Magazine article Security Management

Price Tag Soars for Federal VIP Security

Magazine article Security Management

Price Tag Soars for Federal VIP Security

Article excerpt

Spurred by reports of excessive spending and misuse of security personnel, several years ago Congress asked the General Accounting Office (GAO) to look into security protection for ten of the fourteen Cabinet-level positions (Defense, Justice, State, and Treasury were not included). GAO auditors found then that the ten departments collectively spent more than $5 million on protection between fiscal years 1992 and the first nine months of fiscal 1994.

Congress recently asked the GAO to expand on those findings by examining the protection of a broader group of executive-level positions between fiscal years 1997 and 1999. Auditors were asked to determine which federal officials were being protected by whom, under what circumstances and at what cost, among other issues.

GAO auditors found that, from fiscal years 1997 to 1999, security protection was provided for officials at 31 different agencies holding 42 executive branch positions, including all 14 cabinet secretaries, 4 deputy or undersecretaries, and 24 other high-ranking officials, mainly heads of agencies. The total cost: at least $73.7 million, including $19.1 million in FY 1997, $26.1 million in FY 1998, and $28.5 million in FY 1999.

The GAO also updated spending by the ten Cabinet departments studied in its earlier report. …

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