have been institutedneeded about an estimate of close to 1,000.
Do you feel that you need 1,000 police officers trained to facilitate the security needs of GSA? And if so, would you request that, or should we pursue that to ensure that you have enough trained officers?
Mr. BARRAM. The law in 1988 said we should have 1,000, and we should add 50 a year to get there by 1992. As Mr. Mascara has pointed out by his line of questioning, we didn't do that. We went the other direction, actually. We could speculate on why that happened; I don't know that that matters.
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We have an assessment underway which we should get fairly soon that will tell us the number that we think we ought to have. We would like to get the law changed so that that 1,000 is not a requirement. Ultimately the number is going to be closer to 1,000, a lot closer than the number we have today. We already have a plan to almost double the number that we have today so it will be somewhere up in that vicinity. We will know the total number fairly soon.
Mr. GILCHREST. Do the contracting officers, in your mind, take up the slack for the 600 deficit that you have? Or does that not enter the picture at all?
Mr. BARRAM. Mr. Lash can answer that.
Mr. LASH. I think that with the study that we had performed last fall, where the number was reached at a little over 700, that's a good number based on what we think was a good review by one of our contractors. I don't believe at this time that contract employees make up the difference between what we have on board now and what we should have on board, what we are striving to get on board. But I think that number that we have established now, at over 700, is an adequate number for our purposes, yes.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you.
Mr. Coon, a follow-up question as far as staffing is concerned.
The U.S. Marshals Service is providing security, at least in part, for Federal courthouses. Are your staffing levels adequate? Are you understaffed? Are the dollars used for training enough?
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Mr. COON. If I may, I'll ask Ms. Hilton to answer that.
Ms. HILTON. I want to separate Deputy U.S. Marshals from the court security, if I could.
Mr. GILCHREST. Yes.
Ms. HILTON. Which one
Mr. GILCHREST. That's good. I would like you to do that, as well. The court security officers, are they contracted to the U.S. Marshals Service or GSA?
Ms. HILTON. They are contracted to the U.S. Marshals Service from the appropriation that the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts receives, and then transfers to the U.S. Marshals Service to administer judicial programs for, one, the court security officers, and two, security system enhancements, the cameras and x-ray machines that you see for judicial space. Okay, so those programs are run for the courts, and they receive
Mr. GILCHREST. Through the Marshals Service?
Ms. HILTON. Through the Marshals Service.
Mr. GILCHREST. Now, do you have security guards that are contracted out with less training than your U.S. Marshal would receive?
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Ms. HILTON. Yes, sir, we do. That is what Mr. Coon was referring to earlier when he stated that our requirements, our qualifications, are built into the contract so that we receive a guard who has 3 years' prior law enforcement and is a graduate from a law enforcement academy and has had arrest powers for 3 years. They then receive orientation at Glynco, Georgia, also, at 40 hours a week, and then there is in-district training by the local Marshals Office and by the contractor for on-site training. We are currently building an in-district training program for them that they will receive at the district level, which will be a more cost-effective way of training.
Mr. GILCHREST. I guess we could say to a certain extent that the security guards at a courthouse are trained at a much higher level than the security guard at maybe a Social Security building or an IRS building or something like that?
Ms. HILTON. Well, we continue to work with Rand's office. We had been working previously with contracting issues to try to have the qualifications very similar with court security officers, and I think that we will continue on that track. I will let Randy address that, but we continue to work with him.
Mr. LASH. In looking at our overall contracts, we have contacted a number of various organizationsthe U.S. Marshals Service, the Department of Justice, as well as the State Departmentto take a look and evaluate their contracting process, their specifications, and their requirements, to see what areas we need to beef up on, where we need improvements. So we have used those contracts when evaluating ours to see exactly what we need to do to improve.
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Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you.
Now, just to finish up, the staffing level of actual U.S. Marshals, in your judgment is that adequate at the present time?
Mr. COON. I think that, as our budget submissions reflect, as the judiciary increases, so will the resource requirements of the Marshals Service as far as Deputy U.S. Marshals and as far as court security officers.
