The GSA has finalized rules to clarify agency responsibilities for maintaining physical security standards at federally owned and leased facilities in light of changes in legislation and policy since the last major review in 2005.
The August 24 Federal Register rules amending the Federal Management Regulation follow the release of several reports raising concerns about the lack of coordination between the GSA, the Interagency Safety Committee – which sets policy and makes recommendations on safety branch offices – and local facility security committees, or FSCs, made up of representatives from each tenant branch in buildings where there are multiple tenants. The rules state that:
*Agencies must cooperate with and comply with the policies and recommendations of the ISC, except where the Director of National Intelligence determines that compliance would jeopardize intelligence sources and methods, the Secretary of Energy determines that it would conflict with that department’s nuclear material responsibilities, or where there are other laws, regulations, and executive orders to protect unique assets.
*Tenant agencies should use the Federal Protective Service’s security assessments to inform deliberations regarding recommended countermeasures and other security-related actions. The GSA will facilitate the implementation of countermeasures or other actions after approval by the occupying agency or FSC, and each occupying agency’s commitment to pay its share of the cost on a pro rata basis.
The policies apply to all facilities controlled by the GSA, including those owned and leased under the authority of the GSA and those delegated under the authority of the GSA.