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Federalizing Contract Guards Will Not Improve Security at Federal Buildings.

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What is needed to improve FPS security is better training, management, oversight and administration, including additional resources to hire more inspectors and contracting officer’s technical representatives.



Federalizing Contract Guards Will Not Improve Security at Federal Buildings.

Federal Times’ editorial, “Federalize building security,” concludes that federalizing the security guards at federal buildings is necessary to achieve better security. However, the evidence on federalization does not support that conclusion.

It is true, that over the past two years, the Government Accountability Office has uncovered numerous problems at the Federal Protective Service that have led to serious lapses in federal building security. Of greatest concern has been GAO’s ability to pass undetected through security checkpoints with dangerous items, including bomb components. This has led to calls to federalize the FPS guard force. While FPS estimates that a federal guard will cost 30 percent more than a private guard, the key question is whether federal guards will provide better security. The answer is no.

The greatest example of federalizing personnel for security purposes was the conversion of private airport screeners to federal screeners after 9/11. Like FPS guards, a primary function of airport screeners is to detect dangerous materials. In 2007, several years after airport screening had been federalized, GAO conducted covert detection tests on airport screeners virtually identical to the tests later conducted on FPS security guards. The results were also identical — widespread failure to detect prohibited items.

When faced with the poor performance of federal airport screeners, federalization proponents claim federal screeners are still an improvement over pre-9/11 private screeners. That may be so, but what about compared with current private screeners? Under the Screening Partnership Program, currently about 20 airports, including major airports at San Francisco and Kansas City, use private screeners. These private screeners were also tested by GAO, and no difference was found in their performance compared with federal screeners. In addition, a 2007 Transportation Security Administration-commissioned study of private airport screeners found the performance of private screeners to be “equal to or better” than that of federal screeners.

At this point, federalization advocates fall back on the “fact” that because private security contractors seek to make profits, they will cut costs to increase profits, and such cost-cutting is reflected in guard performance. On the other hand, they argue, the federal government has no profit motive and is only motivated by security, thus federal guards will perform better.

This dubiously calls into question the quality of service provided by all government contractors and shows a lack of understanding of the competitive market system.

Cutting costs can increase profits, but a better way to increase profits is to provide excellent service to retain business and attract new customers. Furthermore, in the private sector, competition creates the need to perform well, employ best practices and constantly seek to improve. Such performance drivers are not evident in the federal sector.

In analyzing the problems of FPS guards, one must look at the root causes. Inadequate training on X-rays and magnetometers is cited as a major problem. Yet, if such training is poor, then it does not matter if the guard being trained is federal or private; the outcome will be the same.

What is needed to improve FPS security is better training, management, oversight and administration, including additional resources to hire more inspectors and contracting officer’s technical representatives. The relationship between FPS and contractors needs to be strengthened, and most importantly, the procurement process must be altered so that the quality of training, personnel, management and operations is properly considered in relation to cost. This will result in higher-cost contracts, but will also in better-paid, trained and motivated security officers.

By having adequate resources and making identifiable improvements to the contract guard program, some of which are already underway, FPS can provide better security in a more cost-efficient and effective manner than could be done with the federalization of the FPS guard force.

Articles, Reports and Bills Related to The Federalization of Contract Guards

Legislation would federalize private guards who protect U.S. government buildings Washington Post

Federal Protective Service FPS Improvement and Accountability Act of 2010

Federal Protective Service Contract Guard Procurement and Oversight Process

The Federal Protective Service and Contract Security Guards: A Statutory History and
Current Status

HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Protective Service’s Use of Contract Guards Requires Reassessment and More Oversight

Problems with Security at Federal Buildings Continue, GAO Report Finds

The Federal Contract Guards of America FCGOA one of the newest and fastest growing 9(b)(3) Unions in the America Today specializing in the representation of Federal Contract Security Guards / Security Police Professionals working at Nuclear Facilities NRC, Federal Buildings, Dept of Energy DOE, Dept of Defense DOD, Dept of Homeland Security DHS, Correctional, Facilities, INS Facilities, Armor Car, Airports,Commercial and Industrial Facilities.

FCGOA Stands for and with the millions of Security Guard / Security Police / Federal Protective Service Guard Professionals nationwide who must be better organized, better trained and committed to a higher standard of providing private security to our nation's Homeland Security, Federal, State and County properties as well as private, industrial and commercial properties and the general public.

Federal Contract Guards of America FCGOA International Headquarters 1776 I Street, NW 9th Floor Washington, District of Columbia 20006

Tel: 202-756-4770 Fax 202-756-1301
New York Regional Office 212-541-3753 Fax 917-322-2105

Regional Offices

445 Park Avenue New York City, New York 10022
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Want more Information on How You Can Join FCGOA? Visit our Website at FCGOA.ORG

Looking for a Security Guard Job? Visit www.SecurityGuardJobs.Net for More Information.

Tags: Federal Contract Guards of America, FCGOA, Federal Protective Service, FPS, Federalizing of Contract Guards, Federalize building security, private screeners
Homeland Security, House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection, Federal Protective Service Improvement and Accountability Act of 2010



Hire better contract guards

The problem is the hiring standards.

These guards can not follow directions or READ ENGLISH.

They are idiots who can not find other jobs.

You can give them all the training in the world they dont understand what is being said to them.

BETTER HIRING STANDARDS!!! FPS should conduct second interviews prior to hiring the guards and upgrade the new hire entrance exam.

Well clearly whoever posted

Well clearly whoever posted the previous comment is clueless and ignorant. And just like a racist or someone who holds a prejudice against any group of people they manage to lump everyone in that group in the same category. If you knew anything you would realize that more than one contractor is employed at these facilities and each have their own hiring and training standards. As long as they have a clean enough background the government will deem them trustworthy enough to allow them to be contracted.

The responsibility initially falls on those contractors who bid on the federal contracts to follow the guidlines the government set and not have low hiring standards. I personally have worked for one of these contractors who required you to be of prior service of the armed forces or sworn law enforcement. I don't consider myself to be an idiot! Also I did not work with this company because I couldn't get another job! This line of work if you have the right background opens up alot of doors for you as it has for me. The pay is better than most college grads will make in the first 5-10 years after they enter the work force. Some of us have served our country honorably and chose to continue to do so in another uniform and do a very good job at it. So stay ignorant and do what little you do to contribute to your community and country whoever posted the previous comment.