GAO: Major Security Flaws at Federal Buildings

GAO: Major Security Flaws at Federal Buildings
GAO: Major Security Flaws at Federal Buildings 

Federal Eye
By Editors 
Staff writer Spencer S. Hsu contributed to this report.
July 7, 2009

The police agency in charge of protecting thousands of federal buildings 
nationwide has failed to keep bomb-making materials out of several 
high-security facilities in the past year, according to Congressional 
testimony provided by Senate aides. In the past year, investigators 
successfully smuggled bomb-making materials into ten high-security 
federal buildings, constructed bombs and walked around the buildings 
undetected, exposing weaknesses in security provided by the Federal 
Protective Service.

More than one million government employees work in 9,000 facilities 
guarded by FPS around the country, including at least 350,000 in the 
Washington region. The revelations come as the Obama administration 
prepares to reorganize the agency in the coming weeks.

Investigators carried liquid explosives and low-yield detonators -- 
materials investigators note are not normally carried into federal 
buildings. The GAO said security concerns prevent it from revealing the 
exact locations or cities of the affected facilities, but that eight of 
them were government owned, while two were leased. They included offices 
of a U.S. senator and House member, as well as offices for the 
departments of Homeland Security, Justice and State, the GAO reported. 
In one instance, the GAO obtained a building security tape showing an 
investigator walking through a security checkpoint with bomb making 


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