[House Hearing, 106 Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
STATE DEPARTMENT DOMESTIC SECURITY LAPSES AND STATUS OF OVERSEAS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
MAY 11 AND MAY 17, 2000
Serial No. 106-162
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.house.gov/
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
67-827 CC WASHINGTON : 2000
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York, Chairman
WILLIAM F. GOODLING, Pennsylvania SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa TOM LANTOS, California
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American
DAN BURTON, Indiana Samoa
ELTON GALLEGLY, California MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
DANA ROHRABACHER, California SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida
PETER T. KING, New York PAT DANNER, Missouri
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio EARL F. HILLIARD, Alabama
MARSHALL ``MARK'' SANFORD, South BRAD SHERMAN, California
Carolina ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
MATT SALMON, Arizona STEVEN R. ROTHMAN, New Jersey
AMO HOUGHTON, New York JIM DAVIS, Florida
TOM CAMPBELL, California EARL POMEROY, North Dakota
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
KEVIN BRADY, Texas GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York
RICHARD BURR, North Carolina BARBARA LEE, California
PAUL E. GILLMOR, Ohio JOSEPH CROWLEY, New York
GEORGE RADANOVICH, California JOSEPH M. HOEFFEL, Pennsylvania
JOHN COOKSEY, Louisiana
THOMAS G. TANCREDO, Colorado
Richard J. Garon, Chief of Staff
Kathleen Bertelsen Moazed, Democratic Chief of Staff
Kristen Gilley, Professional Staff Member
Jill N. Quinn, Staff Associate
Marilyn C. Owen, Staff Associate
C O N T E N T S
THURSDAY, MAY 11, 2000
The Honorable Jacquelyn L. Williams-Bridgers, Inspector General,
U.S. Department of State....................................... 6
The Honorable J. Stapleton Roy, Assistant Secretary of State for
Intelligence and Research, U.S. Department of State............ 8
The Honorable David G. Carpenter, Assistant Secretary of State
for Diplomatic Security and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of
State on Security Issues, U.S. Department of State............. 12
Timothy D. Bereznay, Section Chief, Federal Bureau of
WEDNESDAY, MAY 17, 2000
The Honorable Patrick F. Kennedy, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of
Administration, U.S. Department of State....................... 43
The Honorable David G. Carpenter, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of
Diplomatic Security, U.S. Department of State.................. 48
The Honorable Jacquelyn L. Williams-Bridgers, Inspector General,
U.S. Department of State....................................... 51
THURSDAY, MAY 11, 2000
The Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman, a Representative in Congress
from New York and Chairman, Committee on International
The Honorable Jacquelyn L. Williams-Bridgers..................... 77
The Honorable J. Stapleton Roy................................... 88
The Honorable David G. Carpenter................................. 93
Timothy D. Bereznay.............................................. 99
WEDNESDAY, MAY 17, 2000
The Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman, a Representative in Congress
from New York and Chairman, Committee on International
The Honorable Doug Bereuter, a Representative in Congress from
The Honorable Patrick F. Kennedy................................. 107
The Honorable David G. Carpenter................................. 111
The Honorable Jacquelyn L. Williams-Bridgers..................... 116
CURRENT CHALLENGES TO STATE DEPARTMENT SECURITY--PART I
THURSDAY, MAY 11, 2000
House of Representatives,
Committee on International Relations,
The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m. In Room
2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Benjamin A. Gilman
(Chairman of the Committee) presiding.
Chairman Gilman. The meeting will come to order. Good
I regret that we are about to embark on a series of votes
on the floor. It may take as much as an hour, and it will delay
our hearing, and they are 5-minute votes based on amendments
that were adopted last night. I will open the hearing, and then
we will have to recess until the votes are concluded. I regret
the delay for our witnesses.
Today our Committee examines current challenges to State
Department security. The nature of these challenges is not a
mystery. Over the last 2 years, there have been numerous well-
known serious security failures at the State Department.
In 1998, a person in a brown tweed coat grabbed highly
classified documents from an office in the Secretary of State's
suite. That man and the documents have not been found.
Last year, a Russian spy was discovered outside the Main
State building listening to a bugging device planted in a
seventh floor conference room. Of course, last month saw the
revelation of a missing laptop computer that contained highly
classified information. That laptop has not been found.
Again, in 1999, we were told that a computer software
program written by citizens of the former Soviet Union was
purchased by the State Department on a sole-source contract and
installed in posts throughout the world without the proper
security and vetting procedures. That program had to be removed
from each and every post. To this day, we have not received an
explanation of just why and how that happened.
The news media has extensively uncovered each of these
events. What is less known, however, is that the officials in
the State department have known for years that security at the
State Department was vulnerable to just these kinds of
In a March 1998, State ``town hall meeting,'' Under
Secretary for Political Affairs Thomas Pickering, called a
department-wide wake-up call about security issues. Another top
official noted that promoting individual responsibility is
going to require more security training and rigorous followup;
and, of course, that is very true.
Later that year, a report by the Inspector General
highlighted problems in the State Department's Bureau of
Intelligence and Research [INR] and made recommendations to fix
them. Today, INR has not yet responded to that report.
Another report by the Inspector General in 1999 recommended
broader changes to the State's security policy, including the
transfer of authority over ``codeword'' level material from INR
to the Diplomatic Security Bureau; and although this report was
issued in September 1999, its recommendations were at first
rejected by the Department. They were not adopted until April
2000, well after the celebrated laptop had been found to be
On November 17, 1998, a new State policy requiring escorts
for all visitors was announced. It requires ``all visitors with
the exception of active U.S. Government agency personnel who
display proper photo identification shall be escorted at all
times.'' Six days later, that policy was rescinded. Nine months
later, it was reimplemented.
Just last week the Secretary of State held another
Department-wide Town Hall Meeting on security matters; and
while her tone and words were appropriately tough, we cannot
help but wonder if they will have any more impact than those of
Mr. Pickering and other top officials at the 1998 Town Hall
A few days before the most recent town meeting, the
Secretary issued a document that revealed, on close analysis,
that it had decided not to measure its security performance on
the basis of the number of security compromises detected. In
addition, the Department failed to make progress on reducing a
scandalous backlog of security investigations. It is now moving
toward, in effect, a 15-year cycle for security updates, rather
than 5-year government standard.
The Department did, however, manage to significantly exceed
the target it set for itself of reducing its inventory of
overseas vehicles over 5 years old. So we are left to ask: Are
the Department's priorities appropriate? Should we be surprised
that a casual attitude toward security is part of the
Department's culture if its budget priorities practically shout
that information security is not the Department's major
We have learned that despite recent changes in security
policy, reporters from foreign news media have access to many
parts of the State building without any supervision. Indeed, we
are informed that press personnel with identification cards
have a 24-hour access to the building, including weekends and
In other words, the new escort policy has a big hole, a big
gap. You can lead an elephant through it. It is no secret that
foreign intelligence agencies do use reporters as agents.
During the Cold War, the KGB agents routinely used reporters'
credentials as cover for many of their activities. The recent
book entitled The Sword and the Shield by Christopher Andrew
and Vasili Mitrokhin details numerous incidents of Soviet spies
who have posed as reporters. It is a safe bet that the KGB's
successor agencies in Russia today use the very same
No security policy at State will be adequate until foreign
journalists are appropriately escorted, just like other
visitors beyond the normal press areas in the State Department.
A secure State Department, however, is not just a matter of
changing a few policies. It is the daily culture of our
diplomats that are going to have to change. Every person in the
State Department from maintenance personnel to Ambassadors to
the Secretary of State must reprioritize and make security
their top concern.
This does not mean that policymakers in top jobs are off
the hook. Far from it. Leadership must come from the top, and
the responsibility for the current, disastrous conditions of
State Department security lies with the Secretary's office and
with her top aides.
I want to quote from an anonymous letter received by this
Committee just this week from a Foreign Service employee: ``For
the poor security environment at the U.S. Department of State
to improve only one thing is required, that being for State to
seriously and publicly punish several senior officials,
including at least two current Ambassadors, for security
violations. The punishments would have to be real and hurt, to
include firings and criminal prosecutions.''
I trust that Department of State--and we have several of
its top officials here today--will give us advice and will
consider these thoughts that we just expressed. Our Nation must
not tolerate any further security violations at the State
Department or at any agencies. Department officers need to
realize that both the lives of innocent people and national
security put at risk when they are haphazard in following
The consequences for compromising national security
secrets, whether intentional or inadvertent, are great. They
result in costly investigations, damage relations with other
Nations and, most gravely, possible mortal danger for Americans
serving our Nation abroad.
In closing, I would like to quote a former Ambassador to
the United States from France, Jules Cambon, who said, ``The
day secrecy is abolished, negotiation of any kind will be
It is no exaggeration to say that the very mission of this
State Department, to carry out our Nation's foreign policy, has
been placed in a perilous atmosphere at the present time.
Is there any other Member--Mr. Smith.
Mr. Smith. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I want to
thank you for convening this very important hearing of the full
Committee on this very, very troubling issue.
Let me just say I want to welcome our very distinguished
panel. I see Ambassador Stapleton Roy, who many of us visited
when he was in China, then in Indonesia, a very accomplished
diplomat. We are very happy to have you here.
Secretary Carpenter--I would just note for the record, Mr.
Chairman, Secretary Carpenter appeared before our Subcommittee,
the International Operations and Human Rights Subcommittee,
back on March 12 of last year and gave compelling testimony,
along with Admiral Crowe, with regard to the growing threat to
our embassies and assets abroad. He pointed out at the time--
and I would like to quote him--because I think it is very
timely and is a problem that still exists and has actually
worsened--the terrorist threat is global, lethal,
multidimensional and growing.
Our analysts estimate that during the last 12 months, there
were 2,400 threats against U.S. interests overseas. As you
pointed out, Mr. Secretary, that was a 100 percent increase.
And for the record, I think it is important to give credit
where credit is due.
I used your compelling testimony of that day, over the
course of the next several weeks and months, in support of H.R.
3427, the State Department Reauthorization Bill. This bill had
a significant plus-up for overseas embassy security, as a
matter of fact, we provide in Section 1 and Section 6 $5.945
billion over 5 years. I have to tell you, and I want to say
this in gratitude, your testimony was very effective and woke
up a large number of people who perhaps had not realized just
how bad things had gotten and how much in need we were of
providing that important money. So I want to thank you for
As you know, the President signed that legislation in
November, and it is law. It does authorize the money and I
think in a bipartisan way we will continue to make that money
available to do this.
And of course, Mr. Chairman, the issue at hand is the
laptop computer, the Inspector General's report, and you have
covered most of the bases as was pointed out in the findings.
The INR has not effectively discharged its responsibilities for
the protection of sensitive compartmented information and is
not well structured or staffed to oversee the management of the
I was particularly concerned, and you made note of it as
well, that on the issue of escorts inside the State's building,
that the Under Secretary of State for Management, Tom
Pickering, rescinded on November 23 a policy that was published
about a week before, on November 17 of 1998. That is very, very
troubling, and hopefully we can get to the bottom of that. It
seems to me, if we have people unescorted walking around the
building that raises very severe questions about who might have
access to very sensitive information.
I think, Mr. Chairman, you have outlined the issue. During
questions and testimony we will certainly delve into it
further. But I did want to publicly thank Secretary Carpenter
for that testimony and the good work that he and the others do.
It did lead, as a consequence, to that legislation, so I want
to thank him.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Congressman Smith.
Mr. Lantos. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to commend you for holding this hearing, and I want
to bring to my colleague's attention a development that
unfolded just a few hours ago which makes security at the State
Department and throughout our government of extreme importance.
A few hours ago, in Moscow, agents of the KGB have raided
the headquarters of the one free media outlet in Russia. This
should not be surprising in view of the fact that the new
Russian President Putin spent 15 years in the KGB and has
surrounded himself with KGB operatives and is singularly
incapable of accepting criticism of either Russian policies in
Chechnya or anywhere else.
I look forward to the testimony of our distinguished
witnesses and, having had a long-standing professional
relationship with the Secretary, I can only say that I know
from my own personal knowledge that no Secretary of State has
been more intent on maintaining maximum security with respect
to all sensitive materials than our current Secretary Madeline
It is always the head of the operation who is responsible
for anything that goes wrong, and Secretary Albright has
accepted that responsibility. But as we begin this hearing I
think it is important for us to realize that, given her
background and her attitudes and her experience, her own
personal commitment to maintaining the highest professional
standards of security within the Department is unquestioned;
and I know that this hearing will unfold in the context of that
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Mr. Lantos.
Since we have a series of votes, the Committee will now
stand in recess until the votes are concluded. Thank you very
much for your patience and indulgence.
Chairman Gilman. Committee will come to order.
I want to apologize for the number of votes that were on
the floor, which necessitated the recess that we have just gone
We are pleased to have with us today a distinguished panel
and allow me to introduce them.
Before I introduce the panelists, our Ranking Minority
Member, the gentleman from Connecticut, Mr. Gejdenson, has an
opening statement. Mr. Gejdenson.
Mr. Gejdenson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for
calling this hearing.
Obviously, it is always a difficult challenge in a
democratic society to balance our needs for security and also
have a society open enough that we can operate in a democratic
manner. But all of us are alarmed by the disturbing lapses in
security in the last several years at the State Department,
potentially compromising national security--listening devices,
individuals in unauthorized areas, a laptop disappearance,
workers given maybe too free access to areas important to
We need not simply to figure out there but elsewhere in the
government, in the post-Soviet era, to recognize there is still
an important need for security, and we have to make sure that
we have the resources and the structure in place to make sure
that our national secrets are protected and at the same time
that we move forward and make our systems of government
accessible to the citizens, to the press and to those who are
authorized to have access.
I certainly hope that everybody took the Secretary of
State's statement and her several comments in the town meeting
with the State Department officials to heart, that we all have
to participate in this process. She said that, unlike academia,
a 99 percent success rate just isn't acceptable here. It is a
difficult challenge, but I think we all recognize that we have
to be successful 100 percent of the time.
I thank the Chairman for calling the hearing and look
forward to hearing the witnesses.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Mr. Gejdenson.
Now we will proceed with our panelists.
I am pleased that we have with us the Honorable Jacquelyn
Bridgers, Inspector General in the Department of State. Ms.
Bridgers was sworn in as the Inspector General in 1995. She has
been before this Committee many times, and we appreciate the
valuable work of your good offices.
We will also hear from Assistant Secretary for the Bureau
of Intelligence and Research, Stapleton Roy. Ambassador Roy has
a distinguished 44-year history in the Foreign Service, having
served as Ambassador to Singapore, to China and to Indonesia
before taking over as Assistant Secretary for the Intelligence
and Research Bureau.
We also welcome Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security
David Carpenter. Mr. Carpenter assumed his position as
Assistant Secretary in August 1998 following a 26-year career
in the U.S. Secret Service. He is the first person to hold that
position and has a professional background in the protection
and security fields.
Finally, we welcome as our fourth witness Timothy Bereznay,
a Section Chief in the National Security Division of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Bereznay has been with the
Bureau for 24 years. In his current assignment he has
management oversight responsibilities for investigations
related to counterintelligence and espionage allegations that
pertain to our Department of State.
We appreciate the willingness of our panelists to appear
before our Committee on this very important topic.
I will ask Ms. Williams-Bridgers to proceed with a summary
of your statement, and following the statements we will proceed
to questions. Any of the panelists who want to summarize, we
will make your full statement a part of the record. Ms.
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE JACQUELYN L. WILLIAMS-BRIDGERS,
INSPECTOR GENERAL, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Ms. Williams-Bridgers. It is indeed a pleasure to be before
the Committee again. Mr. Gejdenson, Mr. Chairman, thank you
very much for the opportunity to testify before the Committee
on the Department of State's security programs as they relate
to the protection of sensitive intelligence in national
The Department has implemented a diligent effort to enhance
the physical security of our overseas missions. Today U.S.
missions are significantly more secure than they were 20 months
ago. Based on our overseas inspections we have found that our
embassies generally do a good job of protecting classified
Recent lapses at Main State clearly demonstrate that
attention must now be given to address vulnerabilities in
protecting sensitive intelligence and national security
information on the domestic front.
The Secretary's recent decision to transfer authority for
protection of intelligence-related material from the Bureau of
Intelligence and Research to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security
implements an important corrective action that we recommended
to ensure proper safeguards for our most sensitive
Mr. Chairman, in your invitation to this hearing you asked
me to discuss my office's assessment of the security
environment within INR and the Department overall, the division
of security responsibilities between INR and DS, the
Department's security incident disciplinary process, the
effectiveness of the disciplinary process in deterring poor
security practices, and the Department's responsiveness to
In brief, OIG has found significant deficiencies in the
handling of classified information that have perpetuated a lax
security environment in the Main State headquarters building.
