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Oversight Democrats Request Hearings on Federal Security in Light of Navy Yard Shooting

Sep 19, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC – Yesterday, Reps. Elijah E. Cummings, Stephen F. Lynch and Gerald E. Connolly, Ranking Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census, and Subcommittee on Government Operations sent a letter to Chairman Darrell Issa requesting that the Committee hold public hearings to comprehensively examine facility security and the security clearance determination process across the Federal Government.

“Monday’s tragic mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard raises a number of serious questions that Congress must address to restore confidence in the security measures that are intended to protect our Nation’s dedicated Federal workforce,” the Members wrote. “Congress owes it to the dedicated civil servants who were slain in the line of service to redouble its efforts to safeguard the dedicated men and women of our civil service.”

Below is the full letter:

September 18, 2013

The Honorable Darrell E. Issa
Chairman
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Chairman:

            We are writing to request the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hold public hearings to comprehensively examine across the Federal Government, the effectiveness of Federal facility security and the security clearance determination process, particularly the integrity of security clearance background investigations. 

            Monday’s tragic mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard raises a number of serious questions that Congress must address to restore confidence in the security measures that are intended to protect our Nation’s dedicated Federal workforce.  Agencies face an inherent and enduring challenge of balancing the needs of the mission with the security of its people.  Congress owes it to the dedicated civil servants who were slain in the line of service to redouble its efforts to safeguard the dedicated men and women of our civil service.  Accordingly, since our Committee has jurisdiction over all Federal agencies, and a specific mandate to examine issues related to Federal property and the Federal civil service, we request that the Committee hear from experts to examine: 

  • The quality of the Federal security clearance determination process, particularly the integrity of background investigation;
  • Lessons learned from yesterday’s incident that can inform efforts to strengthen facility security and mitigate access control risks related to contractor access to Federal facilities and installations;
  • The status of the Federal Protective Service’s (FPS) effort to reform its operations and contractor oversight in light of recent challenges and weaknesses exposed by numerous U.S. Government Accountability Reviews; and
  • How to best balance and manage the inherent risks associated with effectively protecting agency personnel, without hindering an agency’s capacity to carry out its mission in the most effective and efficient manner. 

            We thank you in advance for your consideration of this request.

      Sincerely, 

  1.  

            Rep. Elijah E. Cummings                                   Rep. Stephen F. Lynch

            Ranking Member                                              Ranking Member

            Oversight and Government Reform                   Subcommittee on Federal Workforce,

  1.  

           

           

 

  1.  

                                                Rep. Gerald E. Connolly

                                                Ranking Member

                                                Subcommittee on Government Operations

113th Congress