Page images

James Oberstar

Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Economic Development


Thank you, Mr. Gilchrest.

Providing security in the federal workplace, for millions of government employees is a complex task. Several federal agencies are involved in this daunting task, using technology and personnel in combination to maximize effectiveness. This morning we will hear from the "Cream of the Crop", those premier agencies whose primary responsibility ranges from protecting our President, to protecting judges, to protecting the public who use our buildings on a daily basis.

Since the tragedy in Oklahoma much work has been done by these agencies to identify security issues and recommend solutions in order to ensure a safer workplace and environment for everyone. Considerable expenditures are expected to provide state-of-the-art technology, and more recruiting for federal officers is also expected.

I welcome all of this morning witnesses and look forward to their testimony.

James A. Traficant


Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Economic Development

Thank You, Mr. Gilchrest.

As you know I come from a law enforcement background and am very aware of the problems and concerns which daily confront our

outstanding law enforcement officers. Security, not only at home, but

now also in the workplace has become a national issue. The tragic events in Oklahoma City have made security in the workplace a national


I warmly welcome our witnesses here this morning: The FBI, The Secret Service, The U.S. Marshals Service, and GSA all assume

tremendous responsibilities in protecting our national leaders, our fellow

workers and friends, and the public in federal buildings. It is an important

responsibility, and one filled with personal danger.

I look forward to hearing from each of them.

Thank you, Mr. Gilchrest

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

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.

We 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.

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.

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.

Mr. Barram, you may go first.


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.

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

« PreviousContinue »