Mr. GILCHREST. So there are no areas that are lacking in security from your perspective as far as the number of people that you have?
Mr. COON. At the present time, no.
Ms. HILTON. I just was going to add that we were able to obtain a supplemental for the courts which did enable us to put 449 court security officers in place this past year. So that has helped considerably. We continue to receive funding for the court security officers from the courts.
We do have certain staffing levels that need to be met, and if we stay on track with the courts, I think that those staffing levels will be met. As Mr. Coon said, if we receive our 1997 budget for Marshals Service Deputies, I think that we are staying on track; but if we don't, then we will be short.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMr. GILCHREST. I see. Thank you very much.
I have gone over as well, unfortunately, so I will submit the rest of my questions to the panel.
[The questions and the answers thereto follow:]
Ms. NORTON. Mr. Chairman, could I just make one intervention?
Mr. GILCHREST. Ms. Norton?
Ms. NORTON. I did not raise District of Columbia matters in any detail, and I would like to ask Mr. Barram if he would come to see me. There are a number of matters that I would like to raise.
One, when the FBI, after the bombing, essentially took over all of the parking places around the FBI building, they did the normal communitarian thing. They indicated that they knew that would be revenue taken from the District of Columbia, and they indicated that they would replace that revenue on an annual basis. Is that the policy of GSA with respect to any other such actions in this city?
Mr. BARRAM. As far as I know, we don't have a policy like that. I heard they had done that. I don't know that anyone has done that anywhere else. I don't know the answer to your question.
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Ms. NORTON. I'd like to find out the answer to my question, and I would appreciate your coming to see me in my office.
Mr. BARRAM. And I would be happy to come see you, yes.
Mr. GILCHREST. You have one question, Mr. Mascara?
Mr. MASCARA. Yes, Mr. Chairman. It's not a question; more or less a statement.
Mr. GILCHREST. Go ahead.
Mr. MASCARA. Thank you.
Finally, we all agree that we need to balance the budget. The message that I was trying to give you was, let's be very frank and forthright about the problems; and if we, the Congressand this should be a bipartisan approach to the problem. There is nothing partisan about what we're doing, and there should not be. But you need to speak up, and we need to direct funds from other agencies, from other funding, from other sources, to make sure that you have at your disposal the necessary funding to carry out the obligations that are assigned to you. That's all.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Mascara.
Mr. Barram, Mr. Coon, thank you very much for your testimony and patience.
Our next panel will be Mr. William O'Hanlon, Section Chief, Facilities, Management, and Security Section, FBI; Mr. Robert Opfer, Section Chief, Security Counter Measures, also of the FBI; and Mr. Bruce Bowen from the United States Secret Service.
Welcome. Good morning, gentlemen.
Mr. O'Hanlon, you may proceed.
TESTIMONY OF WILLIAM P. O'HANLON, SECTION CHIEF, FACILITIES, MANAGEMENT, AND SECURITY SECTION, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION; ROBERT J. OPFER, SECTION CHIEF, SECURITY COUNTER MEASURES SECTION, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION; AND BRUCE BOWEN, DEPUTY ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS, U.S. SECRET SERVICE
Mr. O'HANLON. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and good morning. I am joined here today from the FBI by Mr. Bob Opfer, and we would like to submit a joint statement for the record. We will each make an oral presentation regarding this matter.
I am Special Agent William O'Hanlon of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and I am in charge of the physical security for the FBI headquarters building. I want to thank you for the opportunity to discuss security at Federal facilities, which is an important issue not only to the FBI and its employees, but to all Federal workers.
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I believe it is important to note that after becoming Director of the FBI, Louis J. Freeh conducted a personal review of the physical security of the FBI headquarters building and determined that deficiencies existed which must be corrected to enhance the protection of FBI employees, visitors, the building, and the general public. The initial steps taken by Director Freeh to enhance security at the building incorporated several different measures which promoted the physical security of the building itself.
