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GAO Looks at In-House vs. Contract Guards in Report

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Both in-house security workers and contractors come with advantages and disadvantages for federal agencies, a Government Accountability Office report says.

Homeland Security Today reports the GAO surveyed nine federal agencies that have military, law enforcement or security missions.

Eight agencies used both in-house and contract security staff. The Veterans Health Administration only uses in-house security staff at its hospitals. The Defense Department plans to use only in-house staff at the end of fiscal year 2012.

Contractors are preferred in some instances because they offer cost savings and flexibility to manage staff size. Federal workers are preferred in other instances because of their higher qualifications and greater understanding of agency needs.

“There is no widely accepted formula to determine the size and makeup of a security workforce and no standard model can be applied for staffing because the risk level and specific building needs may differ,” the report says.

FierceGovernment reports Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mass.) requested the GAO research because his proposed Federal Protective Service Improvement and Accountability Act would require the FPS to examine the effectiveness of using federal employees to staff the contract security guard positions at high-risk federal buildings.

Click here to read the full GAO report.

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One comment

  1. Legislation will not fix FPS. After numerous GAO reports over the past 4 years sanctioned by congress, GAO has reported a total of 28 recommendations to help ‘fix” and “reform” FPS and not one recommendation has been acted upon.. None ! The time for legislation is over. Its time to transfer the security program and delegate security back to the agencies and tenants in government buildings to have them run their own programs.

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