Domestic Security Improvements
Following the 1998 East African Embassy bombings, the Department was clearly focused on improving security at our missions abroad. Three highly publicized incidents at the State Department, however, firmly emphasized the need to strengthen domestic security as well.
These incidents have prompted us to take measures that complement existing regulations and procedures and are designed to change the lax attitude toward security at the State Department.
The Department has made substantial progress in tightening our domestic security over the past two years. Some of the key measures include:
In addition to these measures, Assistant Secretary Carpenter convened a panel of security experts from the FBI, CIA, Department of Defense, U.S. Secret Service, and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security to review all domestic security policies, programs, and procedures and make recommendations to improve security at the State Department.
- Increased security in the Secretaryís suite of offices;
- Established a comprehensive escort policy for all non-U.S. Government employee visitors to the Department;
- Worked to enhance our computer security safeguards;
- Enhanced the after hours inspection program of Department offices;
- Continue our program of bringing Marine Security Guards in training into the Department 10 times a year to conduct security sweeps;
- Conducted security awareness briefings for approximately 7,000 Department employees since May;
- Closed D Street to outside-the-building traffic, installed security barriers around the entire building, and abolished curbside parking around the building;
- Conducted thorough security inspections of the entire Department for listening devices and cameras (none were found);
- Transferred the responsibility for the protection of sensitive compartmented information (SCI) material from the Bureau of Intelligence and Research to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security;
- Developed an action plan to increase employee accountability with regard to security matters. The plan, which has been approved by the Secretary, requires a change to the Foreign Affairs Manual, which is currently being addressed;
- Increased the number of uniformed guards at key locations both inside the Department and along the outer perimeter and assigned uniformed guards to patrol specific floors inside the building;
- Installed additional state-of-the-art security equipment (explosive metal detectors, x-ray screening equipment, and video recorders with remote monitoring capabilities) within the building.
- Initiated a construction security program for the Departmentís upcoming ten-year building renovation project;
- Modified and enhanced our domestic guards training and established a countersurveillance program.
The panel completed its classified report in May. Their 43 recommendations focus on access control, physical and technical security, security awareness for employees, restriction of traffic around the building, creation of a chemical/biological program, and additional resources for security (personnel and money). The Department has implemented most of the procedural recommendations that do not require additional resources.
However, the majority of the recommendations require additional money and resources. The Department is currently working on a strategic plan to implement and fund these findings, which will significantly enhance our program.
The Secretary has identified a need for the creation of a new Under Secretary for Security, Law Enforcement, and Counterterrorism. We believe this position will establish clear lines of accountability and responsibility with respect to the Departmentís security law enforcement and threat functions. This proposal is currently being reviewed within the Administration. The establishment of this position requires Congressional approval.