Furthermore, while these immediate steps were instituted to further restrict access to the interior of the building, additional measures were undertaken to extend the building security perimeter to the street. The FBI has undertaken security measures which are prudent and which were long overdue in view of the crime and violence of today.
The FBI has always had physical security measures in place for its facilities. However, those measures have been continually enhanced to meet the changing requirements caused by the changing threats: that is, terrorist activity and criminal acts. The FBI continually seeks methods to improve its capabilities to protect its personnel and its facilities.
After the President directed the Department of Justice to assess the vulnerability of Federal office buildings, I was immediately assigned to that assessment group. I was a member of the Security Standards Committee. After extensive and intensive meetings, we developed minimum security standards for Federal facilities based on different security levels, which incorporate occupant agencies' missions; risk and threat assessments; facility size; number of personnel assigned; required public access, and other factors which dictate required levels of security. A simple ''one size fits all'' solution was impractical and would have proven to be a disservice not only to Federal agencies and employees, but also to the American people.
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The Standards Committee worked hard and long and developed workable and practical security standards that significantly enhance the overall physical security posture of Federal facilities, taking into account the different qualities of those facilities.
As a member of the Vulnerability Assessment Standards Committee I was able to draw upon my experience in enhancing the security of the FBI headquarters building. It was my conviction that the adoption of certain standards was highly important. These included the use of x-ray machines and magnetometers to screen packages and visitors, and increased presence and visibility of uniformed guards; the establishment of visitor control procedures and utilization of photo ID badges for personnel; the elimination of uncontrolled parking in and around Federal facilities, where feasible; and enhanced exterior lighting and closed-circuit TV monitoring.
Also of significance was the need to strengthen intelligence sharing among agencies and within the law enforcement community.
As a long-term initiative it was important that the development of uniform construction standards be undertaken; that is, as they relate to security considerations. That is important in the long run.
These standards, which I saw as important, were developed and were written into the Vulnerability Assessment Report.
Following the Oklahoma City bombing, the FBI has further enhanced security measures at the FBI headquarters building. I would like to give you a few of these examples.
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A new tour visitors screening center is being constructed on the building's mezzanine level to screen visitors to the FBI's tour prior to entry onto the mezzanine level itself. This new facility will afford not only the FBI building and its employees more protection, but will also serve to protect the visitors who are visiting there. The protection of everybody is of primary concern to the FBI.
Also, FBI headquarters instituted a procedure whereby deliveries, to the extent practical, U.S. mail, shipments, and oversight and express packages are delivered to an off-site location, where they are screened for explosives and then transshipped by cleared vehicles to the FBI headquarters building. This procedure has significantly reduced the security risk associated with trucks entering the building with unscreened cargo. In addition, the FBI has received approval from appropriate authorities to place concrete planters around the FBI headquarters building near the curb. This will extend the building security perimeter and create a barrier against vehicles running up to the building's exterior wall.
Also, the feasibility of installing shatter-resistant window film on the windows of the headquarters building is being researched.
The FBI has now instituted unprecedented and stringent security enhancements at the FBI headquarters building to serve as both a protection and a deterrent. This comprehensive security approach has significantly enhanced the security of the building and will serve as protection for both employees and the general public.
In addition to the FBI headquarters building, the FBI has also addressed the physical security of our field facilities, which are numerous, and which Mr. Opfer will now discuss.
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Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. O'Hanlon.
Mr. OPFER. Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. I am Robert J. Opfer, the Security Programs Manager of the FBI. I am responsible for the overall management of several security disciplines affection the FBI nationwide, including the physical security of FBI personnel and facilities.
In addition to the security of the FBI headquarters, the FBI is concerned as well with protection of its personnel and facilities abroad. The FBI currently has 56 field offices and several hundred other facilities, which include resident agencies, task force operations, and other off-site locations.
The safety and security of personnel has always been a priority consideration for these facilities. Recent events unquestionably indicate that there is a greater need for enhanced security measures than in past years.