Specifically, we found that ineffective access controls in the
Main State headquarters building left offices vulnerable to the
loss or theft of sensitive intelligence information and
equipment by unescorted, uncleared visitors and contractors. A
lack of adequate physical and procedural security measures in
offices resulted in classified documents not being properly
controlled and accounted for. INR was not fulfilling its
security function and unit security officers in other bureaus
were not enforcing security requirements, leading us to
recommend a delegation of responsibility to DS for protecting
highly classified information. Last, OIG found that
disciplinary actions for security violations did not serve as a
deterrent for lapses in security practices.
Let me focus first on the key security deficiencies we
identified. Our review of the handling of classified
information found that uncleared maintenance and repair and
cleaning contractors are not always escorted when in offices
where classified information is handled, processed and stored.
This occurred even though there has long been a Department
policy that escorts are mandatory in controlled access areas.
Very few contractor personnel have clearances. We found that
the vast majority of offices did not perform the escort
function. In cases where escorting was performed, the degree of
vigilance was inconsistent.
We also found that INR had not complied with required
routine inspections of 140 Department offices where sensitive
compartmented information was maintained or discussed. Also,
none of the offices had received technical surveillance
countermeasure inspections to determine whether listening
devices had been implanted.
Our review also found that while SCI documents were
distributed to 46 offices each morning, controls or procedures
were not in place to ensure that all material was returned to
an SCI facility and properly secured at the close of business.
In addition, INR was not obtaining signed receipts to establish
accountability for the documents and did not verify that all
the documents were actually returned.
INR had also not complied with the Director of Central
Intelligence directive regarding personnel security standards.
Specifically, we found that INR had not complied with the
requirements that only individuals with a need to know had
access to SCI materials and that the results of background
investigations be considered in making that determination.
We found that unit security officer [USO] responsibilities
were not being performed because many USOs were not fully
informed of their security responsibilities, and they did not
believe that they had the authority to enforce security
procedures. In 21 of 23 offices inspected, there was no
assurance that after-hours checks were performed or that
classified documents were properly stored. Of 23 USOs we
interviewed, 17 did not perform office security reviews. Only 5
of 23 offices escorted their uncleared cleaning staff. Only 11
of 23 regularly briefed their employees on security.
INR has not effectively discharged its responsibility for
the protection of SCI. In our view, INR is not well structured
or staffed to oversee the management of SCI's security.
The primary function of DS, however, is to ensure that
people and information are properly protected. DS is already
responsible for overseeing Department procedures for protecting
classified information up to the Top Secret level. Further, DS
has a cadre of trained security professionals. Therefore, the
OIG recommended that the duty of safeguarding SCI should be
delegated to DS.
Mr. Chairman, my office will be conducting a followup
review later this year to determine the adequacy of the
Department's response to all of our recommendations.
The Department's security incident program also has not
been effective because security awareness and disciplinary
actions have not been sufficient. Repeat offenders receive
letters of warning and, depending on the gravity of the
situation, they can continue to retain their security
clearances allowing access to the most sensitive information in
We recommended that the Department strengthen security
training and the disciplinary actions associated with security
In summary, I am encouraged by the actions taken by the
Department recently to correct the physical and procedural
security deficiencies at Main State that we have noted in our
work. It is unfortunate, however, that lapses in security that
were identified by OIG last year were not addressed in a more
timely fashion. This delay no doubt may have contributed to an
environment in which the most recent highly publicized breeches
occurred. At this juncture, however, it is essential that the
Department exercise vigilance and commitment to maintain and
enforce the highest level of security awareness and compliance.
This concludes my short statement, and I would be glad to
answer questions at the appropriate time.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Williams-Bridgers appears in
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Inspector General Bridgers.
Assistant Secretary Roy, Bureau of Intelligence and
Research, please proceed.
STATEMENT OF AMBASSADOR J. STAPLETON ROY, ASSISTANT SECRETARY
OF STATE FOR INTELLIGENCE AND RESEARCH, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF
Mr. Roy. I am glad to have the opportunity to appear before
you today with my colleague, Assistant Secretary Carpenter. We
will be happy to discuss with you the Department's response to
the disappearance of an INR laptop computer and other important
Let me begin by briefly reviewing the basic facts regarding
the disappearance of the laptop computer. On January 31 of this
year, a laptop computer containing highly classified
information was discovered to be missing from a secure area
controlled by the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the
Department of State, or INR, which I head. This matter is under
active criminal investigation by the FBI and the Department's
Bureau of Diplomatic Security, or DS. I have asked all
personnel of INR to cooperate fully with the investigation.
That is our sole role. We not privy to the investigation's
focus, its time line, or its findings, so I cannot speak to
In my testimony today, I will focus on four subjects which
the Committee asked me to address in its invitation letter:
First, the disappearance of the laptop. The laptop had been
purchased in 1996 for the exclusive use of officers from other
bureaus engaged in counterproliferation work who did not have
access to classified workstations within INR. It was used and
stored in an INR secure area because it contained highly
classified information bearing on the proliferation of weapons
and technologies of mass destruction and their associated
delivery systems. Because of the sensitive information on it,
the computer was not permitted to leave the INR secure area
where open storage was authorized under applicable regulations.
On January 31, INR staff could not locate the laptop in
response to a request by a would-be user from outside the
Bureau. When a careful search of the office suite failed to
locate the laptop, the office in question took immediate steps
to interview all personnel in the office as well as officers
from outside the Bureau who had been authorized to use the
Some of those approximately 40 officers were out of country
on official business. They were queried by phone or cable. When
these efforts failed to locate the laptop, INR's security
branch chief launched a formal investigation and requested the
office director to respond to a detailed list of questions. He
also interviewed key individuals and developed a summary of
relevant circumstances. When this internal investigative phase
failed to locate the laptop, the INR security branch chief
reported the circumstances to me, along with his recommendation
that because of the potential compromise of classified
information the matter be turned over to DS. I immediately
approved this recommendation, and on February 10 INR requested
DS to commence an investigation and notified the CIA Center for
Security that a computer presumed to contain sensitive
classified material could not be located.
All matters pertaining to the investigation are under the
purview of DS and the FBI, and I am not privy to the details.
We do not yet know how the laptop disappeared, whether it was
removed by an employee authorized to work in the office,
whether it was stolen for its material value or whether it was
taken for the information on its hard drive.
Regardless of the circumstances, the loss of the laptop is
inexcusable. It should not have happened. As the Assistant
Secretary for Intelligence and Research, I am also the senior
officer of the Intelligence Community in INR and in the
Department of State. All personnel in INR from top to bottom
have been indoctrinated and trained to be aware of their
responsibility to safeguard the Nation's most sensitive
secrets. Whatever the results of the investigation, it is clear
that we failed to exercise our responsibility to safeguard the
computer and the classified information on it.
I particularly regret that Members of Congress first
learned of the incident from the pages of the Washington Post.
This was never our intention. That it happened is most
unfortunate and is being looked into as part of our effort to
draw lessons from this unfortunate experience.
Second, the Secretary's decisions in response to the loss.
As a result of the circumstances I have just outlined, the
Secretary took a number of steps affecting the Bureau that I
First, after consulting the Director of Central
Intelligence, George Tenet, the Secretary decided that DS
should take over from INR the responsibility for protection of
sensitive compartmented information. I support this decision
and am confident that DS will do the job well. We are working
hand in glove with DS and the CIA to effect this transfer. In
addition to improving security, I believe this will strengthen
INR's ability to concentrate on what we do best, which is
analysis and intelligence policy coordination.
In my view, this transfer of the SCI security function can
be handled in a manner that will not conflict in any way with
INR's responsibilities as a statutory member of the
Intelligence Community. Indeed, since before the discovery that
the laptop was missing, we had been working closely with DS to
identify and formalize areas for enhanced cooperation.
Aside from the transfer of the SCI security function to DS,
the Secretary also asked that in the investigation of the
disappearance of the laptop, questions of accountability be
examined carefully and appropriate recommendations be made for
decision. Meanwhile, to enhance confidence in the review
process, two INR office directors have been temporarily
transferred to other duties. This is not a finding of fault. It
is to ensure that as the investigation is conducted and
remedial steps are taken there is full confidence in the
In addition, the Secretary directed that a number of other
steps be taken to tighten security in the Department, which we
can address at other points in our testimony here.
The security environment within INR. The Secretary held a
town meeting at the Department on May 4 to stress once again
that all Department employees must attach the highest priority
to their security responsibilities. I had already reinforced
this message in a meeting with the entire INR staff on April
26, and I am confident that everyone in the Bureau is conscious
of the need to maintain a high level of security awareness at
all times and that security is an inextricable and
indispensable part of their jobs.
Mr. Chairman, you inquired in your invitation letter to me
about the day-to-day procedures of monitoring classified
information within INR. In accordance with the relevant
directives, SCI security or control officers responsible for
Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities maintain
records, manual or electronic, of external receipt and dispatch
sufficient to investigate loss or compromise of SCI documents
Given the volume of classified and SCI material received
daily in INR, we and DS have recognized the need to strengthen
procedures for assuring document accountability. Earlier this
year, we sought and gained approval to hire additional document
control specialists. Upon their entry on duty, they will work
to ensure that both the theory and practice of document
accountability within INR are fully in accord with Intelligence
Community standards and requirements.
Following recess of the OIG report last September, the
DCI's Community Management Staff offered to make available to
INR a professional document control specialist to evaluate our
existing staffing and document control procedures and to make
appropriate recommendations. I understand the individual
selected to assist us, expected to arrive in INR very soon,
will come from the Defense Intelligence Agency, whose
operational milieu is in important respects similar to that at
In regard to the management of and security procedures for
construction or renovation projects at Main State, in INR this
relates primarily to Sensitive Compartmented Information
Facilities, or SCIFs. Here DCID 1/21 on Physical Security
Standards for Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities is
the governing directive. The DCID requires that whenever a
project is contemplated, a construction plan balancing threats
and vulnerabilities must be reviewed and approved by the
cognizant security authority. In my view, these requirements
are time tested and appropriate provided they are, as they
should be, rigorously observed.
The fourth subject you asked me to address was the INR
Assistant Secretary's role as senior official of the
First, let me affirm that I see no statutory, regulatory or
procedural barriers that need interfere with the ability of the
Bureau of Diplomatic Security to carry out security
responsibilities within INR. There are some fine points now
being addressed, but they have not been implemented in any way
within INR to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Nor should
this impede INR's ability to perform its function as a member
of the Intelligence Community.
As Members of this Committee may be aware, the Department
of State is not a member of the Intelligence Community. Rather,
it is INR within the Department that is a statutory member. As
Assistant Secretary of INR, I am the senior adviser to the
Secretary of State on all intelligence matters and responsive
to her direction. At the same time, I have certain
responsibilities to the Director of Central Intelligence that
derive from my status as the Senior Official of the
Intelligence Community within INR.
The authorities and responsibilities vested in SOICs, or
Senior Officials of the Intelligence Community, are detailed in
DCID 1/19--Security Policy for Sensitive Compartmented
Information and Security Policy Manual. This directive states
that intelligence organizations, as defined in Executive Order
12333, have the authority and are responsible for all aspects
of security program management with respect to the protection
of intelligence sources and methods and for implementation of
the DCIDs for activities under their purview.
Hence, INR had previously maintained its own security
program for intelligence sources and methods, while DS had
developed and implemented security procedures on a broad range
of security responsibilities that fall within its purview.
Pursuant to the Secretary's decision to transfer SCI security
protection to DS, we are working with DS and CIA to develop the
necessary procedures within the framework of the DCID.
In conclusion, let me stress once again that the Department
of State is undertaking a top-to-bottom review of security
procedures. INR is a part of that process and, working closely
with DS, we are moving simultaneously on many fronts to ensure
better security throughout the Bureau. As the Secretary said, a
99 percent grade on security is not a passing grade. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Roy appears in the
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Secretary Roy.
We are now pleased to hear testimony by the Honorable David
Carpenter, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Diplomatic
Security at the Department of State.
You may summarize your statement, put the full statement in
the record, whatever you deem appropriate. Please proceed.
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE DAVID G. CARPENTER, ASSISTANT
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR DIPLOMATIC SECURITY AND SENIOR ADVISOR
TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE ON SECURITY ISSUES, U.S. DEPARTMENT
Mr. Carpenter. Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, I
am appearing before you today to answer questions about the
recent laptop incident. I am also prepared to discuss other
domestic security issues affecting the Department of State.
I accepted the position of Assistant Secretary at the State
Department with the full realization that the job would be
challenging, but I could never have envisioned the enormity of
that challenge. I doubt that there are many outside the agency
who appreciate the magnitude of the task thrust upon DS, the
complexity of the issues faced in managing a global security
program responsible for the protection of so many lives, and
the challenges in facing off against sophisticated espionage
services as well as transnational organizations focused on the
destruction of American interests around the world.
On a positive note, I was extraordinarily gratified by the
capabilities and professionalism of the people working in the
Bureau of Diplomatic Security. They are clearly first rate. But
I was shocked to learn just how much the State Department's
budget had been cut and, to my regret, how hard those budget
and personnel cuts had hit DS. I found that DS had people in
all areas of its responsibilities who, in my experience, were
second to none in other similar agencies, but it became
painfully obvious that DS, although challenged and dedicated,
had far too few people to meet the challenges it was about to
Following the fall of the Soviet Union, DS was authorized
to hire only a handful of agents, engineers and civil service
security personnel. Twenty percent of DS positions worldwide
were reduced. The worldwide guard program was decreased by 5
percent. Rules and regulations concerning security were
loosened to the point that holding employees accountable for
serious security issues became more difficult.
It is my assessment that the budget and personnel cuts had
significantly eroded the Bureau's ability to fulfill even its
most basic services. They had reached the point that when there
were major conferences in the United States requiring
significant manpower to staff protective details, numerous
operational offices had to be shut down to support this effort.
In some respects, this type of scenario continues to this day.
Let me give you a few examples of how DS' programs were
streamlined during that period. Among the activities affected
was our office of counter intelligence. The number of positions
was reduced from 41 to 26 and funding for the program was cut
from $225,000 to $65,000. Staffing for programs in the
Department that handle procedural and informational security
issues was reduced by more than 50 percent. Our technical
countermeasures programs suffered a similar fate as limited
funding forced the Bureau to fund only priority life safety
programs rather than to invest in upgrading its antiquated
countermeasures program. The Department's reaction to imposed
fiscal constraints and a popular opinion that the Cold War had
ended and now the world was a better place had devastating
consequences for DS programs.
In 1997, the Bureau's hiring picked up considerably and
while it appeared that they were making strides in restaffing
to the point of making it ready to meet its existing
challenges, the bombings in East Africa occurred. Let me say
that those bombings have dramatically changed the magnitude and
intensity of our overseas security programs and the support of
this Committee in regard to our specific needs has been much
appreciated. As you are aware, nearly all of our new positions
acquired since the bombings have been directed at overseas
staffing or in support of our overseas operations, chiefly with
antiterrorism in mind.
The Department is currently reviewing staffing levels in
other areas that may have been neglected including
counterintelligence, dignitary protection, and domestic
facility security which continue to be significantly
understaffed and underfunded.
Let me describe to you the universe of our efforts. We are
in the protection business. We protect people, facilities, and
classified information. We do this at our posts throughout the
Let me give you some idea of the magnitude of our global
life safety responsibilities. We protect approximately 10,000
State Department employees in the United States. Overseas, we
are accountable for the protection of an estimated 75,000 U.S.
citizen employees and their families. Add to that number more
than 37,000 Foreign Service employees working for our embassies
and consulates. Each year we also protect approximately 130
distinguished high profile foreign visitors to the United
States and that is an encapsulated view of just our mission to
Mr. Chairman, in my view the breadth of this global mandate
is unique in the Federal Government.
Our missions for protecting facilities and information
equally demanding. DS has designed programs to counter a global
array of security challenges presented by elements ranging from
common criminals to terrorists and spies. Our programs include
safeguarding classified and national security information,
personnel investigations, computer and information security
awareness programs, and the conduct and coordination of
espionage and counterintelligence investigations.
In the past year, much has been made of security incidents
at Main State. Providing security for that building is a
problem, not impossible but still very challenging.
