GSA has proposed new rules to clarify agency responsibilities for physical security standards of federal facilities. The proposal follows changes in law and policies since a last major revision in 2005 addressing building security.
The proposed rules come in the wake of widely circulated inspector general report raising concerns about the physical security of child care centers in federal buildings.
That report attributed problems in part to lack of coordination between GSA, the Interagency Security Committee – which sets policies and makes recommendations on agency physical security – and local facility security committees, or FSCs, consisting of representatives of each tenant agency, in buildings where there is more than one.
The rules would establish that:
* Agencies must cooperate and comply with ISC policies and recommendations, except where the Director of National Intelligence determines that compliance would jeopardize intelligence sources and methods, or the secretary of Energy determines it would conflict with that department’s responsibilities over nuclear materials.
* ISC policies do not supersede other laws, regulations and executive orders that are intended to protect unique assets.
* Tenant agencies are to use security assessments from the Federal Protective Service “to inform deliberations regarding recommended countermeasures and other security related actions. GSA will facilitate the implementation of the countermeasures or other actions after occupant agency or FSC approval, and commitment of each occupant agency to pay its pro rata share of the cost.”
The policies would apply to all GSA-controlled facilities, including those owned and leased under GSA authority and those delegated under GSA authority.