Subsequent to the tragic shooting incident in Washington, D.C. on November 20, 1994, resulting in the deaths of two FBI agents and a Washington, D.C. police officer, Director Freeh issued instructions that steps be taken to assure the physical safety of FBI personnel, both in FBI and in off-site space. My Security Counter Measures Section had the responsibility for the development of a comprehensive survey of field office security.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCWith the bombing on April 19, 1995 of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, this survey was expanded to consider blast protection against car bombs. To protect our FBI employees and facilities against catastrophic injuries and damage as inflicted by the car bombing in Oklahoma City was a high priority for this survey.
By the end of April, 1995, a sufficient number of FBI facilities had responded to the survey begin by my section to support recommendations for baseline FBI security standards, many of which were already in place in most FBI facilities. These included bullet-resistant transaction windows in public reception areas; duress alarms in high-threat areas throughout the office; identification badges for employees and visitors; sophisticated access control and intrusion detection systems. Other forms of enhancements recommended will have to be addressed over the course of several years, based on existing lease obligations or available funding. These include building setbacks and tight control of parking in and about facilities in which FBI offices are housed; restricted access to parking areas for official FBI vehicles; the centralization and separation of the more public areas within FBI offices; and, on a case-by-case basis, guard service.
In addition, it was recommended that funding be identified to install mail-and package-screening x-ray devices and metal detectors in all FBI field offices, most resident agencies, and a number of off-site facilities.
As part of our existing security requirements, the FBI is already in compliance in many facilities with a number of the standards set forth in the Vulnerability Assessment. These include closed-circuit TV; enhanced lighting; access control; employee and visitor identification; high security entrance locking hardware; flexible work schedules; contractor security checks, and protection of utilities and emergency backup systems for critical functions.
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We are participating in several of the existing multiagency committees with regard to intelligence-sharing.
In summation, the FBI's physical security plans for the enhancement of the protection of FBI employees and facilities were set in motion before the President's ordering of Federal agencies to implement new security procedures. The security standards established by the Vulnerability Assessment have been implemented, where feasible, consistent with available funding. These physical security requirements must be continually reviewed and modified to meet the changing threats posed by terrorists and criminal elements.
Mr. Chairman, I, too, want to thank you for this opportunity to testify today and would welcome any questions you might have. Thank you.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you very much, Mr. Opfer.
Mr. BOWEN. Good morning, Mr. Chairman and other members of the committee. My name is Bruce Bowen; I am Deputy Assistant Director for the United States Secret Service, Office of Investigations. I want to thank you for the opportunity to address the issues relating to the security of Federal employees in the workplace. The committee's attention, and that of the Congress, is welcomed.
Before I start the text I would like to offer my written statement for the record.
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Our agency's unique and comprehensive protective mission requires attention to myriad variables which have direct or indirect effects on our goal of ensuring a safe environment for the respective protectees. While certain of those variables are generally known, others are less obvious, but not necessarily of lesser importance. Many of the principles which are employed in securing sites being visited or occupied by our protectees are applicable to the Government workplace. As terrorism increases, the importance of preventive measures must also be acknowledged.
Last spring the Secret Service was invited to participate in the Department of Justice's Vulnerability Assessment of Federal Facilities effort, which was coordinated by our colleagues in the U.S. Marshals Service. For the first time, comprehensive security-related statistics for Federal Government buildings were assembled in a meaningful way. More importantly, providing an objective database assists in establishing minimum standards and facilitating the enhancement of security at Government sites.
I will defer to my colleagues in Justice as to the specifics of the initiative.
Having said that, I would note that on June 28th, 1995, President Clinton cited the document as the basis for mandating agency compliance to specific security related directives, providing a time frame for each stage. The prominent role of the General Services Administration at each of these stages will help ensure consistency, compliance, and accountability.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCThe Secret Service has the expertise to provide assistance in security design and analysis. As examples, in February, 1994, then-Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen and Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Cisneros initiated ''Operation Safe Home,'' a program designed to combat certain types of crimes in major metropolitan public housing authority communities. We were part of that initiative.