The Department of State building is the second largest
government building in the Nation's Capital. It is occupied by
8500 employees and receives over 200,000 official visitors and
tourists each year. The Main State building covers two square
blocks and has eight stories and a basement. There are 2.6
million square feet of space. It has 5 pedestrian entrances, 3
basement entrances to a 900 plus vehicle garage, 2 loading
docks, 43 elevators, 5,400 windows, 9 acres of roof, and 13
emergency generators. The building has virtually no setback
from the street thus affording little opportunity to screen
either visitors or vehicles at appropriate distances.
The building serves as the hub for American diplomacy. It
hosts numerous international conferences and major events
involving world leaders each year. The building is the platform
for the Nation's daily press briefing on events around the
world. It houses the Nation's State dining rooms and unrivalled
collection of colonial and early Federal decorative priceless
art objects insured for $100 million.
The Department has in place procedures and safeguards to
protect our facilities during construction and renovation. As
this Committee is aware, Main State is currently undergoing a
major 10-year renovation project. Security measures such as the
development of construction security plans, construction
surveillance, vetting of workers, screening of materials, and
other precautions are integrated into this project. Other
construction projects performed within the building are
routinely scrutinized by DS officers to determine the level of
sensitivity and ensure that proper security countermeasures are
In other words, the State Department building is a very
large and busy institution. Protecting it is an immense
Three incidents in the Main State building have brought
home to all of us the need to strengthen domestic information
security. In February 1998, an unknown male in a tweed coat
carried away classified documents from the Secretary's suite of
offices. That case, which was investigated by the FBI, is in an
inactive status at this time.
The second incident came to light on December 8, 1999 when
Russian intelligence officer, Stanislav Gusev, was arrested on
the street outside the State Department as he listened in on a
meeting in the State Department's Oceans and International
Environmental Scientific Affairs' conference room via a bug
planted in the chair railing. Gusev, who had diplomatic
immunity preventing his prosecution in the United States, was
asked to leave the country. The investigation by the FBI
continues into, among other things how the bug was planted.
Spinning off the bugging case was an inquiry into how a
computer software contract was managed and whether the systems
on which the software was placed had been compromised. That
inquiry is still ongoing.
The third incident is, of course, the laptop incident which
is currently under investigation by the FBI and DS. Ambassador
Roy has already described for you how the laptop was used, the
circumstances surrounding its disappearance, INR's referral of
this matter to DS and the Secretary's five point response to
Mr. Chairman, we have learned some very valuable lessons
from these incidents. The fundamental problem which has brought
the Department to the point at which it now finds itself is not
an absence of proper policies and procedures, as those are and
have been in place. The problem is simply carelessness. That
is, noncompliance and/or disregard for established regulations.
These incidents have prompted us to take measures which
complement existing regulations and procedures and are designed
to change the lax attitude toward security at the State
I believe that substantial progress has been made over the
past 2 years. We have tightened security in the Secretary's
suite of offices. We have adopted a rigorous, comprehensive
escort policy, worked to strengthen computer safeguards, and
assigned uniformed officers to floor specific patrols inside
the building. At Main State we have reinstated an after-hours
inspection program of Department offices, and we continue a
program of bringing Marine security guards in training into the
Department 10 times a year to conduct security sweeps. We have
closed D Street outside the building to traffic and installed
cement barriers around the entire building, thus lessening our
physical vulnerability. We have provided security awareness
briefings to over 4,000 Department personnel. But these are
only the first steps. Much more needs to be done.
In March, I convened an interagency review panel comprised
of senior security representatives from the FBI, the Department
of Defense, the U.S. Secret Service, the CIA, and the
Diplomatic Security Service. The panel was asked to review the
countermeasures currently in place to protect against
unauthorized access to the Main State building and classified
information. I also requested that they make recommendations to
improve security at the Main State building.
On Monday of this week, I received the panel's report. I
plan to present the report to the Secretary when she returns to
Washington and intend to use it to correct systemic
vulnerabilities at the Department of State. Once the
Administration has had an opportunity to review the report, I
will be delighted to share it with you, Mr. Chairman, as well
as the Members of your Committee.
This panel confirmed our assessment of known weaknesses in
our programs and recommended both short and long term solutions
that it believes will enhance security at Main State. Their
findings center on Main State's access controls, its physical
security, information security, security awareness, our
uniformed protective officer program, and the need to create a
chemical/biological program. I am convinced that the
development of a strategic plan to fund and implement these
findings will result in significant improvements in our
The Secretary's leadership in raising security awareness
has been invaluable. She has personally emphasized security at
every opportunity for the purpose of strengthening the culture
of security at State. As you know, on May 3 she held a
Department-wide town meeting on security because of the laptop
incident. In the course of the meeting, she stressed that each
of our employees must be our neighbor's keeper when it comes to
security. The position that she has taken with respect to
individual responsibility among our diplomats, that regardless
of how skilled you may be as a diplomat, if you are not
professional about security--you are a failure--has resonated
throughout the Department. Further, when she told the
Department employees that the press reports were accurate; and
she was indeed furious about our security lapses, any misgiven
belief anyone might have that the Secretary wanted simply to
let this blow over and be forgotten was forcefully corrected.
I believe that what we have done and are doing, combined
with the stark ugly reality of what security failures produce,
have gone a long way in raising awareness at the Department. I
think that we have reached the point that where the decided
majority of State Department employees has recognized that a
threat exists; that poor practices are unacceptable; that
security is a high priority with the Secretary, this
Administration, and this Congress; and that employees will be
held accountable for lapses. I can assure you that the
Secretary and I will continue to drive home those points as
forcefully as possible.
As I said earlier, I believe that the lax attitude in the
Department toward security is no longer tolerable. I fully
expect that we will see that the Department's efforts aimed
principally at better education, at existing requirements, and
designation of individual responsibilities will bear fruit and
there will be substantial and voluntary adherence to security
rules and procedures, but if I am wrong, we are fully prepared
to use enhanced disciplinary procedures to further underscore
the seriousness with which we view this issue.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would be glad to answer
questions at this time.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Carpenter appears in the
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Mr. Carpenter.
Mr. Bereznay, section chief, National Security Division,
Federal Bureau of Investigation. You may summarize your
statement, or your full statement will be made a part of the
record, as you deem appropriate. Please proceed.
STATEMENT OF TIMOTHY D. BEREZNAY, SECTION CHIEF, NATIONAL
SECURITY DIVISION, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
Mr. Bereznay. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Members of the
Committee, I am pleased to appear before you today to discuss
State Department security issues that are of concern to this
Committee. I will be as forthcoming as possible given the
sensitive and classified nature related to the information
requested by the Committee.
Concerning the missing State Department laptop computer, I
want to ensure the Committee that the FBI's investigation of
the missing computer is being afforded the highest FBI
priority. As you are aware, I am prohibited from discussing the
matter further as it is the subject of a pending criminal
The Committee has asked that I comment on the sufficiency
of State Department security procedures in connection with the
bugging of the 7th floor conference room by the Russian Foreign
Intelligence Service. The FBI was asked by State Department in
late August 1999 to conduct an environmental technical survey,
in other words a review of neighboring properties, to determine
whether a hostile intelligence service might have acquired such
property. This survey was specifically requested in connection
with pending renovations at the Department. In 1998, we were
also pleased to have our Washington field office work with the
Office of Diplomatic Security to survey access to State
Department by Russian intelligence officers. Beyond these
narrow surveys conducted with or at the request of State
Department, the FBI was not called upon at that time to review
physical security procedures at the Department. Those matters
were, however, addressed by the Office of the Inspector General
as reported in its September 1999 report.
The FBI believes that the State Department acted swiftly
during August 1999 to limit the number of unescorted foreign
nationals visiting State Department following the discovery of
the listening device in the 7th floor State Department
conference room. On August 23, 1999, the State Department
implemented policy that requires all foreign nationals to be
escorted within the building at all times.
As noted by the Committee, there is an exception for
foreign media correspondents issued unique but permanent badges
that allow unescorted entry without passing through metal
There is an understanding that the media is not to go above
the second floor where the press office is located. This
exception affords unescorted access to the State Department by
a number of known foreign service intelligence officers. The
FBI does not customarily provide other agencies, to include
State Department, with lists of intelligence officers'
identities to protect both sensitive sources and cases unless
there is a specific reason or if asked. If asked, the FBI would
be willing to identify to the State Department permanent media
badge holders identified as hostile intelligence officers so
that their access could be restricted or their visits
Historically, hostile intelligence services have utilized
media cover for intelligence activities in the United States.
However, because intelligence officers under media cover do not
have diplomatic immunity, they normally perform in-depth but
overt intelligence collection. Clandestine handling of agents
or other covert activity is usually assigned to intelligence
officers under diplomatic cover. In addition to the overt
intelligence collection, intelligence officers under
correspondent cover have been engaged in active measures
campaigns designed to support their national interests and to
influence United States policymakers.
Active measures campaigns take the form of oral persuasions
or the dissemination of written information favorable to their
national policy, both of which are facilitated by intelligence
officers under media cover. Hostile intelligence services use
active measures as an inexpensive and relatively low-risk way
to advance their international positions.
Over the last 15 years, no foreign intelligence service
officer under media cover has been declared persona non grata
for engaging in espionage activities. This is attributed, as I
previously noted, to the fact that these officers are not
accredited diplomatic immunity and thus normally do not engage
in clandestine agent-handling activities subject to
With respect to your inquiry regarding the use of laptop
computers within the FBI, the FBI uses only specified laptop
computers that carry appropriate safeguards for classified
data, to include both the use of passwords and encryption.
These laptops are maintained by automation personnel and are
available for short period loans to FBI employees. The laptop
computers are periodically examined and the stored information
purged. When they are turned in by one employee and before
being issued or loaned to another individual, the hard drive is
purged and reprogrammed. The laptop computers are also
subjected to an audit and forensic check to ensure that they
have not been compromised.
The FBI views the protection of classified information in a
computer environment as a problem that is not unique to the
State Department. It is a serious security issue that will
continue to present problems to all members of the intelligence
I welcome any questions you may have.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Bereznay appears in the
Chairman Gilman. Thank you very much, Mr. Bereznay, and I
want to thank our panelists for their testimony. We will now
proceed with questions.
Ambassador Roy, in your statement, you note that there are
appropriate procedures for management's security of renovation
projects in secure areas of the Department. The question is,
were these procedures followed in the renovation project that
took place in the INR suite on the sixth floor?
Mr. Roy. Mr. Chairman, the investigation will determine the
exact circumstances relating to that. What I can do is share
with you my understanding of what happened.
Chairman Gilman. Well as you share it, can you tell us, did
the construction plan permit uncleared workers to be in the
classified area and permit the door to the hallway be open
during the work day? Can you also note the dates of the
renovation project for us?
Mr. Roy. Yes. The construction workers were expected to be
escorted at all times and the appropriate instructions were
given to the office where the construction work was taking
place. At no time was there unsecured access by the workers to
the controlled areas of the SCIF. When the door was opened in
areas of the office that were being renovated, either access
had not been broken through the wall to make it part of the
SCIF or there were people stationed at the entrance in order to
provide protection. The procedures were expected to be followed
and were consistent with our understanding of appropriate DCID
Chairman Gilman. Who is responsible for assuring that the
repairmen were escorted at all times?
Mr. Roy. The office where the work was being undertaken
were charged with that responsibility.
Chairman Gilman. So whoever was working there would have to
make certain they were escorted?
Mr. Roy. Yes.
Chairman Gilman. And it is also our understanding that INR
employees were tasked with watching the workers. Did it make
sense to have employees who had their regular assignments also
have to watch these workers?
Mr. Roy. The workers had to be watched, and if INR
employees were charged with that responsibility it should have
been carried out. My personal view is that in situations like
that you need dedicated people who have a 100 percent
responsibility of monitoring the uncleared workers. That is the
ideal way to accomplish it.
Chairman Gilman. How adequate was the oversight of the
workers at the time of the renovation project?
Mr. Roy. Most of this occurred before I arrived in INR so I
cannot speak from personal experience, but what I can share
with you, Mr. Chairman, is the fact that I have never been
permitted access to INR work spaces as an ambassador, as the
executive secretary of the Department responsible for document
flow to the Secretary of State, as a deputy assistant secretary
of a geographic bureau in any other way than an escorted
Chairman Gilman. And who did the escorting?
Mr. Roy. INR employees. Every time that I, as a foreign
service officer not working in INR, have been to INR spaces, I
have been escorted 100 percent of the time. So my expectation
was that the escort duties were taken seriously.
Chairman Gilman. Mr. Carpenter, who is responsible for
security of a renovation project at the Main State building
particularly with regard to projects that take place in
Mr. Carpenter. In our domestic operations section there is
actually a differentiation between the rest of the building and
INR space. For anywhere else other than INR space and SCIFs and
the like, INR had that responsibility for the rest of the
building, our domestic office.
Chairman Gilman. Who is in charge of the domestic
Mr. Carpenter. Don Blake.
Chairman Gilman. Are there security-oriented regulations
that govern such construction of renovation projects at the
Main State building?
Mr. Carpenter. Yes there are.
Chairman Gilman. Are the regulations different from the
rules followed for overseas construction for the protection of
Mr. Carpenter. Yes they do differ yes, sir.
Chairman Gilman. In what manner?
Mr. Carpenter. Overseas are much more stringent by virtue
of the potential for compromise as construction is going on.
They are also dramatically more stringent.
Chairman Gilman. Do you think there should be more
stringent regulations here in the Main State building?
Mr. Carpenter. Absolutely.
Chairman Gilman. If work will occur in a classified area,
can uncleared workers be used?
Mr. Carpenter. Uncleared yes, unescorted no.
Chairman Gilman. Does diplomatic security provide security
technicians for such projects?
Mr. Carpenter. Occasionally, depending on the amount of
notice we are given and the availability of our personnel.
Chairman Gilman. And could INR have requested escorts from
DS who are trained to watch workers?
Mr. Carpenter. I suppose they could have requested that.
Again, the security of their areas is largely--has previously
Chairman Gilman. Ambassador Roy, until the recent
announcement--you were responsible for the directives governing
the SCI material, is that correct?
Mr. Roy. That is correct.
Chairman Gilman. Have you been able to determine whether
the laptop computer was used in accordance with the Director of
Central Intelligence directives?
Mr. Roy. Yes, sir. My understanding is that it was used and
stored in consistency with the pertinent directives.
Chairman Gilman. Are there regulations governing labeling
or requiring encryption or even a password to protect
information stored on a laptop? Are there such regulations?
Mr. Roy. There are regulations concerning labeling. My
understanding, and we have looked at this in retrospect, is we
cannot confirm with assurance that there were appropriate
labels on the laptop, although some people have told me that
they recall seeing such labels on it.
Chairman Gilman. Are there now labels being required on a
Mr. Roy. Yes, there are.
Chairman Gilman. Ambassador Roy, were your employees
abiding by the proper visitor escort procedures in the INR
office where the laptop was lost?
Mr. Roy. Since the laptop is missing, there had to be a
lapse somewhere, but insofar as I was aware they were abiding
by the procedures and they were certainly informed of what the
correct procedures were.
Chairman Gilman. And Ambassador Roy, has anyone been held
accountable for the loss of the laptop?
Mr. Roy. That is not possible, Mr. Chairman, until the
investigation is concluded.
Chairman Gilman. Any disciplinary action under way?
Mr. Roy. No disciplinary actions have been taken pending
determination of responsibilities.
Chairman Gilman. And, Mr. Carpenter, in November 1998, you
introduced, with the approval of the Under Secretary for
Management, a policy requiring escorts for many State
Department visitors. Within a week, that was rescinded; and
later in August 1999, following a discovery of a bug in a
conference room at State, the requirement for an escort was
reintroduced. Can you tell us who requested the rescission of
Mr. Carpenter. Yes, sir. As you properly stated--I answer
to the Under Secretary for Management. Almost immediately upon
arriving at the State Department, realizing that there was no
escort policy for anyone, quite frankly, to enter the building,
we started to put together a program. We briefed the Department
as fully as we could relative to how it would work. As you
said, in November, I submitted it to my under secretary.
Chairman Gilman. November of what year?
Mr. Carpenter. Of 1998.
Chairman Gilman. Yes.
Mr. Carpenter. My under secretary approved; we proceeded in
issuing fliers about this new program. I was called within
hours of it being distributed by Under Secretary Pickering. He
asked me to explain exactly what was going on. He had not been
briefed on it. A number of the people that answer to him in the
geographic bureaus claimed not to have been briefed on it. It
appeared to be that it was a policy that had never been
instituted at the Department of State. People felt it would be
too confining and it wasn't doable and asked me to withdraw it.
