DHS Announces Enhancements to Protect Federal Facilities

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced two enhancements to federal facility security that she said would further strengthen the ability to protect thousands of government buildings across the United States.

The DHS-led Interagency Security Committee (ISC) released new standards establishing baseline physical security measures for all federal buildings and facilities — bolstering protection against terrorist attacks and other threats based on ongoing risk assessments.

“Protecting our federal facilities against evolving threats requires setting and implementing robust, risk-based security standards,” says Napolitano. “These standards leverage over a decade of collaboration and research by experts across the federal government to establish adaptable security measures that will better secure our federal infrastructure.”

The standards announced include the Physical Security Criteria for Federal Facilities, which establishes comprehensive standards to address site, structural, interior and system security, as well as security operations and administration; and the Design-Basis Threat Report, designed to inform these customizable standards with current threat-based intelligence.

The Physical Security Criteria for Federal Facilities also provides for the customization of security measures to address unique risks at every U.S. building and facility occupied by federal employees for non-military activities, ensuring the flexibility necessary to adapt to the circumstances surrounding individual facilities.

The Design-Basis Threat Report complements the Physical Security Criteria for Federal Facilities by utilizing timely and reliable intelligence information, Intelligence Community reports and assessments, and current crime statistics to help calculate estimated risks to federal facilities and appropriate levels of protection.

The new standards will undergo a 24-month validation period of field testing and implementation by the federal security community. The ISC will publish final editions of the standards following this period.

In addition, DHS’ Federal Protective Service (FPS) announced the next deployment phase for the new Risk Assessment and Management Program (RAMP) — a computer-based tool that enhances access for FPS Inspectors to information about security threats and risks associated with more than 9,000 facilities owned and leased by the General Services Administration (GSA).

RAMP is a secure and comprehensive computer-based tool developed by FPS to improve and standardize collection and management of information at every step of the federal facility security planning and oversight process. The system allows FPS Inspectors to access, review, revise and upload facility information using ruggedized mobile computers on a single platform and produce complete reports at any time and location.


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