In January, 1995, the Sergeants at Arms of both Houses of the Congress and the Architect of the Capitol requested the Secret Service to conduct a comprehensive security review of the United States Capitol complex, which included 15 buildings, housing office space, dormitories, and day care centers. The review resulted in recommendations which, if adopted, will provide a heightened level of security for Members, their staffs, and collateral protection of the estimated 7 million to 10 million people who visit the complex each year.
The Secret Service has also conducted numerous surveys of buildings within the Department of the Treasury Bureaus, for example, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia; the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in both Washington, D.C. and Fort Worth, Texas; the Bureau of Public Debt, and the U.S. Mint. Additionally, 32 Governors' and Mayors' residences and offices, Presidential candidates' residences and offices, the United States Supreme Court building, and certain District of Columbia government facilities have been surveyed.
While it would be impractical to discuss security issues relating to each of our facilities in this forum, I would like to mention briefly two locations with which the Secret Service is connected.
The White House complex is the foremost symbol of the Executive Branch of Government. While it is not prudent for me to discuss security at that site in any detail, the Secret Service in cooperation with the Department of the Treasury continues to assess the current security scheme, while simultaneously evaluating proposed enhancements.
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The second site is the new Secret Service headquarters building. The Secret Service, with the support and assistance of the Congress, is hardening the site prior to the start of the actual construction. The exploitation of applicable technology, integrated with personnel resources, will help provide employees and the transiting public with a more secure setting.
The process of identifying security voids associated with Government- and non-Government-owned buildings is straightforward when experienced personnel are tasked with compiling the data. The parameters and strategies for minimizing those voids are much more involved and, at times, quite cumbersome. While the Secret Service remains committed to participating in approved security surveys, the limits of our existing resources in that area must be recognized. To that end, partnerships among the law enforcement community remain crucial in providing secure environments, which are established and maintained in the most cost-effective manner.
Lastly, a crucial element in any protective scheme is vigilance. While difficult to quantify, that ingredient is paramount to providing a secure workplace. Its absence may well be translated into tragedy.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. That concludes my remarks. I would be happy to take any questions you might have.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Bowen.
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCI would like to say to the members that I have another hearing at 10:00. We can proceed as normal, but if we could hold the questioning to about 5 minutes apiece, then submit any further questions that you have for the record, it would be greatly appreciated.
Mr. MASCARA. For any of you gentlemenI noted, Mr. O'Hanlon, during your discussion and statement that you indicated some alternative construction methodology that would make these buildings safer. During your Security Standards Committee deliberations, did you discuss perhaps enhancing the construction of a building? I understand that you can't protect it against all types of attempts to bomb a building, but as a part of our oversight as the Public Buildings and Economic Development Subcommittee, we discuss costs of buildings, and I would be interested in knowing whether you feel that certain buildings that might be targets could have a better construction.
Mr. O'HANLON. Yes, sir. For example, we discussed that at length during the Standards Committee meetings. None of uswe are all security professionals; we aren't engineers, but we know that there are ways to protect buildings, harden the sites, and using different forms of construction which will give you better blast resistance. There are ways of progressive collapse protection; that's one form that you can look at. And we did that, the FBI. We are constructing a new building, a field office for the Washington Metropolitan Field Officer here in Washington, D.C., that will be a great asset to this city. Right after the Oklahoma City bombing, we were not above grade at that time in that building, and the construction is ongoing. We looked at that and we enhanced it just for those two purposes. It was a significant amount that we did to that, but what we did was enhance the blast resistance and the progressive collapse protection on that building.
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Mr. MASCARA. Okay. I have one other question, and that's the number of agents in the FBI. Has that been declining over the past 5 years? And if so, why?
Mr. O'HANLON. I am not familiar with the exact number of agents, but I do not believe it has been declining. We are in a hiring mode right now for that.
Mr. MASCARA. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. GILCHREST. That's good to know. If we lose our next elections, we might apply to the agency.
Mr. O'HANLON. We'd be more than happy to have you.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Mascara.
