The Federal Protective Service, an entity that DHS took over in 2003, doesn’t seem to have a natural fit in its new home, says a report that lays out considerations for potentially placing it in one of as many as eight entities inside or outside of DHS.
FPS provides physical security, using its own employees and contractors, for some 9,000 federal facilities. It was moved from GSA when DHS was created out of some two dozen former agencies and sub-agencies and initially placed in that department’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and later in its National Protection and Programs Directorate.
After GAO previously reported that there were problems with both placements, a law enacted late in 2018 required DHS to review options that “could result in FPS moving again within DHS or to another executive branch agency,” the report said.
GAO identified key considerations for placement including fits for missions, goals and objectives; responsibilities; and information sharing and coordination. However, it found that none of the branches of DHS, nor moving it to the Justice Department or even returning it to GSA, fully matched those criteria.
It recommended that DHS “identify the expectations for changing FPS’s placement and take steps to fully evaluate placement options”; management agreed and outlined steps it plans to take.