GAO Reports Federal Monuments Need Better Protection
The GAO report notes that Interior, which is responsible for the safety of 70,000 employees and 1.3 million daily visitors to 507 million acres of public land, has made major improvements in security at high-profile sites like the Washington Monument and Statue of Liberty while concerns remain for remote sites like Mount Rushmore. Interior has created physical security plans and has developed a uniform system to measure risk of terrorist attacks at national monuments and icons and ranks the level of risk. GAO recommends linking the risk rankings to funding for security.
GSA continues to face challenges at the 8,000 federal office buildings it owns or leases. Security at leased buildings is particularly difficult since GSA does not have complete control over building access. Further, the GAO report states that the transfer of federal building law enforcement, the Federal Protective Service (FPS) from GSA to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), continues to be a challenge. The GAO report recommends that “a formal point of contact” be established at GSA to facilitate interaction with FPS and DHS.