Ms. NORTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In light of the chairman's time, let me just briefly ask questions of these two witnesses.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCFirst, let me publicly thank the FBIMr. O'Hanlon and Mr. Opferfor the consistent help that the FBI has been to the District of Columbia, even before the District's present problems. The FBI has been a good neighbor and the FBI has been enormously helpful to this city. It ought to be said publicly, and I want to thank you personally and publicly.
Mr. O'HANLON. Thank you for those comments.
Ms. NORTON. I indicated that the FBI essentially understood how to behave initially. Am I correct that these payments to the District are occurring and that they will be on an annual basis?
Mr. O'HANLON. Ma'am, I have not heard from the District of Columbia on that issue.
Ms. NORTON. No, but I have myself heard from the FBI on that issue, and all I am trying to ascertain is, are these payments, which essentially take the revenue from around the entire perimeter of the buildingare they being made on an annual basis?
Mr. O'HANLON. They have not been made yet. We were waiting for word from the Department of Public Works to discuss that matter, and the amount. We have not heard from them.
Ms. NORTON. Let me facilitate that.
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC[Laughter.]
Mr. O'HANLON. I was going to suggestI will call Mr. King.
Ms. NORTON. Thank you very much.
Mr. Bowen of the Secret Service, I only wish I could say of the Secret Service what I have just said about the FBI.
Ms. NORTON. Let me assure you, I am not in the least bit unmindful of your mission or, for that matter, do I deprecate in any way what you do. It is enormously important and it is a very difficult mission. We have had a terrible thing to happen, and at least some of your tunnel vision is totally understandable.
Let me just indicate what I see as the problem, and get your response. The Secret Service, which has the whole country looking at it, wants to make sure that it has always done everything it could to protect the President or the secure areas for which it is responsible.
In some ways, if in fact this country listened only to the Secret Service, this would become a garrison state; no question but that we need to have always the participation in a free society of everybody before we do drastic things.
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I have to tell you, and I'm going to tell you right here publicly, you all can close Pennsylvania Avenue all you want to. My problem is not with that. My problem was with going ahead and assuming that the state of technology would remain the same forever, and that you would have to do the most drastic thing you could do to any downtown big city today, and that is permanently close it off, and then work with whoever over there are working to make it all into a grassy area with a little place that you can walk through. Making the White House off limits to 20 million tourists a yearyou know, you have created a terrible spectacle around there. I understand it is a temporary measure; going ahead as if this is the way Pennsylvania Avenue should be for all time is unacceptable. You all are not going to get licenses from the District of Columbia to take that place and just redo it any way you see fit. You can close it without us, but you can't then go ahead and permanently put grass in there without us. That's not going to happen.
Let me just say right here, the Constitution of the United States with respect to takings applies to the Federal Government as well. Pennsylvania Avenue is a taking, is a terrible taking. It says to people on one side of town that there's no way to get to the other side of town. What it has done to commuters, what it has done to the side streets, is the most insensitive thing that the Federal Government has done in the memory of this Washingtonian. And we all need to get together around the same table.
What you do is, you do not think deeply. You do the first thing that comes to your mind. Look, I could be a Secret Service agent if the thing to do was just close Pennsylvania Avenue. We need somebody with some imagination to sit down and say, ''There's a security matter here, and there's a city here, and how do the twain meet?''
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The easy wayI will always favor security only. You are about to do the same thing with parking under buildings. I can understand, under the FBI building, the parameters we're taking in parking for employees only. But you seem to be moving toward the notion that in Federal buildings, even buildings which this committee has said should be mixed space, there should only be parking for employees.
Let me just ask you, Mr. Bowen, have you all looked to see what the state of the art is so that maybe, given how rapidly technology is proceeding, one would consider that we've come to the point where we could in fact have people other than Federal employees park if we're only looking to see where the technological advances are?
Mr. BOWEN. I am not familiar with the restrictions that we are proposing for parking in buildings in the District of Columbia, ma'am.