Chairman Gilman. Who asked you to withdraw it?
Mr. Carpenter. Under Secretary Pickering. We went back to
the drawing board. We conducted more briefings. We, quite
frankly, made the escort policy better. We did some marketing--
people better understood what needed to be accomplished. We
talked to those people who were most concerned, people that
would be entertaining large groups, how that would work. Some
of that work, quite frankly, had not been done.
Chairman Gilman. When did you reintroduce that?
Mr. Carpenter. In August 1999, less than 1 year ago.
Chairman Gilman. And has it been in place since August
Mr. Carpenter. Yes, sir, it has and working quite well.
Chairman Gilman. And, Mr. Carpenter, one of the concerns in
the current escort policy is the exception for the press corps.
Understanding they are supposed to be restricted to the first
two floors of the building, what is to prevent them from moving
about freely in the other floors?
Mr. Carpenter. Currently, we realize that the press and
their ability--the answer to your question is nothing at the
current time prevents them from going to other floors.
Chairman Gilman. So they have free access now.
Mr. Carpenter. They do not have free access. They are
instructed that they are not to go above the second floor. We
have guards patrolling the floors, second, third, fourth,
fifth, sixth, etc., looking for not only press who are
unescorted but other people who may have left an office without
Chairman Gilman. Unless they are confronted by a guard,
they can wander around the building; is that correct?
Mr. Carpenter. It would be possible. Yes, sir.
Chairman Gilman. Can you tell us how you issue press
credentials to the American/foreign press? Is there any
distinguishing process between the two?
Mr. Carpenter. Yes. There are checks that are made and
probably this would not be the forum I would want to go into
what those checks are, but clearly there will be checks done on
Chairman Gilman. As part of your new escort policy, are
random hallway checks done to identify persons not eligible to
be wandering around a building?
Mr. Carpenter. Yes, sir. They are.
Chairman Gilman. I know I have exceeded my time but this is
such an important issue. To our FBI assistant, since the chair-
rail incident, has the State Department done everything it can
to minimize security problems and threats, in your opinion, to
the Main State facility?
Mr. Bereznay. As I indicated in my statement, Mr. Chairman,
since that incident, there has been a tightening of the escort
policy. The only area where I see a need for improvement is one
you have already addressed, that being foreign media
correspondents' access at State Department.
Chairman Gilman. Does the gentleman's agreement that badged
foreign press officials remain only on the first two floors of
the State Department unless they are escorted pose any serious
Mr. Bereznay. In my opinion, it poses a threat. Realizing
that those media representatives could be working in
conjunction with other visitors from foreign countries, I
believe that there is a threat there. As I indicated, we would
be willing to work with State Department to identify those
journalists--foreign journalists who we know to be intelligence
officers so they can be either more vigilant during the visit
or restrict those visits.
Chairman Gilman. To your knowledge, are there foreign press
representatives who are intelligence officers now serving in
the State Department?
Mr. Bereznay. Mr. Chairman, yes, there are.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you. Ms. Bridgers, does the escort
policy raise any concerns with your office.
Ms. Williams-Bridgers. Yes, Mr. Chairman, the escort policy
does raise a number of concerns, specifically those that you
have just focused your attention on within the past few
moments. We believe that the escort policy as written is an
excellent first step in controlling visitors to State
Department, but it does leave a glaring hole in allowing the
press, members of the media, free access to the building.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you. Mr. Gejdenson.
Mr. Gejdenson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me just start
on the computer. Do you need to have a laptop, I mean, was
there a reason for it to be a laptop.
Mr. Roy. Let me address that, Mr. Gejdenson. The laptop was
acquired through funds provided by the intelligence community
because officers working on non-proliferation issues, outside
of INR, did not have secure computers within INR that they
could do their work on. The information had to be stored in
INR. For that reason, a laptop was purchased with intelligence
community funds in order to have a workstation available within
INR that could be used by cleared employees from outside of the
Bureau who needed to work on SCI material within INR.
Mr. Gejdenson. Was there a need for the computer to be
mobile or could the same things have been accomplished by
having a full-size desktop?
Mr. Roy. In principle, it could have been accomplished by
having a full-size desktop and eventually----
Mr. Gejdenson. Just because it is harder to steal and
Mr. Roy. To be frank, the idea that either a laptop or
dedicated workstation could have been stolen was not driving
Mr. Gejdenson. I understand that, but in the field which
you are, when we take a look at getting a system for outside
people who are coming to State, we could simply get a desktop
instead of a laptop. They could still steal the hard drive.
There are lots of ways to steal information. You can download
it, send it over a modem, but physically it will be harder to
remove it if it is not a laptop in the future. So that may be
one of the things you ought to look at is whether or not you
need to get smaller systems or whether you need to encase them
in larger systems just as an additional security measure.
Mr. Roy. I agree with you entirely; and in practice, INR
laptops are only used for those mobile situations where only a
laptop can be used. In other cases, we use dedicated
Mr. Gejdenson. Mr. Carpenter, do you have enough authority?
My sense from your answer on the escort issue is you had to
learn the politics of the State Department so you worked it
through. Like any institution, institutions don't like new
people who come in and change the way they have lived. It has
worked fine before you got here. You tried something, you did a
pretty good job, but obviously then you had to sell it, refine
it, as you said. You should be a diplomat, you are very good at
these things, but basically putting aside the need in any
institution to learn how to move things along, do we need to
change the structure in any way so you have the authority
necessary to take the actions you consider important in an
expedited and timely manner?
Mr. Carpenter. Well, they didn't hire me to be a diplomat.
I think State hired me to look at the security issues with the
eye that needed to be focused on them. The Secretary has been
incredibly supportive of the efforts that we have made to try
to improve the security at State. The issue that was addressed
earlier about the escort policy, we were clearly aware of a
hole that is there. There are steps that have been taken to
mitigate those holes, and I will be glad to discuss those again
in another forum.
Your statements about the need to be diplomatic--we could
not be. The State Department had never had an escort policy,
never or anything close to it. It was very, very difficult to
drop the curtain on the Department. It had all sorts of
ramifications--so we had to do it in phases. This is simply the
first one. Are there holes in it? Absolutely. We are looking at
such things as hiring permanent people that do nothing but
escort. We are looking at converting different parts of the
building to secure or nonsecure areas only, to better
facilitate the conduct of our foreign affairs. There are a
number of things that need to be done. As the Inspector General
mentioned, this escort policy was only a first step.
Mr. Gejdenson. Do you have authority enough in the
structure of the State Department? This is an old system, a lot
of people around, lots of power centers under the present
construct, whether it is you or anybody else there. Do you have
authority to move forward and do the things that need to be
done at the Assistant Secretary level? Or do you need a
different title or more staff? Are there any of those things?
Mr. Carpenter. I am glad you asked. The Secretary is
working with Congress to establish, as soon as possible, a new
position for Under Secretary for Security, Counterterrorism and
Law Enforcement. The genesis of this concept was from the
accountability review board following the East Africa bombings
that suggested that the Department of State needed to designate
one person to be responsible for all security issues at the
Department of State. This position clearly does not exist.
The question that was posed is--at what level does that
person have to be to function. Currently, I have what you would
call an informal reporting to the Secretary herself. I brief
her every morning. That certainly gives me a certain profile,
but I also answer to the Under Secretary for Management. There
are other elements in the Department that from time to time
address security issues. The Department is full of security
experts from time to time. I think it is important that
security issues be resident under one person so that this body
and the Department of State in total understand who is
responsible. I think this would be an excellent step.
Mr. Gejdenson. Now, and you kind of mentioned this, but you
sense there is a need to change the operation of the physical
plan so some areas are basically sealed off to the public, no
access unless you know a code or some kind of card entry. We
are using all the modern technology that is available today to
both limit access to rooms and to have a record of who enters
and leaves a room. For instance, where this computer was, do we
know everybody who entered and left that room.
Mr. Roy. Yes, we do.
Mr. Gejdenson. And so somebody who entered and left that
room must have taken the computer, there is no one else that
could have done that.
Mr. Roy. No, sir.
Mr. Gejdenson. Now let me ask the gentleman from the FBI.
My instincts are that State needs these internal services and
somebody at a level appropriate to oversee them. Is there any
argument that says we should have the FBI do this? It might
cause a little interagency tension, not that that ever happens
much in Washington, but maybe having an outside agency watching
the security on a regular basis might be more effective, is
that your view?
Mr. Bereznay. I don't believe that the FBI should be asked
to do that sort of function, for the State Department or for
any other agency. I think that State clearly has the ability
through the Office of the Inspector General and diplomatic
security to undertake those functions.
Mr. Gejdenson. And Mr. Carpenter, if we know that some of
the foreign press that are at State are collecting information
for governments, friendly or unfriendly, to the United States,
wouldn't it make sense to immediately secure the other floors
from their--I mean, if I was a reporter for another country, is
it possible for me to walk in the elevator and push a button
and go to a floor that I shouldn't be on or walk up a hallway
that I shouldn't be in.
Mr. Carpenter. It has been made more difficult but clearly
Mr. Gejdenson. And so shouldn't we have some, again, system
by which they physically can't get there? So it is not just
their good intentions and our, you know, people in the hallway
spotting them but that it is physically impossible for them to
open doors they shouldn't open.
Mr. Carpenter. Congressman, as I said previously, I am not
a diplomat. I was hired to be a security officer. If it was
within my power, I would not have the press actually in that
building. I would have them offsite somewhere we could more
Mr. Gejdenson. That is not a bad idea actually. So you
would have the press outside the actual State Department
Mr. Carpenter. It would be much easier, either outside the
building or confined to a lower floor area where they would
have access only, much less access.
Mr. Gejdenson. So when they were invited in you could let
them in. The rest of the time you keep them corralled. I like
that approach for here as well.
Now what about the report that the door was being propped
open while people were working there? Is that correct?
Mr. Roy. Let me give you my understanding of the
The office in question was having an adjacent office
altered to become part of the office. At the time that the
alteration work began, they were not connected. They were
contiguous to each other, but they were not connected. There
were separate access doors to the new office space. During the
period that that new office space was being renovated and
before it had been added to the office in question, the door
was sometimes propped open so that the workers could gain
Mr. Gejdenson. But at that point there was no entry from
that space to the secure space?
Mr. Roy. Correct.
Mr. Gejdenson. And there was no secure information in that
Mr. Roy. Correct. And following the knocking through of
access to the office in question, the passageway was monitored
Mr. Gejdenson. So what we have is we have a laptop missing
from a room. If you open that door and I walked in with you,
where would be the record that I was with you?
Mr. Roy. That particular office did not have a log-in/log-
out procedure at the time, so that you would be under the
responsibility of the person escorting you.
Mr. Gejdenson. So no one could enter the room without
somebody authorized escorting them. But if somebody--if a
friend of mine worked there and I walked in with him and he
didn't note that I was him at any point, then----
Mr. Roy. The procedures followed were that you had to be
under positive escort. I myself as Assistant Secretary could
not gain access to the office because I did not know the door
combination, and you could not gain access without being either
admitted by somebody from inside or knowing the combination.
Mr. Gejdenson. So if somebody took you in there, was there
a record of your presence?
Mr. Roy. No, sir, not at the time.
Mr. Gejdenson. So we have everybody who has entered, but
not everybody who accompanied them, and that is the rub.
Mr. Roy. Once you were inside, you had to be accompanied--
Mr. Gejdenson. Right.
Mr. Roy [continuing]. And the personnel in the office were
indoctrinated to determine whether you had an SCI clearance or
not when you were admitted to the space.
Mr. Gejdenson. Now on the gentleman in the tweed jacket and
the question there is, whose responsibility is that? Mr.
Carpenter, you weren't there yet, but that would go under your
Mr. Carpenter. Yes, sir, it would.
Mr. Gejdenson. And basically what happened was there was a
file left out in the receiving room.
Mr. Carpenter. There were a number of files set on a desk
between two secretaries.
Mr. Gejdenson. And a gentleman came up, looked at the
files, took some things. And that floor--was that a secure
Mr. Carpenter. Yes, it is. It is the Secretary's suite. The
Secretary was not in at the time, I might add.
Mr. Gejdenson. If I come to the State Department, first I
have got to get past those lines. So if I am a reporter, I
could get through and go unescorted to my press area, but I
could also go up in the elevator to the Secretary's floor.
Mr. Carpenter. To the Secretary's floor but not the
One of the things that probably will clarify some of this,
the person that took these was believed to have a State
Department pass, wearing a State Department pass, which allowed
them access through their card swipe into her suite of offices.
Unfortunately, as Murphy's law would take place, the day that
this was done, the system that read who came in was down.
Mr. Gejdenson. That was a coincidence, you think, not
Mr. Carpenter. We see no evidence that it was intentionally
done. Nothing to indicate that.
Mr. Gejdenson. So as one of the things--and my time's up
here--do we need to look at something that, whether it uses, I
don't know, the thumbprint, eye scan, I mean, this is the most
important information we have as a country. It seems to me we
have to have much more positive information on who enters and
leaves rooms, and I shouldn't just be able to give somebody
else my card to allow them access. Are you looking at all that?
Mr. Carpenter. Yes, sir, we are. As a matter of fact, we
are in the process of purchasing a system for access, not only
to Main State but other critical areas, that is a combination
of a card swipe identifier as well as a redundant pin system
like used in most places throughout this city.
Mr. Gejdenson. What I suggest is--and I know the Congress
has not been supportive of the President's and the State
Department's request for funding and we have kept the pressure
on you in trying to cut--that incidents like this give you an
opportunity to get what you need. What I would suggest is that
you ask for a supplemental amount of money--segregated funds
based on our security needs at State and other facilities
around the country--and that you get that up to us as soon as
you have it.
You better be able to defend it. But it seems to me we have
got lots of crises to respond to--we have wars, we have got
starvation. We have had some trouble in this area in the past,
but I think you ought to hand up a supplemental request for
security. Make sure the systems we need are there, here and
around the country. Obviously, that is going to include
training personnel, because just having the system without
changing culture and training isn't going to work.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Gilman. Mr. Rohrabacher.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Thank you very much.
You know, I have been trying to get some documents out of
the State Department for about 2 years. I must have been asking
the wrong guys to get it for me. Let me get this right. I
really have. I should have asked some of those intelligence
officers over there.
Mr. Roy, let me get this straight. We have had a policy
where you have to be escorted, but we have the FBI telling the
security people here that we have got intelligence agents
posing as members of the press who are running around the
building unescorted. Something's screwy here. Am I missing
Mr. Roy. Let me just make a very quick response to that.
We have special additional procedures in INR required by
the Director of Central Intelligence Directives. These
procedures go beyond the general ones that apply to the State
Department as a whole which is under a different security
Mr. Rohrabacher. I don't know if that was an answer to my
question or not. It sounds like the answer to my question is
that you have testified here today that you can't go unescorted
and the FBI's already testified that they have complained that
we have intelligence agents posing as reporters running around
the building unescorted.
Mr. Roy. Let me quickly clarify I am not escorted when I
wander around the State Department. When I was not working in
INR, I was escorted when I entered INR secure spaces.
Mr. Rohrabacher. All right. It sounds like, to me, that at
times you have had to have escorts and foreign intelligence
agents haven't. But that is a matter of--I don't know how
important that is, but it just seems to suggest that things are
out of whack over there.
By the way, when things are out of whack, there is always
testimony by someone, let us just hire a czar. In this case, it
is going to be a new under secretary.
According to the reports that I have seen, the State
Department now has more money, taking inflation into account,
than it has ever had for internal operations which could have
been directed by the Secretary or the White House to be spent
for these security reasons. Isn't that right? So we are not
talking about lack of money here. You have got more money than
you have ever had before, but yet we have these situations.
How is hiring on a couple new employees at very high prices
going to change that? This is an attitude problem. This isn't a
lack of personnel. This is what I am hearing here, and it is
real easy to try to think that we are going to solve problems
by creating a new under secretary for this or that. It seems
those problems never get answered.
Let me put it this way. From an outsider--and I want to
just look at this from a broader perspective. I think this
Administration has had a lax view toward national security and
toward these intelligence concerns from day one.
There was a book by Aldrich Ames called Unlimited Access
about the security violations that started almost immediately
after this President became President of the United States. If
you have an attitude from the White House which ends up
permitting the transfer of massive amounts of technology to the
Communist Chinese as well as--obviously, an attitude in this
White House, where you have campaign contributions flowing into
funds and then we find out that--coming from the people who
produce missiles and rockets in Communist China, and we found
out that there has been problems with a transfer of technology,
of course people down the ladder are going to have a lax
attitude toward national security matters.
