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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Please Don't Bring Bombs to the Lost and Found

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Last year, the Federal Protective Service, which has been plagued with a long line of incidents regarding security at federal buildings, was embarrassed by revelations that a contract security guard at a Detroit federal office building had found a bag outside the facility and moved it inside to the lost and found.

The problem? The bag contained an improvised explosive device. And it remained inside the building for three weeks.

Fierce Homeland Security reports that the Homeland Security Department inspector general has issued a finding that the contract guard used poor judgment in dealing with the bag, despite the fact that three months before the incident he had received refresher training on how to handle suspicious materials.

But the report also included criticism of FPS for the way the incident unfolded. For example, an FPS inspector examined the area where the bomb sat in the building four times, and declared it to be "free of unauthorized items." And FPS officials couldn't agree on who was responsible for making sure security posts did not in fact include such items. 

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

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