Senate panel moves building security bill

The federal agency in charge of protecting government facilities is one step closer to major reform.

On Wednesday, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee unanimously approved the Supporting Employee Competency and Updating Readiness Enhancements for Facilities Act (S. 3806), which would overhaul Federal Protective Service operations.

FPS, a 1,200-employee Homeland Security Department agency responsible for guarding 9,000 federal buildings, has been heavily scrutinized in recent years, especially after 2009 Government Accountability Office testimony that revealed undercover investigators entered 10 high-security federal buildings with guns, knives and bomb-making materials.

"The current situation at FPS is a disaster waiting to happen," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the committee's ranking member and one of the bill's co-sponsors.

The measure would authorize funding for FPS to hire 500 full-time employees during the next four years, allow the agency to establish governmentwide training requirements for its 15,000 contract armed guards, and make it easier to terminate ineffective employees. It also would let off-duty FPS officers carry firearms.

The labor union representing FPS workers, the American Federation of Government Employees, supports the legislation.

House lawmakers introduced a similar FPS reform bill earlier in September. The legislation could get folded into the fiscal 2011 Homeland Security authorization bill.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee also unanimously approved the bipartisan 2010 Government Performance and Results Modernization Act, which would revise the 1993 Government Performance and Results Act by requiring agencies to post quarterly performance updates on a single government website instead of submitting them to Congress annually.

In addition, the performance legislation would require agencies to designate senior officials to serve as chief operating and performance improvement officers. The officials would be responsible for finding significant cost savings through the elimination of redundant programs.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.