Let me just get down to a specific, to our FBI man. The FBI
complained that there was access to the State Department by
foreign intelligence officers posing as reporters. That is what
you have testified today, is that correct?
Mr. Bereznay. That is correct.
Mr. Rohrabacher. OK. That was very clear in your testimony.
When that complaint was made, what was done to act upon that?
Was there something?
Let me ask Ms. Williams-Bridgers.
Ms. Williams-Bridgers. In the course of our audit looking
at the handling of classified information, we asked to obtain a
copy of the FBI report that alluded to foreign intelligence
officers operating under cover of press, and we were denied
access to that report. So this is the first that I am hearing
today a positive affirmation that there are media who are, in
fact, intelligence officers operating in the Department.
Mr. Rohrabacher. OK, so we have got to find out what
happened today. But, you actually in your job of trying to
investigate this didn't have that information.
Ms. Williams-Bridgers. We did not, sir. That is correct.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Well, this is----
Chairman Gilman. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. Rohrabacher. I certainly will.
Chairman Gilman. When did you learn about the report by the
Ms. Williams-Bridgers. We learned about it during the
course of our audit which was conducted between August 1998 and
Chairman Gilman. Who did you make the request to for that
Ms. Williams-Bridgers. To the FBI. I am not certain of the
exact name of the individual or the unit, but our audit team
did request a copy of the report, and we were told that we
would not be allowed to see it.
Chairman Gilman. Did you followup that report with the
Secretary of State to make a request of the Secretary?
Ms. Williams-Bridgers. No, we did not, sir.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Let me correct the record. It was Gary
Aldrich who was the FBI agent who wrote Unlimited Access and
not Aldrich Ames, who was a spy who has probably applied for
press credentials over at the State Department.
Well, let's hear about it. Why wasn't this acted upon or
was it acted upon? And why is it that the person who is
supposed to be overseeing this, making sure problems don't
happen, was not given a copy and even didn't know that this
report had been made and this complaint by the FBI was present?
Mr. Bereznay. The report that is being referred to is a
classified report, and it basically entailed a survey, a joint
survey, that was done by the Bureau with Diplomatic Security.
It was done in 1998, and it was done specifically to address
the issue of visits to State Department by foreign intelligence
Mr. Rohrabacher. And was it acted upon? What happened to
act upon this report? That is the question.
Mr. Bereznay. As a result of that I believe Mr. Carpenter
has testified to the implementation of escort policies and the
attempt to implement that and----
Mr. Rohrabacher. But the escort policies have nothing to do
with the media, right? I mean, is the media now--I thought what
we were hearing here is that we still have a problem. The media
still can go around that building unescorted.
Mr. Carpenter. Let me try to clarify this. Can they--could
they be there right now? Yes, they could.
The program is designed so that they can't--and, as I
mentioned earlier, this is a vulnerability that we are well
aware of, and there are things that we have done to mitigate
that that I prefer not to go into in this forum. I would be
glad to discuss it later because it does involve some other
But the press, Congressman Rohrabacher, are not allowed
unfettered access above the second floor. Since--in the last
year since the escort policy has been in place, we have had
seven incidents--excuse me, one incident of a press person
caught above the second floor. It wasn't a foreign press, but
that individual was picked up by our uniform people and
Mr. Rohrabacher. I think the operative word there is
``caught''--you know, caught.
Let me just say again, I don't think that we can, Mr.
Chairman, I don't think that we can just wish and point our
fingers and blame people at lower levels for having a lax
attitude, which is what you have been describing today. There
was been this lax attitude of security, and you are trying to
do something about it. We can't blame that when we have got, at
even the highest levels of this Administration, what I see as a
totally lax attitude toward the national security and toward
intelligence in the United States.
I mean, this Administration--considering all the transfer
of technology and information that we have had to a potential
enemy like Communist China, this Administration looks like a
spaghetti strainer. When you go down--and the fact is they have
known about it, we have known about it, and they make light of
it. How can you expect people further down the line to take
their job seriously when we have got this coming from above? I
think that we need to change the procedures.
My hat's off to you for the serious way you are trying to
do it. But it is going to require more than just hiring another
high-level executive and putting another nameplate on the door.
It requires a change from top to bottom in terms of people's
attitude toward this country's national security.
One last statement, Mr. Chairman. That is, when we talk
about laptops and we talk about documents that are missing,
what we are really talking about here is the national security
of our country has been compromised. Let us not try to minimize
how important that is. People's lives are at stake with these
national security issues. Whether or not in the long run people
may lose their lives we will never know if it was due to
information on that laptop or how the laptops work, getting
into the hands of people who are enemies of our country. This
is a very serious issue; and I appreciate you, Mr. Chairman,
trying to take the lead and get the word out on this.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you Mr. Rohrabacher.
Ms. Lee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman; and thank you also for
Let me just ask first just a general question.
In terms of trends, have you seen, I guess, an increase in
security breaches since the end of the Cold War. Did the State
Department have more stringent security procedures in place
during the Cold War or how has our security sort of emerged or
not emerged since the Cold War or since the end of the Cold
Mr. Carpenter. I will try to speak to my knowledge--to the
best of my knowledge since the end of the Cold War.
Clearly, during the Cold War and those periods prior to it,
there was a--the perception that the majority of danger of
either threats from espionage or some other type of penetration
was primarily overseas.
The Department of State, again, had no escort policy in
place in spite of the Cold War ending. The State Department has
actually gone the other direction. We have instituted an escort
policy. It makes no sense to have, whether they are Russians or
other foreign visitors, visitors in the building unescorted. So
we have taken a very strong position on this, albeit a radical
change from prior periods of time.
Clearly, there is an upswing in the espionage activities. I
don't know of any other Federal building that has been
penetrated in recent memory by foreign agents in the way that
the State Department was. I think that this clearly shows they
have the capabilities, they have the will and the want.
Ms. Lee. So then would you say that security possibly has
increased since the end of the Cold War but so have
Mr. Carpenter. Put another way I think I am saying that
those involved in the mitigation of counterintelligence
activities have always understood the threat, have always been
forward leaning on this as well as people charged with the
security of buildings, the security of individuals and
classified information. But, quite frankly, in the absence of
the smoking gun, sometimes it is difficult to get the funds
that are required in order to do that promptly.
Ms. Lee. Mr. Chairman, let me just ask another very quick
Now, the loss of the laptop and the tweed jacket and
listening device incidents all reflect major failures in the
security system, but now do you think that--without breaching
security, do you think that these are isolated incidents or do
you think that the dots could be connected? I mean, do you
think that there could be some actual organized
counterintelligence activities going on or, again, are these
isolated incidences unto themselves?
Mr. Carpenter. At least two of the incidents, two of the
three, the tweed coat and the INR laptop, I would say to be
examples of individual failings, carelessness on the people's
part. The tweed coat--the information taken by the gentleman in
the tweed coat was taken right out from between two individuals
who did not report it in a timely fashion or this individual
probably would have been able to be apprehended. The
accountability again, the carelessness, and the laptop is an
individual failing. I don't think security people are in the
position of making judgments whether this is--I think your word
was a trend or a--I am sorry, Ms. Lee.
Ms. Lee. Well, in terms of the second part of my question,
are there any type of organized counterintelligence activities
going on or are these isolated incidents as you see them.
Mr. Carpenter. We don't see these as isolated incidences.
We see these as ongoing problems with people intent on finding
out our secrets.
Ms. Lee. I think as we look at the structure and move
toward trying to make some major systemic questions, because
that is what it sounds like, I would hope that if we do have
another office or another unit responsible for and activities
and security initiatives become part of the entire culture and
that we don't hone in on just a few new departments or agencies
or under secretaries isolated from the entire State Department.
Because if that's the case, we will have really not done what I
think we need to do.
Mr. Carpenter. I couldn't agree more. We are not trying to
create something new here. We are trying to take advantage of
the synergies that are between existing bureaus within the
Department of State and combine them under one person who can
oversee these issues. That way we gain the values and the
efficiencies of having, in this particular case, the diplomatic
security bureau that I represent, the Office of the Coordinator
for Counterterrorism and the Office of International Narcotics
and Law Enforcement, combined under one. We are just trying to
put together the organizations, bureaus, and offices that
already exist and take advantage of that.
We think that security has to be core to the Department of
State and, to that end, it is location, location, location. And
as the security elements within the Department are currently
positioned, we are not gaining its full advantage. That is what
this proposal for an under secretary is geared to accomplish.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you Ms. Lee.
Mr. Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I apologize for missing
most of the testimony, although I have read some of it. We had
markup going on up in Veterans on the GI Bill of Rights, and I
just could not leave it until it was finished. Let me just ask
a couple of questions.
Obviously, it is the sensitive information in the laptop or
perhaps laptops that matter, although the financial loss of any
Department asset obviously should be something that concerns
us. But obviously, again, the highly sensitive nature of the
secrets, the fact they can compromise our personnel overseas
and do a whole host of damage to our national and international
interests makes that information beyond the price--priceless,
if you will.
I wonder if you can tell us what are the security
procedures in place and perhaps even contemplated to ensure
that secret information isn't compromised, for example, by
downloading. It is one thing to take a laptop. It is much
easier to download the information and walk out of the
Are there random checks of personnel? Do our former U.S.
Government employees who worked for State have access--we know
some of those folks go on to work for foreign governments, as
do Members of Congress, but we know that U.S. State Department
people, because of their knowledge, are probably very highly
prized by foreign governments. Do they have access? What are
the penalties for security violations?
If a person is caught, what exactly is triggered in terms
of investigation and penalty? And do you believe that those
penalties are sufficiently strong to deter security violations
so that they don't occur?
Let me just ask a general question, because I know we only
get 5 minutes. The culture of the Foreign Service, is it too
lax, you know, in an attempt to be open and reach out to
governments? We know that very often even their own physical
security abroad is not taken as seriously as some of us would
like. Does that need to be changed?
A question on the number of months. I believe it was 8
months that lapsed between the time when the visitation policy
was changed again after Tom Pickering nixed it in December. I
just ask our distinguished friend from the FBI--did you advise
Diplomatic Security when you found that there were foreign
intelligence officers with access to the State Department and
what was their reaction?
I would like to yield for your answers.
Mr. Bereznay. As I indicated previously, the study that was
done was done in 1998. It was done in conjunction with
Diplomatic Security. I believe it was prompted by a report by a
State Department employee of activity that came to her
attention which she felt indicated she may be being looked at
by an intelligence service. So that is what prompted this. It
was a diligent State Department employee, reporting this
activity to Diplomatic Security. It was Diplomatic Security
working with us that surfaced the unescorted visitor problem.
We did share the results of that survey. It was a very
limited survey, and those results were shared with Diplomatic
Security. I believe--and I will defer to Secretary Carpenter as
to whether or not that report prompted his review. The timing
of it certainly falls, but I don't know how much impact that
did have on internal State Department policies.
Mr. Smith. Mr. Secretary Carpenter--and if you perhaps,
Ambassador Roy, or Ms. Williams might want to touch on those
other questions as well.
Mr. Carpenter. Clearly, as Tim has just said, we were aware
of this information. It did drive a need for immediacy on the
escort policy. I think this came, quite frankly, after our
initial discussions about the need for an escort policy.
I might add, although I am not sure how pertinent it is to
this, a lot of the focus that we had--Diplomatic Security had
during the period that was in question was overseas. We just
had two embassies blown up. We were up here trying to get more
money. We were definitely focused in that area; and because of
that, quite frankly, we moved slower than I would have liked to
have moved. This escort policy, because it was controversial,
was something that had never been done.
Let me correct that. In the early 1990's there were three
countries that when their diplomats came to the State
Department, were escorted. The decision was made, and I don't
know by whom or based on what, to discontinue the escorts. So
1992 was the last time anyone was escorted. But, again, it was
only the diplomats from three particular countries. Does that
answer your question?
Mr. Smith. It does in terms of the FBI, but in terms of the
penalties--and maybe Ambassador Roy might be the pertinent
person to respond to that.
Mr. Roy. The penalties fall under DS. We have no ability to
Mr. Smith. How about random checks and the like and the
access of former U.S. Government employees? Do they have access
to the building in an unfettered way or are there checks there
Mr. Carpenter. They did. We are in the process of working
with the Director General's Office to discontinue that practice
and that former employees need to be escorted. If you are not
currently employed as a State Department employee, you need to
be escorted in the building. That process should--we have been
yawing back and forth for weeks now, but that should be in
place very, very soon.
As far as your question on penalties, again, Diplomatic
Security doesn't punish. Are the penalties severe enough to
deter? It doesn't appear so, quite frankly. I would say that
the number of violations issued, and I can probably provide
those to you at a later time, are much too high. It would be an
indicator to me that perhaps we need to raise the bar as to
what those penalties for security violations are.
Now, let me also clarify, a great number of these security
violations are minor in nature. Quite frankly, no security
violation--I hate to classify as minor, but these are such
things as leaving a safe unlocked during a time with perhaps no
secure information in it. There are certain procedures that are
prudent but, again, not the crime of the century.
The more serious incidences, quite frankly, I think the
Department has dealt with in a very stern manner. I would
suggest it will deal in a much more stern manner in the future
as a result of this. This is a very, very embarrassing
situation for the Department; and if the people in the
Department don't understand that, they will obviously be made
to understand it if they commit a security violation.
Mr. Smith. Excuse me, Ms. Williams. Not to belabor the
point, how hard is it to download the sensitive information to
disk, which obviously is a dime a dozen and can be transported
out of the building with considerable ease?
Mr. Roy. Let me comment on that briefly.
On our most secure computer systems, we do not have any
downloading capability. We do not even have a floppy drive on
I would like to add a generic comment, however. If there is
a culture of lax security in the State Department, I have never
been part of it, and it has not been part of my Foreign Service
experience, in part because of what I consider to be the superb
work that DS has done at all the posts where I have served to
maintain a high standard of security awareness.
I served in Moscow during the height of the Cold War. I
have served in high-threat posts like Beijing and in Jakarta
where the physical threat was high. In Jakarta, the inspectors
concluded a year ago, after inspecting my post, that security
is a dominant theme at post and has become an integral part of
life in Jakarta for all mission employees.
That is the culture of security awareness that I have been
part of in the State Department and I think perhaps that needs
to receive a little more attention.
Mr. Smith. Ms. Williams.
Ms. Williams-Bridgers. Thank you, Mr. Smith.
I would like to add to the point that Ambassador Roy has
What OIG has found in the course of over 200 inspections
that we have done within the past 4 years is that the attention
to security overseas and handling of classified information is
generally quite good. That is because when you have a chief of
mission who sets a tone for the mission that security is
important and there is a threat that is dominant, then people
will pay attention to security.
When you have Marine security guards and regional security
officers that make it their business to indoctrinate, to make
people aware of and to enforce security, then you have an
environment where security becomes something of importance to
What we have found in the Department of State in the Main
State headquarters building is that the same environment does
not exist. Security was overall a very low concern for most
people in the Department of State.
Moving on to your question about the penalties and the type
of disciplinary action, what we found in the Department of
State is that discipline did not occur as it should when there
were security violations. The current policy at the Department
of State is that you must accumulate five violations or
infractions over an 18-month period before the situation is
even referred to the Director General to take disciplinary
When we looked at approximately 200 cases that had been
referred to the Director General, we found that 20 percent of
those cases, as I understand, had at least five violations over
an 18-month period. In 20 percent of those cases, no
disciplinary action was taken. For an additional 40 percent of
the cases, only a letter of warning was issued to the
individual. Letters of warning are pulled out of staff's
personnel files after a 1-year period of time.
In the other cases that OIG reviewed, we found suspensions
in 6 of the 218 cases we reviewed and 10 letters of reprimand.
We do not believe that that demonstrates a commitment to take
very swift and certain action against those people who have
committed violations of the security policy.
Mr. Smith. At what point does the information lead to a
potential of a prosecution and how is that handled? I mean, is
there a referral to the Justice Department or how is that
Ms. Williams-Bridgers. In the Office of Inspector General,
and I will defer to the Assistant Secretary for how they handle
cases in DS, when allegations come to our attention that
indicate a violation of law or a breach of a regulation
governing security matters, and if it is a part of a larger set
of allegations of misconduct against an individual, then OIG
will investigate. We will certainly inform Diplomatic Security
about the allegation that exists concerning a breach of
If the allegation merely pertains to a breach of security,
then we would refer the matter entirely to the Bureau of
Diplomatic Security. If the allegation during the course of a
preliminary inquiry indicates that there is some evidence that
a law may have been violated, we will immediately inform the
Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice
and coordinate with them. They then become the supervisors, in
essence, of any investigation that we might undertake.