Ms. NORTON. Well, there's the Customs Service, and there's going to be mixed use in that building with private parties as well, and it's the International Trade Building. The easy answer, the first answer, ''only employees,'' needs somebody in this Government to start thinking, ''Yes, that's the easy answer; now let me take a second cut at this and see if these things which can now look everywhere, look where they're not supposed to look, can, with the new technology, look so that we can feel less as though everywhere we go in the District of Columbia, we're not going past the KGB.
Mr. BOWEN. Right. I am not familiar with what the Customs Service is doing in their new facility, ma'am, but I am familiar with our headquarters building on G Street where we do have about one-third parking for Secret Service and the other two-thirds is for the general public. They approach the building on 18th Street and can park there at their will.
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Ms. NORTON. Now, that's important, because it's at odds with what a less secure agency wants to do in a brand-new, state-of-the-art building. What precautions have you taken, if any, with respect to parking in your facility since the bombing in Oklahoma City?
Mr. BOWEN. In our part of the buildingour building is a public building, as you know. We are building a new Secret Service headquarters building. We do have precautions in our portion of the building. In the other portion, we have briefed the proprietors of the building, and we do periodic surveys and look at the public parking area. If they have any questions or see anything suspicious, they can immediately contact our Special Investigations Section, who will respond to that area immediately.
Again, the building I think you are referring to regarding the Customs Service is the building next to the old City Hall in D.C.?
Ms. NORTON. Yes.
Mr. BOWEN. Yes. And that, I believe, is Customs Service, a different branch of Treasury. I'm not familiar with it.
Ms. NORTON. But I'm very interestedI would be interested, probably through the GSA, in learning more about what you do if you do in factsay, even if the Secret Service is in a building not limited totally to Federal employees.
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMr. BOWEN. As you know, we are preparing to construct a new building across from the Convention Center, and that will be Secret Service-specific parking at that time.
Ms. NORTON. One last question, Mr. Chairman.
Would you tell me the present status of the construction on that building?
Mr. BOWEN. Yes, I will. It was supposed to have groundbreaking in January of this past year; however, after Oklahoma City we saw some need for further enhancements in the building, setbacks and some structural differences which Mr. O'Hanlon mentioned regarding his new field office in D.C., and that set the groundbreaking back until July of this year.
Ms. NORTON. And it's on time for July?
Mr. BOWEN. Yes, ma'am.
Ms. NORTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Ms. Norton.
I will submit two questions for the record, one to Mr. Bowen, on whether or not he thought Clint Eastwood accurately portrayed the Secret Service
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Mr. GILCHREST.and he doesn't have to answer that one now.
Mr. GILCHREST. The other oneperhaps that section of Pennsylvania Avenue could be delineated by the Corps under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act as ''non-tidal wetlands.'' Maybe that's another reasons it could be closed, as far as the takings issue is concerned.
I don't mean to make light of some of those serious questions. I would follow up on Ms. Norton's question as far as the technology, and I would like both the FBI and the Secret Service to answer this.
How far can technology, in your assessment, take us to provide security for Federal facilities, especially vulnerable Federal facilities? And up to this point, all these measures that have been instituted in the past year, and certainly in the past number of years, as far as technology is concerned with the cameras, with metal detectors, with scanners, and so on, does technology make these facilities significantly safer?
Mr. BOWEN. I can start, if you don't mind.
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCWe are in a different area of threat now, Mr. Chairman. The threat 8 or 10 years ago was, as we mentioned before, the burglar or the thief; now we're in a different era. It's the terrorist. The technology that was available then is probably not as applicable today.
We reviewed the technology as a result of the Alfred P. Murrah Building bombing and thought that we had to take that technology, enhance it, and transfer it to our different responsibilitiescertainly the White House complex. We did the survey here, and at our new building. In 5 or 7 or 10 more years there may be a different threat out there, something airborne or waterborne; we're also very cognizant of that threat.
We have to, along with our colleagues in Federal law enforcement, continually look at new avenues to combat these threats. So I think it's an ongoing evolution, the threat versus our combatting of the threat.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you.
