WASHINGTON—At a congressional hearing in Washington, the American Federation of Government Employees’ (AFGE) Federal Protective Service (FPS) union lambasted the government’s failure to reform FPS and called on Congress to enact pending legislation to improve security at federal buildings.
In a report released at the hearing, FPS union President David Wright noted the overwhelming evidence, Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports, congressional hearings, and numerous attacks on federal facilities that demonstrate the urgent need for reform.
Since 2003, GAO issued a total of 17 reports, testimonies and briefings critical of the chronic performance and work force management issues at FPS. Congressional committees have held eight hearings and one briefing related to the same issues. During the past three years there were at least 12 documented violent attacks targeted at federal buildings.
These are some of the startling facts included in the “Chronicle of Government Inaction” produced by the FPS union, which represents agency employees. The analysis was released today during a House Homeland Security Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies Subcommittee hearing.
“This report and my testimony today paint a devastating picture of an agency seeing great congressional oversight and almost no action” said Wright. “FPS is an underfunded, poorly managed agency with the critical mission of protecting federal buildings and their occupants and visitors,” Wright added. “While there have been improvements with the move to National Protection and Programs Directorate, this situation must not be allowed to continue.”
Wright urged the subcommittee and the full House Homeland Security Committee to follow the Senate’s lead and take up legislation making desperately needed reforms to FPS. “FPS needs more law enforcement personnel to patrol federal buildings, more people to oversee the contract guard work force and more people to prevent terrorist and criminal incidents occurring in and around federal buildings. The Senate bill is a great beginning but the House can push it past the finish line this year,” Wright concluded.