Mr. Smith. Let me just ask one final question, Ms.
Williams. Do you feel institutionally the Department is
sufficiently responsive to your recommendations on security
issues? Do you receive adequate support from the top levels at
Ms. Williams-Bridgers. Mr. Smith, thank you for asking that
The Office of Inspector General shares the very same goals
of the Department when it comes to security. Our goal, as is
the Department's, is the protection of information, protection
of our people as they work overseas and here on the domestic
front, and the protection of our facilities. We work hand in
hand with the Department.
That is why Congress established an Office of Inspector
General, to work inside the agency, to collaborate with the
agency, to share with them the deficiencies as we identify
them, to identify who should be held accountable for any
misconduct, any abuse or mismanagement of the funds.
I am disappointed that the Department all too often
responds slowly or responds not at all to the recommendations
that we make. In large part I think our working relationship is
very good, but when we identify vulnerabilities in our systems
that breach the very goals that all of us are trying to obtain,
it is disconcerting that the Department's non-compliance
results in the continuation of identified security
Mr. Smith. Do you feel it is likely that, especially now in
light of this crisis, that your recommendations--and you might
want to articulate some of those, dealing with not only new
procedures but also penalties for those--I mean, nothing deters
better than knowing that there is a sure and swift and certain
punishment if one acts in a certain way to compromise U.S.
security interests. Do you think it is likely that those
recommendations will be adopted?
Perhaps anyone else on the panel might want to speak as to
what really is being contemplated in a top-to-bottom overhaul.
Ms. Williams-Bridgers. Of the key recommendations that we
have made, foremost is the transfer of responsibility to the
Bureau of Diplomatic Security. We consider that matter closed.
The Secretary took action to first appoint Assistant Secretary
Carpenter as her senior adviser for security. That was a
welcome move. I think it places in very prominent view to all
in the Department the importance that she places on security.
With regard to the escort policy, which we have discussed
quite a bit today, we consider the implementation of an escort
policy and all the variances that have been drafted over the
course of the past year to be good first steps. Even though
there are holes, we commend the Department for taking the
action to enhance escorts.
We are still waiting for a response and some resolution to
many of the other key recommendations that we have made
regarding, for example, the security incident program. We are
not at all comfortable at this point that the Department has
moved as quickly as it should have in instituting stronger
disciplinary actions to attend to security violations.
We are pleased that the Department has taken action, that
DS is looking to enhance the card swiping, identification badge
system that we use, to further comply with the Director of
Central Intelligence Directives that require some
authentication of who is actually swiping the card.
The question was raised earlier of the Secretary's suite--
the access to the Secretary's suite with the cards. Even if the
system had been working the day that the gentleman in the tweed
coat took the sensitive intelligence information out of the
suite, that system did not comply with DCIDs. The current badge
system does not allow verification that the person who is
actually using the card is a Department of State employee. DS
is working to address this vulnerability, possibly by use of
biometric systems, and we welcome that attention.
We also understand that DS will be working with INR to
attend to other DCID directives involving attenuation and
inspection accreditation of the temporary work spaces, but
there are some other long-standing recommendations that we have
made about secure, sensitive, compartmented information access
that we have not yet heard any response back to,
recommendations that have been outstanding for a year now.
Mr. Smith. Thank you very much.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you Mr. Smith.
Mr. Hastings. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And, Mr. Chairman,
thank you for holding this hearing.
The limited time has been very candid and reflective and
enlightening. I appreciate very much the witnesses being here,
particularly Ms. Williams-Bridgers. I read all of your prepared
statement, and I think all of us on this Committee would be
wise to become adherents to following the kinds of clarity that
you put forward in that particular document.
You know something, Mr. Chairman, and all the rest of us,
one of the things about this great Nation of ours is our
openness is a blessing and a curse; and, when put in
perspective, sometimes those of us that must, because of our
partisan concerns, try to make political points, it doesn't
serve usefulness to take things out of context.
For example, the problems that we are hearing about here
today are serious and obviously are being addressed. But my
colleague who isn't here to defend himself, and I will tell him
on the floor during the next five votes that I talked about
him, when Congressman Rohrabacher made the comment about there
being no escort policy and it happening because of the Clinton
Administration and this is like a spaghetti sieve or what have
you, he ignores the fact that he served in the Reagan
Administration when Secretary Shultz was in office and somebody
carried a gun into the State Department and shot somebody. I
mean, they didn't have an escort policy then, and they didn't
have an escort policy until just a little while ago. I would
just like to at least put the political ball in its proper
All of us can do it and probably shouldn't, especially when
we aren't going to talk about all administrations.
What we have is a problem; and what I hear, particularly
from Mr. Roy, is that the problem is being addressed from top
I guess, Mr. Roy, the key thing is--and I would urge you in
order to get us policymakers off your back--when you all have
finished whatever it is that you are doing, when you have
responded to the Inspector General's--as rightly you should and
better in a manner that you have in the past--not you but your
predecessors and those who work with you--that you make that
information available to us as fast as possible as to how we
can get on with our criticism our oversight requires. But it is
heartening at least to know that we are in a position now that
we have begun to do something about it.
Also, Ms. Williams-Bridgers, as a counter thesis to your
response to Mr. Smith, I read your conclusion; and you say, I
am encouraged by the actions taken by Department management to
correct physical--the physical and procedural security
deficiencies at State. I take that as a sign that there is
progress, and I would hope that that progress would continue.
I have one question; and it is directed to you, Mr.
Bereznay, Chief. Is there any evidence that sensitive,
compartmentalized information has been compromised or revealed
to a foreign nation while under the Bureau of Intelligence and
Mr. Bereznay. In view of the ongoing aspect of the
investigation, I respectfully request to decline answering that
Mr. Hastings. All right. I just wanted to get it out there.
Because I can tell you this much also, based on Mr. Roy's
statement--and I am not an investigator, but I can assure you
that it is just a matter of days before all of this will be put
to rest, at least in terms of who did it. Now what they did
with it is yet another matter, but I will guarantee you and I
will bet everybody on this Committee within a month somebody
will be brought to the bar for this particular activity.
Just as a matter of levity as I close, Mr. Chairman, and
recognizing that we have votes coming up--Mr. Carpenter, I
listened to you very carefully. I don't know you, first time I
have ever seen you in my life. But, I have listened to a lot of
security people in my life. I hear candor coming from you, and
I want you to know I appreciate that very much, but I bet as
you walk in and out of the Rayburn Building, off and on Capitol
Hill, that you see things you would certainly correct.
Thank you very much.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Judge Hastings, for your
Mr. Hastings. You can always count on that, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Gilman. In closing, I ask Mr. Gejdenson for any
Mr. Gejdenson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I just ask two things. One is, I would like to see you
gentlemen in a closed session, either privately--maybe we do it
in H139 and invite other Members if they want to come. So we
ask some questions I felt it wasn't appropriate to ask here in
a public session.
The last thing I would say is there are a lot of challenges
this country faces that are very tough decisions. You have the
situation in Sierra Leone, whether or not we put American
personnel in harm's way, what role we are going to play.
This is actually somewhat simpler. This is--we have the
resources. As a country, we ought to make sure that the
national security issues that we have to keep secret are kept
secret. You have to come and tell us what we need to do, and we
have to work together to accomplish this. Some of the things I
have heard today actually still leave me somewhat nervous about
where we are in the process of protecting our secrets.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Mr. Gejdenson.
Mr. Smith. Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Gilman. Please be brief. I have a couple of
closing remarks, and time is running. Go ahead, Mr. Smith.
Mr. Smith. I would just like to ask a very brief question.
The head of the Civil Service Union at State, Mr. Galloway,
asserted at the Secretary's town meeting that low-level
employees were subject to retaliation for reporting security
violations on the part of their superiors. What measures are in
place to assure that retaliation does not take place?
Ms. Williams-Bridgers. Any employee who believes that they
have been retaliated against has the recourse of seeking
assistance from the Office of the Special Counsel.
Generally, the Office of Inspector General only
investigates allegations of retaliation if the allegant is
alleging retaliation as a result of having cooperated with the
Office of Inspector General during the course of an
investigation, but any other instances we would refer the
employee to the Office of the Special Counsel.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Smith.
Well, today we have heard about the serious security
problems at our State Department. We have discussed some of the
proposed fixes to help avoid future loss of national security
information and sources and methods and, in some instances,
innocent lives as well. I am calling upon our State Department
to become serious and effective about security and to impose
more discipline and adequate punishment where the evidence
clearly warrants it in cases of any security breaches by
One easy, effective remedy before us is to promptly end the
unescorted access possibilities for foreign press and retired
State Department employees who no longer have security
clearances. There is no reason why they should be treated any
different than other ordinary American citizens.
I would also ask that our Assistant Secretary of State for
Diplomatic Security promptly come up with a plan to end the
current practice and to inform the foreign media that their
gentleman's agreement is over. If they are caught unescorted in
the building, their privileges should be ended.
In addition, I would like to ask Secretary Carpenter to
take advantage of the FBI's offer in its testimony today to
identify those hostile intelligence officers posing as media so
that their access could be further restricted and their visits
With regard to Secretary Carpenter's security review I
would like to urge your attention to counterintelligence
efforts, a basic element of security. The Department should be
prepared to protect itself.
I also urge an effective use of the possible new resources
that have been provided through the recent reprogramming for
personnel to manage security procedures.
Those are just a few common-sense suggestions that will not
cost any funds and should have been undertaken long ago, budget
cuts or not; and there should be no more excuses that these
simple reforms cannot and ought not be done.
I want to thank our panelists for your very frank and
candid review of the problems, and we welcome any further
comments you might have or constructive suggestions as we
further pursue these security problems. Thank you.
The Committee stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 1:10 p.m., the Committee was adjourned.]
STATUS OF EMBASSY SECURITY ENHANCEMENTS--PART II
WEDNESDAY, MAY 17, 2000
House of Representatives,
Committee on International Relations,
The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:05 a.m. In
Room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Benjamin A.
Gilman (Chairman of the Committee) presiding.
Chairman Gilman. Committee will come to order. Members take
Today the Committee on International Relations is holding
its second hearing of recommendations of the Overseas Presence
Advisory Panel. We will be reviewing the Panel's
recommendations to create a new government corporation for
overseas buildings which would replace the Foreign Buildings
Office in the State Department with an Overseas Facilities
This new authority will be responsible for building,
renovating, maintaining and managing the Federal Government's
civilian overseas office and residential facilities. In their
November 1999, report the Panel stressed that our overseas
institutions are not equipped to operate effectively in the
21st century, and they stated that our overseas presence is
crippled by insecure and decrepit facilities, by obsolete
information technology, by outdated human resources practices
and outmoded management and fiscal tools.
The Panel concluded that an overhaul of the large property
management program requires more authority, more flexibility
and increased participation by other U.S. Government agencies
with a significant overseas presence.
Presently, the Foreign Buildings Office manages 12,000
properties in more than 250 locations. With the infusion of the
emergency supplemental appropriations and current increases in
appropriated funds for embassy security enhancements, the task
for the Foreign Buildings Office has increased dramatically.
This hearing is an opportunity to discuss the proposal for
a new corporation that would operate under different rules and
procedures and presumably would have greater flexibility in
financing and management practices. Our Committee has heard
from members of the Overseas Presence Advisory Panel. We will
now hear from the State Department on this proposal.
Additionally, this Committee has been closely following the
progress of enhancing the security of our overseas posts,
including buying land and initiating new construction. We
appreciate the staff-level briefings that have been provided
since the emergency supplemental funds were provided. We look
forward to hearing from the Department on the current standing
of the facility enhancement plan.
Admittedly, the State Department has a tough job of quickly
trying to harden the security vulnerabilities of overseas
posts, while also making certain that taxpayers' dollars are
going to be wisely spent. Recognizing that fact, the Overseas
Presence Advisory Panel proposed recommendations to leverage
the overseas building program, which we will explore today.
Foremost, there should be no compromise when it comes to
protecting our embassy employees and making certain it is going
to be a safe physical environment for them. Our Overseas
Presence Advisory Panel accurately captures the security
situation at the State Department by emphasizing an integrated
approach to security and developing a culture of security.
Establishing this security mindset, as they call it, I
think will make the job before you, as the executors of the
physical security program, infinitely easier.
So we want to welcome our panelists, but before we do that
let me call on our Ranking Minority Member, the gentleman from
Connecticut, Mr. Gejdenson, for any opening remarks.
Mr. Gejdenson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just a couple of
I think one is that we all agree that any commander----in-
chief that placed military in the field without adequate
weaponry, protection or intelligence, we would be outraged. If
you go to some of our embassies around the world, essentially
we have done the same thing, the commander- in-chief and the
Congress of the United States placing American personnel, often
military personnel in those facilities as well, but nonmilitary
people, we have put them in dangerous situations with
inadequate facilities, inadequate security. So we have got to
fulfill our responsibilities if we want them to do the job
The only thing I would like to kind of throw out there at
the beginning of this is the possibility that we need to review
what we do in the field and whether it needs to be done there
You know, we all grow up with kind of a formative stage,
and in those years you kind of decide where everything belongs.
But the world has changed an awful lot, and I really question
when I look at a lot of these embassies whether we need the
back office overseas at all. Maybe we need to do it overseas,
but maybe we need to do it like a lot of businesses,
centralized, one in Asia, one in Africa, one in Europe, not
that every embassy and every consulate have a very large back
office that does everything, payment, disbursements and other
needs of an embassy, that it may make more sense today with
modern telecommunications, computer systems, teleconferencing,
e-mail, that we can get a lot of what we now do in each of our
embassies, where it may be difficult, we may be able to do it
Now one of the considerations may be, if you move it back
to the United States, it may be a lot more expensive. As we are
all fighting over budgets, as Americans, we want to hire
American nationals where we can. We don't want to eat up our
whole budget in the process. Obviously, it is a lot less
expensive to have the back office in Africa or in China or in
India than it is to have it in Washington, DC.
But it seems to me we have got to make some basic
decisions. You may want to have regional back offices. You may
want to do it in the country where there is the least threat
and the most capability. You may want to take Africa and Asia
and put it all in India. It is a country that speaks English.
You may be able to do the same thing for Europe someplace, in
Ireland or England or Scotland, so that we concentrate, we take
out the back office from some of the more dangerous areas, and,
you know, we are able to save money at the same time.
I look forward to hearing from our witnesses.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Mr. Gejdenson.
If there are no other Members seeking recognition, we will
now welcome our panelists who are here to discuss the overseas
building program and related security matters this morning.
First, I introduce Mr. Patrick Kennedy, Assistant Secretary
for Administration at State. Mr. Kennedy has been with the
Foreign Service for 27 years, probably holds the record for the
longest service as an assistant secretary for the
Administration. He deserves a tribute for his outstanding
service to the Department and to this Committee.
We again welcome Mr. David Carpenter, Assistant Secretary
for Diplomatic Security, who appeared in our hearing on State
Department security just last week. Mr. Carpenter assumed the
position of Assistant Secretary in August 1998 following a 26-
year career in the Secret Service. He is the first person to
hold this post who has a professional background in the
protection and security fields. He assumed this responsibility
at a very critical time for all elements of security.
We are happy once again to hear from the Inspector General
for the Department of State and Arms Control and Disarmament
Agency, Jacquelyn Williams-Bridgers. Ms. Williams-Bridgers was
sworn in as Inspector General in 1995. She has been with this
Committee many times, and we appreciate the valuable work of
her good offices.
Chairman Gilman. So whoever would like to start--Mr.
Kennedy, would you like to start off? You may summarize your
statement. Your full statement will be made part of the record.
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE PATRICK F. KENNEDY, ASSISTANT
SECRETARY, BUREAU OF ADMINISTRATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. Kennedy. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I will
submit my statement for the record; and, in fact, with your
permission, I will cover the highlights.
It is always a pleasure to appear before this Committee,
and it gives me a particular pleasure today to update you on
the many accomplishments the Department has made in improving
our overseas security posture, facilities infrastructure and
our worldwide facilities operations.