Mr. O'HANLON. I believe that there needs to be a comprehensive security plan for any facility. I think it is wrong to rely totally on electronics. I wouldn't rely totally on electronics, nor would I rely totally on manpower; I think it has to be an intermingling of both. The electronics that are out there today significantly enhance the security of facilities, but I don't believe that you can do away with the beat cop, so to speak, or the armed security force. You need that visibility there to show the potential terrorist that the forces there are watching and are protecting this facility.
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At the FBI headquarters building, we have enhanced the number of police officers that we have at that facility, and those that are out walking the street. That is a most important feature of it. The both of them together have to be intermingled, but they cannot do it alone, in my estimation.
Mr. GILCHREST. Is the closing of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White Houseis there an understanding of how long that will be closed? Is it another year? Another 10 years? Is there any discussion as to the length of time that Pennsylvania Avenue will be closed? Is it your understanding that the closing of it would be a permanent thing because of the potential danger from terrorists?
Mr. BOWEN. It's my understanding that the Secretary of the Treasury, based on recommendations made by us and in concert with the District of Columbia Government, will make that a permanent closing, sir.
Mr. GILCHREST. That's your understanding right now?
Mr. BOWEN. Yes, sir.
Ms. NORTON. I don't know where you got that ''in concert with the District of Columbia.''
Mr. GILCHREST. I yield to the gentlelady from Washington.
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMs. NORTON. You are not dealing in concert with the District of Columbia, and you should not so represent. It is the position of the District of Columbia that Pennsylvania Avenue needs to be closed for the time being, and until technology develops that enables us to open this grand historic avenue, and I ask you not to represent before this committee or anywhere else that the District of Columbia agrees with the closing of Pennsylvania Avenue on a permanent basis.
Mr. GILCHREST. I would like to work with the gentlelady on this particular issue. I think she feels as adamant about this as I do about wetlands.
One other quick question. It has been mentioned throughout the course of the day in various testimony about partnerships among the different agencies when dealing with these types of security measures. And understanding that the FBI and the Secret Service certainly have different jurisdictions for security, but given the threat 10 years agoMr. Bowen, you mentioned a number of incidents; to a large extent you were focused on burglary and theft and things like this, and now we are faced with increased domestic and foreign terrorism, with their increasing sophistication not only in the areas of bombings and shootings, but someday with radiation and problems with biological warfare and the like, and given the fact that in very recent times we have seen incidents in Idaho and Texas and Montana and Oklahoma and New York City, and in this capital city, is there a centralized database that is, on a regular basis, accessed by the different security agencies? And is there an ongoing, regular seminar or discussion between the various agencies about all of these incidents that may or may not be linked?
Mr. BOWEN. There is a task force called the Joint Terrorist Task Force, Mr. Gilchrest, and that is located in 10 locations throughout the United States. They meet on a regular basis. They are a continual, ongoing task force, and ourselves and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies share intelligence and disseminate it as appropriate to other law enforcement agencies to react as quickly as possible to any threats that we perceive.
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Mr. OPFER. If I may add to that, the FBI has a Counterintelligence Center at FBI headquarters at which we are host to several Federal agencies. In addition, we participate in the Interagency Security Committee in which we run one of the committees, the information sharing, in which we pass on to other agencies information about threat assessments, etc. So there is this dialogue established among all the Federal agencies here in Washington to share information of that nature.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you.
Mr. O'HANLON. Yes. We also have a Protective Services Working Group in Washington, D.C. where all of the agencies who are in charge of protecting buildingseven the Smithsonian, all of the agencieswe meet regularly at the FBI headquarters building. Prior to the anniversary of Waco and the Oklahoma City bombing, we regularly met there to exchange ideas and to exchange information regarding what the FBI and other agencies knew. So there is a free flow of information regularly between the FBI and all agencies here in Washington, and then the FBI disseminates written information by teletype to all agencies when that information is forthcoming.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you very much.
I am sure a number of members have further questions that we will submit to your agencies, and we will appreciate a timely response.
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We all, for the most part, given your responsibilities, appreciate your hard work, courage, and dedication.
The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 10:16 a.m., the subcommittee was adjourned, to reconvene at the call of the Chair.]