Statement of Joseph Moravec, Public Buildings Service
November 1, 2001
Good morning Mr. Chairman, and
members of the Committee. I am Joseph
Moravec, Commissioner of the Public Buildings Service. Thank you for the opportunity to discuss
improving security in GSA-owned and leased facilities.
In addition to our own initiatives, H.R. 307 was introduced January 30, 2001, to provide for the reform of the Federal Protective Service, and to enhance the safety of Federal employees, the public and children enrolled in childcare facilities located in facilities under GSA control.
Former PBS Commissioner Robert Peck addressed H.R. 809, the predecessor to H.R. 307, on September 28, 2000 during a hearing in the House Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management. A significant proposal in H.R. 809, the establishment of the FPS as a separate service from the PBS, did not have support from GSA nor the Senate. The principal reason we at GSA continue to oppose H.R. 307's proposal to make FPS a separate service within our Agency is that it would divorce security from other Federal facility functions when the opposite needs to be done. Security needs to be tightly integrated into decisions about the location, design and operation of Federal facilities. Divorcing FPS would create an organizational barrier between protection experts and the PBS asset managers, planners, project managers and facility managers who set PBS budgets and policies for our inventory as a whole and who oversee the daily operations in our facilities.
The security we provide is financed out of rent revenues collected by PBS from our tenants who look directly to PBS for responses to their security needs. A separate GSA security service would lead to confusion about who is responsible for what in GSA's security efforts. It is also contrary to agency efforts to present our customers with a seamless GSA, capable of offering more integrated workplace solutions.
Following the September 2000 testimony by Commissioner Peck, the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee recommended the establishment of direct line authority within PBS. The Administrator subsequently approved and issued GSA Orders ADM 5440.548 and ADM 5450.137, effective November 17, 2000, that reorganized the FPS and reassigned the reporting authority of FPS Regional Directors from the PBS Assistant Regional Administrators to the FPS Assistant Commissioner in the Central Office.
Under direct line authority, PBS has made substantial strides in fulfilling our mission to reduce the threat to Federal facilities under GSA control nationwide. The FPS budget, personnel actions and operational focus have been centralized to yield results better than that which could be obtained by establishing a separate competing service. All FPS Regional Directors now report to the FPS Assistant Commissioner in the Central Office. The FPS Assistant Commissioner reports to the PBS Commissioner who reports to the Administrator.
Leading the Federal Protective Service is Acting Assistant Commissioner Richard Yamamoto. Mr. Yamamoto is a graduate of the FBI National Academy with over 20 years law enforcement experience in the U.S. Army. He also spent seven years coordinating joint Federal, State, and local law enforcement activities through the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program at the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Mr. Yamamoto exemplifies the core competencies we desire of all our operational management personnel within FPS. Not only does Mr. Yamamoto possess extensive law enforcement and security skills, he also has been designated as a certified protection professional -- one of the premier accomplishments in the field of security. Within FPS, we are developing and requiring both law enforcement and security core competencies for all of our operational managers. While many of our current managers have Federal, military or local police training and experience, those who do not have law enforcement training will be sent to the Leadership Academy Law Enforcement Course at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia, to attain these necessary skills. This course provides the same essential core elements of the courses taught in the FPS Mixed Basic Police Training Program with identical examinations and standards including the full firearm qualification course and test.
Specifically addressing the proposal in H.R. 307 that there be at least 730 full-time equivalent FPS Police Officers, we believe that FTE levels should be based not on an arbitrary number set forth in legislation, but rather on the threat that may vary from time to time. FPS regularly conducts individual facility security surveys and Regional Threat Assessments to determine the threat to Federal facilities. FTE requirements are based upon these threat assessments. Currently, our planning anticipates that current levels should be adjusted for FY02 and FY03 to enable FPS to achieve a more desirable mix of operational personnel. The FY03 FTE targets have been constructed to support an anticipated need for 408 Federal Protective Police Officers and 323 Law Enforcement and Security Officers, for a total of 731 uniformed positions. Specifically, we are increasing the number of our criminal investigators and uniformed Law Enforcement Security Officers (LESO) who have both law enforcement and security competencies.
FPS has made great strides in reducing the threat to Federal facilities, tenants, visitors and their property. We are actively implementing many initiatives to identify and decrease threats through individual facility security assessments and the Regional Threat Assessment Program. Relying on this information, we have refined our requirements, coordinated more effectively with other law enforcement agencies, improved our training, and positioned ourselves to measure our expected outcome of reducing the threat.
We at GSA have no more important responsibility than providing for the security of the tenants and visitors in our facilities and are continually striving to enhance our protection services. I thank the Committee for this opportunity to discuss our promising new security initiatives at GSA facilities. This concludes my prepared statement. I am pleased to answer any questions you should have.