Obviously, since the tragic bombings of our embassies in
East Africa, the issues concerning our infrastructure and
security of our missions overseas have received great attention
within the Administration and the Congress. We very much
appreciate the support of the Congress and particularly of this
Committee for the Emergency Security Supplemental and the
Administration's proposals for physical security upgrades at
our overseas posts.
I would also like to say a few words today on the Overseas
Presence Advisory Panel and its recommendations concerning our
Office of Foreign Buildings Operations.
As you know, the Overseas Presence Advisory Panel, which
issued its report last November, described many of our
facilities abroad as unacceptable in terms of security and
condition. Fully 85 percent of our facilities do not meet
optimum security standards. Some are in need of extensive
renovations. Some are seriously overcrowded. Most, however,
simply have to be replaced.
To protect our employees overseas, our goal is to
expeditiously relocate into safe facilities more than 22,000
embassy staff in over 220 vulnerable buildings. This is a
formidable task. Achievement of this task will require an
enormous initial and sustained level of capital investment.
Mr. Chairman, quite frankly, during the past 10 years we
have neither requested nor received sufficient funding to allow
us to maintain our infrastructure base. Most recently, since
the 1998 bombings, we are finally beginning to arrest that
decline in resources, thanks to the support of the President
and the Congress, and have taken the first steps toward
rebuilding our facilities infrastructure.
In fiscal year 1999 alone, the Office of Foreign Buildings
obligated over $800 million, the most ever obligated in a
fiscal year, to replace unsafe facilities and improve our
security at those posts where facilities cannot be replaced for
As part of the Overseas Presence Advisory Panel's overall
charter to evaluate the way the United States organizes its
overseas activities, it made 44 recommendations. This morning I
would like to focus some of my remarks on the Panel's
recommendation to establish an Overseas Facilities Authority,
as yourself have noted.
The Panel advocated replacing the Bureau of
Administration's Office of Foreign Buildings with a federally
chartered corporation, an Overseas Facilities Authority. The
issues that led to the Panel's proposal included the perception
that A/FBO-managed construction projects took longer and cost
more than comparable private sector projects, the timelines
were not always met and that staffing levels appeared to be too
high. However, I believe that the staff work that underpins
these perceptions is faulty, as it fails to give due
consideration to security requirements and special overseas
The Panel proposed creating a government-financed
corporation. This new authority would exercise responsibility
for building, renovation, maintaining our overseas civilian
facilities. The Overseas Facilities Authority, in addition to
receiving annual appropriations, would have features not
currently available to us in the Department now, including
receiving funds from other agencies, levying capital charges,
obtaining forward funding and loans from the Federal Treasury.
The Overseas Facilities Authority, again unlike the current
FBO, would have the ability to apply management techniques
commonly used in the private sector to include financial
incentives and performance-based compensation standards. The
Panel reasoned that higher salaries and incentives would allow
OFA to attract highly qualified real estate and other
professionals and further motivate employees.
We are currently giving serious and careful consideration
to the Panel's proposal. An Interagency group headed by the
Director of the Office of Foreign Buildings Operations, Patsy
Thomasson, is reviewing all aspects. Earlier this year, Ms.
Thomasson formed six teams to look in and analyze in depth five
critical areas: organizational structure, financing, business
process reengineering, customer focus and communications. A
sixth team manages the overall effort. Together, these teams
will make recommendations on how the Panel's desired outcomes,
which we all agree with, can best be achieved. We have also
contracted with a leading consulting firm to examine various
options and ways to make FBO a more performance-based
While these efforts are continuing, I believe that creating
an independent OFA is not essential to accomplish the changes
that OPAP laid out and which we agree with. Most of the
proposed attributes of the Overseas Facilities Authority could
be assigned either administratively or legislatively to A/FBO
without disrupting or halting the very positive direction in
which A/FBO is now headed.
Although we agree with the thrust of the Panel's
recommendations, we question whether the creation of an
independently Federal chartered organization is necessarily the
best approach to meet our infrastructure challenges.
Principally, we are concerned that such an entity may
compromise the vital link between foreign policy and facility
decisions. For example, there are foreign policy issues such as
reciprocity that are intricately intertwined with overseas
facilities programs, such as the case with China where we are
seeking a new site for our embassy in Beijing, and China is
seeking as a condition a site in Washington. Such is also the
case with the United Arab Emirates, where we are seeking to
acquire a parcel of land, and they wish to procure land in
Washington. These are classic examples where facility decisions
are affected and sometimes driven by foreign policy
The Panel also urged that we continue to implement the
Accountability Review Board--the Crowe Commission proposals. We
are doing that, and I am pleased to report that Foreign
Buildings has been particularly successful in responding to the
mandates of the security supplemental. Interim facilities are
fully operational in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, and we are
moving smartly toward constructing permanent facilities in both
Foreign Buildings Operations conducted a competition for
its fast track design/build contract and awarded this contract
last September. The designs of these projects have now reached
the point where we anticipate giving the contract the green
light to mobilize onsite in Dar and Nairobi next month. We also
opened temporary buildings in Doha and are fitting out three
buildings in Pristina to serve as temporary facilities, and we
have permanent construction already under way in Doha and
Currently, we have 14 new embassies of consulates in
various stages of development. We are also in the process of
acquiring several additional new office building sites, and
since the bombing FBO has completed 15 major rehabilitation
projects at overseas posts with another 46 major rehabilitation
projects ongoing at this time.
We have also relocated many Department and other agency
personnel to more secure facilities. For example, AID personnel
have been relocated to more secure facilities in some dozen
locations around the world.
Increasing setback from streets and other buildings is
another way of reducing this threat. During the past year and a
half, FBO has been extremely active in acquiring 87 properties
in 25 posts around the world to provide greater security.
Negotiations and investigations are continuing for another 31
properties at 14 posts.
Worldwide security upgrade funding was appropriated and has
enabled us to approve over 1,000 security upgrade projects at
overseas posts, and 34 have already been completed. Every
project will further protect our employees. This program
includes projects such as the installation of berms and
bollards and access controls, is being executed by FBO, the
post itself or by American companies under implementation or
basic ordering agreements.
Other components include the installation of shatter-
resistant window film and the installation of ballistic-
resistant doors and windows. The bombings in Africa tragically
demonstrated the greatest threat to life and injury from a bomb
is flying glass shards. Since the bombings, we have purchased
5.5 million square feet of window film. Nearly half has been
installed, and the remainder is in the process of installation.
We have also installed or replaced over 500 security doors.
The FBO's Asset Management Program, which essentially
acquires properties by using proceeds of sale from excess or
underutilized properties, has been very successful, purchasing
18 properties last fiscal year, and in the first half of this
fiscal year has already disposed of 17 other properties.
These successes are the result of retorquing internal
processes, applying new initiatives and introducing innovative
methodologies. These have been the key factors in achieving
FBO's high level of productivity. Today's Office of Foreign
Buildings is not the same as in the late 1980's and early
1990's under the Inman program.
A 1991 GAO review of the management of the Security
Construction Program revealed problems that FBO experienced
during its efforts to meet the challenges of the Inman buildup
a decade ago. The most significant difficulties relate to
inadequate staffing, difficulties with overseas site
acquisition, contractor performance and the lack of an
extensive strategic focus. Since those years, however, FBO has
implemented lessons learned throughout the organization and is
now well prepared to undertake a large construction program.
FBO has developed an improved strategy for effectively
executing a difficult, expanded construction program and has
augmented its staff to handle the workload. This strategy is
derived from FBO's Inman experience with the simultaneous
execution of large, multiyear projects and for implementing
private sector construction industry best practices. These
include design/build contracting where you can cut time and
effort off the project by working with the private sector.
We are looking into other multiple projects that could be
packaged into groups for an award to a single large design
build American contractor as we have successfully done in Dar
es Salaam and Nairobi. Additional design build projects could
be awarded for groups of projects in the outyears. These
efforts are managed by an integrated project management team
that provides effective controls and added expertise.
In the staffing area, FBO is much better positioned than in
the mid 1980's when the Inman program began and its in-house
work force numbered less than 200. The professionalism and
depth of the work force has increased as its size has grown to
over 760 today. Eighty-four new staff members have been or are
being brought on board for the worldwide security upgrades
alone. Additional real estate professionals have been hired to
find and acquire new buildings and sites, and more design,
engineering, project management and other professionals and
specialists have been brought on to execute construction
Contract support has been increased, furthermore, by
teaming with two American companies, the Perini Corporation and
Brown and Root to assist in security upgrade work and with
other indefinite quantity contractors that increase FBO's
capabilities, especially in design review.
The Accountability Review Board discussed our priority
setting, and they recommended spending $14 billion on embassy
construction in the next 10 years. Interagency Embassy Security
Assessment Teams determined that most of our posts have
compelling facilities needs such as inadequate setback,
structural hardening, relocations and other security
All chanceries, consulates and multi-tenant buildings have
been evaluated. The analysis assessed the soundness of each
building's structure and facade, the adequacy of the perimeter
security, the setback from adjacent properties, the political
violence threat, and additional security consideration that
included the capability and willingness of the host country to
control its internal and border security. The resulting ranking
was reviewed by stakeholders--regional bureaus, other
government agencies, Diplomatic Security, the ESA teams and
FBO. They were also reviewed and concurred in by the Under
Secretaries for Political Affairs and Management. These
projects are then planned for different fiscal years based on
vulnerability, stakeholder input and consideration of other
Other measures developed or enhanced since the 1998
bombings. Time and space preclude me from a full explanation of
all these factors which I will submit for the record, but these
best practices, in their aggregate, add to the intense efforts
by the Department which have resulted in an outstanding record
of achievement over the past 18 months and clearly demonstrate
that today's FBO has the ability to manage a large and complex
Mr. Chairman, we believe that the efforts that we have
undertaken with your assistance over the past 18 months have
led to a new paradigm, and we are prepared and able to take the
funding that you have been so helpful in providing to us to
expand security of our employees and the employees of all U.S.
Government agencies overseas.
I now turn to my colleague, Mr. Carpenter.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Kennedy appears in the
Mr. Manzullo [presiding]. Mr. Secretary, we appreciate your
comments; and, as you know, Congress did not flinch at making
the funds available in order to provide for security.
Our next witness is Assistant Secretary David Carpenter
with the Bureau of Diplomatic Security at the Department of
Mr. Carpenter, if you could summarize your statements and
keep your talk to around 10 minutes or so, as did Mr. Kennedy,
we would appreciate it.
Mr. Carpenter. Yes, sir, I will.
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE DAVID G. CARPENTER, ASSISTANT
SECRETARY, BUREAU OF DIPLOMATIC SECURITY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF
Mr. Carpenter. Good morning, Mr. Chairman and Members of
the Committee. I welcome this opportunity to testify before you
on the security profile of our facilities overseas.
On August 7, 1998, our embassies in Dar es Salaam,
Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, were bombed simultaneously by
extremists bent on the destruction of American presence
throughout the world. These tragedies unleashed a massive and
intense effort to provide much-needed security improvements at
all of our overseas posts. Although much has been accomplished,
more needs to be done. Our overseas facilities are generally
more secure now than in August 1998, but the continuing threat
environment worldwide requires that we not lose focus, that we
continue to explore new ways of protecting ourselves and
support a program for new embassy construction.
The Department has aggressively upgraded security at
previously low and medium threat posts to standards that were
formerly only applied at high or critical level embassies or
consulates. High and critical level posts also received
significant upgrades of equipment to better fortify their
facilities. We no longer believe, in an era of transnational
terrorism, that we have low or medium threat posts, nor do we
believe that we will receive tactical intelligence of an
imminent attack. Simply put, we must be prepared for any
eventuality that presents itself.
Our goal following the bombings was to immediately improve
the security of our threatened consulates and embassies, and we
have done so. But at the outset let me say that it is important
for this Committee to know that we still have a very basic
problem that cannot be fixed quickly. The vast majority of our
diplomatic posts fail to meet one of the most basic security
standards, namely, the hundred foot setback standard. Until we
can build embassies meeting the setback and other security
standards, our efforts cannot provide the degree of security
all of us want for our people and facilities.
Having recognized that we still have grave security
concerns overseas, it is also important for the Committee to
know that we have done a lot and that our embassies and
consulates are more secure now than ever before. In this
regard, let me review for you what we have done through our
security upgrade program. Some of these actions have been based
solely on DS initiatives; others were suggested by the
Accountability Review Board chaired by Retired Admiral William
Crowe, the report of the Overseas Presence Advisory Panel and
the Office of the Inspector General.
As previously stated, we are aggressively upgrading
security at low and medium threat level posts to standards that
previously only applied to high and critical rated posts. We
have put in place physical security upgrades at our embassies
and consulates such as reinforced perimeter walls, bollards,
new guard booths, vehicle barriers and shatter- resistant
window film. We are upgrading and deploying security equipment
to include better lighting, cameras, video recorders, bomb
detection equipment, armored vehicles, alarm and public address
systems and X-ray equipment. Where possible, we have mitigated
the lack of sufficient setback by closing streets and provided
for mandatory vehicle inspections.
We have also expanded our antiterrorism assistance training
to aid foreign police in combating terrorism through
appropriate programs as surveillance detection, border
security, explosive detection, crisis management and maritime
In addition, we have installed alarm systems at embassies
and consulates to alert personnel to impending emergency
situations and have instituted a program for the employees to
duck and cover when the alarms are sounded.
We have also created a new security environment threat list
with a modified methodology and criteria for determining threat
levels. This process now addresses transnational terrorism as a
distinct category as well as the threats from indigenous
terrorism and political violence and the threats from
intelligence services, both technical and human, and, of
DS has also changed the focus in training courses for
regional security officers and special agents to give them
greater training on counterterrorism methodology, explosive
ordinance recognition and disposal, chemical/biological weapons
threats and defenses, and surveillance detection techniques.
In response to a specific recommendation from the
Accountability Review Board, we are also working with the FBI
to better analyze law enforcement information which might have
a bearing on threats to our missions overseas and to more
quickly disseminate that information to appropriate posts. To
that end, a DS special agent has been detailed to the
International Terrorism Section at FBI headquarters, and DS
special agents are participating in the FBI's Terrorism Task
Forces around the country.
DS has also established the office of The Coordinator for
Chemical Biological Countermeasures. That office, which is
conducting a worldwide survey to determine vulnerabilities, has
purchased and is distributing chemical biological equipment to
all posts. As part of its educational program, it has
distributed instructional materials, including pamphlets,
videos and a series of cables, to alert all posts to the nature
of the threat and to provide defensive guidance. It has also
established a comprehensive training program for security
professionals and first responders.
The newest addition to our program and of major
significance has been the establishment in less than 1 year of
a surveillance detection program at almost all of our overseas
posts. A critical lesson learned from the bombings in East
Africa is that there is an intense surveillance conducted
against our facilities prior to an attack. Since going
operational in January 1999, surveillance detection teams, most
of which work with host government security services, have
observed over 700 suspected incidents of surveillance against
our personnel and facilities worldwide. It has in a sense
expanded our security perimeter and zone of control beyond our
previous limitations. The surveillance detection program is
clearly a work in progress, but we feel that it is destined to
become a major aspect of our overseas security defenses.
Finally, and I believe most importantly, DS has hired 234
new special agents and 17 security engineering specialists,
which has allowed for the creation of 140 new security officer
positions overseas. By the end of fiscal Year 2000, we will
have 420 DS special agents serving as security officers in 157
countries. DS has also hired 20 additional diplomatic couriers,
34 maintenance technicians and 46 civil servants in support of
Mr. Chairman, as you know, this is National Police Week. On
Monday on the very grounds of this Capitol we paid tribute to
this country's law enforcement heroes who gave their lives in
the line of duty in the past year. Over the years, Diplomatic
Security has had its own heroes, some who gave their lives and
others who have lived to continue the fight. I am positive out
of this new cadre of special agents and other security
specialists we will have more heroes.
I thank this Committee for its support in hiring these new
people and hope that I can look to you for support as we seek
additional positions to strengthen our programs. It is people
that will make the difference, that is, trained, motivated and
dedicated professionals with the single purpose of ensuring the
safety of our overseas personnel and facilities.
Mr. Chairman, with regard to your request for my views
regarding the creation of a new agency to replace FBO, let me
assure you that we have enjoyed a positive and close working
relation with FBO as is necessary to support our diplomatic
personnel, to improve security and to upgrade our facilities
worldwide. We have a construction security management group
working within FBO that helps to strengthen this partnership. I
do not believe that distancing DS from FBO would enhance our
security effort. Furthermore, I personally do not see how an
independent entity would be more capable of overcoming the
challenges and obstacles that FBO currently faces.
You have also asked for my views on the OPAP proposal to
make greater use of regionalization as a means to reduce the
number of personnel needed at posts and for my views on whether
any posts would be downsized or closed because of security
OPAP recommended creating a process to right-size our
overseas presence, reduce the size of some posts, close others,
reallocate staff and resources and establish new posts where
needed. State and other agencies formed an interagency
committee to review how to implement the right-sizing
recommendation in the OPAP report.
In early March, a pilot program began at a number of posts
for the purpose of developing recommendations for right-sizing
at these posts and to develop criteria that can be applied
universally. What I have seen thus far, Mr. Chairman, suggests
that regionalization efforts could result in reducing the size
of some posts but would inevitably result in increasing the
size of others. But from a security standpoint, I doubt that
there would be any measurable savings in such an effort.
My concerns are primarily focused on decisions related to
where the regional posts are to be located and assurances that
the prescribed security standards are in place. Certain
countries present particularly difficult environments in which
to work. By that I mean high crime, inadequate infrastructure,
unstable governments, poor police support and so on. Yet they
may provide a geographical advantage as they are centrally
located as hubs for air transportation or viewed as gateway to
a continent. Believing that security is an important factor
when entertaining ideas of regionalization, it is critical that
no decision be made without proper vetting of life safety
issues related to these regionalization issues.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my testimony. As I indicated
at the beginning, we have been diligent in our efforts to
upgrade security at our overseas posts, and we have been
successful in making those facilities safer now than ever
before. Nevertheless, there is still much that needs to be
done, and until all of our facilities meet the basic security
requirements none of us will be satisfied with our security
I appreciate your interest and the Committee's interest you
have taken in this topic and will be happy to answer any
questions when appropriate.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Carpenter appears in the
Chairman Gilman [presiding]. Thank you, Mr. Carpenter.
We will now proceed with testimony by Ms. Williams-
Bridgers, and you may summarize your testimony, and we will
make the full statement a part of the record.
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE JACQUELYN L. WILLIAMS-BRIDGERS,
INSPECTOR GENERAL, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Ms. Williams-Bridgers. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Members of
the Committee. I appreciate the opportunity once again to
testify before this Committee on the Department of State's
efforts to manage the embassy security enhancement program. As
demonstrated by the terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in
Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998, perhaps no greater challenge
exists for the Department than providing adequate security to
protect our people, facilities and information.
As you requested in your invitation to this hearing, Mr.
Chairman, I will review the work done by the Office of
Inspector General on the Department's management of the embassy
security enhancement program, its use of the Emergency
Supplemental Appropriations and its compliance with overseas
Since the bombings of the embassies in Nairobi and Dar es
Salaam security oversight has become an even more critical
mission for the Office of Inspector General. We now have
multidisciplinary teams in OIG to evaluate the implementation
of physical security initiatives and to monitor the expenditure
of the $1.5 billion emergency supplemental.
In the 18 months immediately following the August bombings,
OIG evaluated the physical security and emergency preparedness
of 42 embassies.
The most significant security challenge for the Department
is the protection of overseas employees lives while at work and
at their residences. From a physical security standpoint, this
means upgrading the perimeter security of buildings, especially
chanceries; building new chanceries to replace those that are
clearly unsafe; and collocating U.S. Government agencies
overseas into protected areas. Another significant challenge is
the protection of classified material, which is increasingly
becoming electronic information, both on the domestic front and
It is evident from our examinations of the various elements
of embassy protection that setback is the preeminent security
concern for our overseas posts. Setback provides the greatest
protection from vehicle bombs. The OIG has made recommendations
that could effectively increase setback, some at relatively low
cost. For example, we have recommended that embassy officials
work with the local government to alter traffic patterns around
the mission, and in other locations we proposed creating
increased setback by extending control over street parking
spaces. However, at other missions the only way to effectively
increase setback is to purchase adjoining properties, and at
other missions we must move to a new location to achieve a
meaningful setback. Both options could cost millions of
dollars. To meet setback requirements and other security
standards, 34 of the 42 embassies we inspected within the last
year would require new chanceries and compounds. However, only
five of the posts have a new chancery under construction or
planned in the next 5 years.
The ideal embassy would be protected by at least 100 feet
of setback. It would be constructed to current security
standards and have a well-lit, well-constructed perimeter wall;
and it would be under constant surveillance by closed circuit
television. Beyond the wall, a surveillance detection unit
would determine whether possible terrorists were surveilling
the mission. A local guard force would protect the perimeter.
Entrance to the mission compound would be well controlled. The
chancery would incorporate a number of physical security
measures to protect against bomb blasts and offer safe haven if
the compound was breached.
Overseas Security Policy Board standards provided the
framework for our security oversight inspections. Let me
emphasize that none of the 42 embassies the OIG inspected met
all security standards. Incremental security improvements such
as upgraded walls, doors and windows cannot fully compensate
for the lack of sufficient setback. In addition, over 50
percent of the posts we inspected did not meet standards for
window protection, perimeter wall, vehicle inspection areas,
chancery wall and door construction or exterior lighting and
closed circuit television.
At about one-third of all locations we reviewed, we
recommended measures to upgrade security barriers, exterior
lighting and anti-climb fences. We recommended the installation
of vehicle barriers at entry gates. We recommended revised
local guard vehicle access control procedures and the upgrade
of public access control. In addition, we reviewed local guard
services and recommended program improvements or greater post
management supervision at about one-third of all locations.
Further, to mitigate the effects of flying glass resulting
from a car bomb attack, the Department is replacing old and
often defective 4-mil shatter-resistant window film with a
higher standard of protection. While the Department concurs
with the Accountability Review Board that ballistic laminated
windows provide superior protection against a car bomb attack,
the majority of our overseas facilities cannot structurally
support this upgrade. A more practical solution is to purchase
and install 8-mil shatter-resistant film on all windows. The
Department plans to do this by July 1, 2000.
Our review of the interim office buildings for our
embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi addressed the management
challenges to provide secure facilities and better protect
employees of the Agency for International Development [USAID].
Foremost among our concerns for the interim office buildings is
the lack of collocation and the imminent need for the
Department to address the security concerns for those agencies
that are not located on the interim compound. Similar
collocation concerns have been raised for the new embassy
compounds in Luanda and Kampala.
In addition to the physical security initiatives, the
Department has implemented a number of initiatives that will
enhance an embassy's ability to handle a crisis situation,
including emergency alarms and drills, expanded emergency
planning programs, and emergency communications. In many cases,
management-supported procedural initiatives can improve embassy
security without any expenditure of funds. As an example,
during our inspection of the temporary embassy compound in
Doha, Qatar in August 1999, we cited the need for a post to
establish a proactive working relation with the host
government's protective service to ensure a cooperative and
timely response to a terrorist threat.
The Department has also initiated a worldwide surveillance
detection program to detect and deter potential terrorist
attack. As Assistant Secretary Carpenter suggested, it is a
work in progress. But it is a commendable effort. Preliminary
results of our review indicate a need for the Department to
improve reporting criteria for regional security officers and
to make better use of information collected during
Some of the most difficult security issues to correct both
domestically and overseas deal with information security. OIG
has completed over 20 audits identifying vulnerabilities in
information resources and security management. In many ways,
improving information security may be a bigger challenge than
improving physical security because of the many fixes that
involve a change in employee behavior rather than the
procurement of additional technical equipment.
In my statement before this Committee last week I discussed
the specific deficiencies that have perpetuated a lax security
environment in the Department of State. Therefore, I will not
belabor the point today regarding the need to pay better
attention to security on the domestic front.
Overseas, there are many reasons for the vulnerable
condition of American posts. Lack of funding obviously plays a
role. The Accountability Review Board estimated that $14
billion would be needed over the next 10 years. However, as Mr.
Gejdenson suggested in his opening remarks, the size of our
presence overseas must also be considered as we examine how to
best protect U.S. Government officials who reside and work
abroad. The right answer to ``right-sizing'' lies in providing
the staffing, the financial support and security required to do
the job that needs to be done. Regionalization may sometimes
make sense because of the economies, efficiencies and safety of
operations that may result. However, regionalizing operations
does not always make sense from a security perspective. Such
concentrations sometimes create larger, more inviting targets
for terrorism. Embassy Nairobi, for example, hosted several
Looking ahead. Mr. Chairman, in your invitation to testify
this morning you asked that I address the ability of the
Department to manage a security enhancement program and the
status of various initiatives. I focused my remarks on how the
Department has responded over the last 18 months in its
management of emergency security initiatives. The tragedies in
Africa have captured the attention of the Department, of this
Congress and the American public. Meanwhile, recent security
lapses at home have been a wake-up call that other aspects of
security just as vital to the defense of American interests as
physical security also need attention.
The Department has responded well to the need to move
quickly in the aftermath of the bombings and to use emergency
funding provided by Congress. The Department's continued
success is dependent on how well and how long it exercises
disciplined attention to effective security practices and how
long the U.S. Government and the Congress remain committed to
funding the construction, maintenance and continual improvement
of that infrastructure.
As we embark on this expensive commitment, the requirement
for the Office of Inspector General to provide specialized
oversight of the use of funds also increases. As the Department
moves from the emergency response to a longer term, more
strategic approach for the rebuilding of our foreign affairs
infrastructure, so must the OIG move forward with monitoring
With the exception of a small one-time emergency
supplemental appropriation in fiscal year 1999, funding for OIG
has been straightlined since fiscal year 1996. Increased
funding for security and for those charged with overseeing
security improvements for you and the Department is only one of
the ingredients necessary for rebuilding infrastructure and
changing attitudes toward security, but it is a vital
ingredient for all of us. As always, Mr. Chairman, the
continued support of this Committee for OIG in this regard is
That concludes my summary. I will be glad to answer any
questions you have.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Williams-Bridgers appears in
Chairman Gilman. Thank you to all of our panelists for your
good testimony. We will now proceed with questions.
Mr. Kennedy, the General Accounting Office reported on the
Emergency Security Supplemental program in March pointing out
that, as of December 31, 1999, the FBO obligated $360 million
out of some $627 million, and actual expenditures were $83.6
million. Have those figures changed much since December?
Mr. Kennedy. Yes, Mr. Chairman. As of now, if you take the
funding that was made available and you combine, since this is
a moving target, the funding that was made available in both
fiscal year 1999 and fiscal year 2000, we have already
obligated and committed almost 70 percent of the total funds
that have been made available to us.
Chairman Gilman. Of the 70 percent, how much of that has
actually been spent?
Mr. Kennedy. Actual obligations are--of the $627 million,
we have obligated $379 million, and we have committed $62
million. Under the arcane system that the Federal Government
uses, when I issue a purchase order or a contract to a vendor,
I am committing that money in full. I then only pay that
contractor for the work that is in progress. But the obligation
rate is the rate that governs exactly how many projects I have
under way, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Gilman. We have only spent some $60 million?
Mr. Kennedy. No, Mr. Chairman. We have obligated three
Chairman Gilman. I know what you obligated. I want to know
how much you have actually spent.
Mr. Kennedy. I will have to get the liquidation----
Chairman Gilman. Well, roughly what have you spent? What
have you spent so far? Forget the obligation. What has actually
been paid out?
Mr. Kennedy. I will have to get that for the record.
Chairman Gilman. Can you give me an estimate?
Mr. Kennedy. I would say that we have probably liquidated
on the order of half of that amount.
Chairman Gilman. Half of what amount?
Mr. Kennedy. Half of the $379 million that we have
Chairman Gilman. So you have spent about $150 million to
date, actually laid out?
Mr. Kennedy. Cash out of the till, yes, sir, versus
obligations, yes, sir.
Mr. Gejdenson. Would the Chairman yield for one moment?
Chairman Gilman. Yes.
Mr. Gejdenson. Just so I understand this, so what you are
saying is if you were to buy a new wall in front of an embassy
and that wall was to cost $5 million, that means you can't
spend that $5 million again even though you haven't actually
handed it to anybody. So now you have this $5 million that is
obligated but not spent. Then as the contractor finishes one-
fifth of the wall, if you were a prudent manager you would give
him slightly less than one-fifth of the money, is that correct?
So the process is what you would normally have in any
construction project. If you build a house and you go to the
bank and you borrow $200,000, you don't walk over and spend,
Mr. Chairman, $200,000 to the builder. You say, here's $200,000
and say I hope I have a house at the end. What you do is you
obligate $200,000--it is a very inexpensive house because I am
a democrat--and then when he finishes--you might give him some
of it to begin with, and when he finishes, say, half of it, you
might give him $80,000.
Chairman Gilman. If the gentleman would yield, I realize
these basic concepts, but what I am asking about----
Mr. Gejdenson. It doesn't allow them to----
Chairman Gilman. If the gentleman will yield.
Mr. Gejdenson. It is your time.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you. We approved all of this in
October 1998. Here it is over 2 years later, 2\1/2\ years
later, and we still have only spent about $150 million out of
the $1.5 billion.
Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Chairman, if I might add, for example, we
have executed large contracts for the constructions of the
embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. Those are significant
expenditures. Specifically, we asked for those moneys to build
the new embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, and you
graciously assisted us in getting those.
Chairman Gilman. But--if I can interrupt you, Mr. Kennedy--
but the fact is your obligation is only $600 million. Where is
the rest of the money and why are we so slow in committing
Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Chairman, if you take the emergency
appropriation, the money available to FBO for its part of the
activity was $627 million. Other parts of it were to pay the
Defense Department for services that were provided to us during
and after the crisis, were for medical expenses and other
people injured in the crisis, were for payments, almost ex
gratia payments to the governments of Kenya and Tanzania for
damage done in those cities, funding as Mr. Carpenter has
outlined for all the new security agents that he has brought
into place. So the total package of $1.5 or so billion, the
amount of money that was given to me to expend on bricks and
mortar was $627 million, and so I am playing with $627 million
on the books, and that is what I have been working through, Mr.
Chairman Gilman. Is that fully obligated, the $627 million?
Mr. Kennedy. No, Mr. Chairman. Of the $627 million we have
obligated $379 million.
Chairman Gilman. All right. So, again, Mr. Kennedy, I am
asking you, you have had this since 1998. You have only
obligated half of it. Why has there been a delay in the rest of
Mr. Kennedy. Because, Mr. Chairman, when we worked through
this effort, it is divided essentially into the bricks and
mortar side, which has three parts. The first part is buying
adjacent properties. Because we have learned, as both Mr.
Carpenter and the Inspector General has pointed out, one of the
best things we can do is expand the setback, the distance
between our building and the nearest point the terrorists can
reach. So over this period of time we have acquired 87
properties. We know that one of the major things we need to do
is buy more property. So in 31 other locations, we are
negotiating with the landlords right at this moment. So I have
to set aside money in order to complete those.
The properties--in many cases, the landlord has let us put
our barriers around them, so we have achieved the setback
already, but the cash has not moved out of my hands on behalf
of the U.S. Government to the landlord until title searches are
complete. So I have achieved the security purpose, but I will
only spend the money when he gives or she gives me clean title.
That is an example in that regard.
Chairman Gilman. So it's a balance of the unobligated funds
virtually committed to your land purchases?
Mr. Kennedy. No, sir, part of it.
Chairman Gilman. How much of it is for land purchases?
Mr. Kennedy. A total of $41 million was set aside for land
purchases. We have spent 27 out of the 41. So there is still
$14 million. So I have spent about two-thirds of it on land
purchases, and the other third is pending on the process of
negotiating with landlords in order to----
Chairman Gilman. That is beyond money you are going to
obligate for land purchases. What is the plan for the remainder
of the money?
Mr. Kennedy. For example, the total price to stand up
Nairobi and Dar es Salaam is about $163 million. That is for
those two buildings there. We have obligated $115 million.
There is another $94 million yet to obligate. Why is that, Mr.
Chairman? Because we also furnish the building. We provide
furniture, we provide generators, we provide telephone systems
for those buildings. We only buy that equipment at the point in
time because I wouldn't want to buy a telephone----
Chairman Gilman. In addition to the equipment and land
purchases, money remaining for completing construction, where
is the rest of the money?
Mr. Kennedy. Then there is the worldwide security upgrade
which is the berms, the bollards, the new perimeter walls, the
new security access points. Of the $212 million in that program
level, we have obligated or committed $159 million of that.
They have done the architectural engineering work; and they
have now, for example, submitted the bids which we are
evaluating so they can build these major additions.
Mr. Gejdenson. Would the Chairman yield?
Chairman Gilman. Yes.
Mr. Gejdenson. Thank you. So let me ask you, your total is
$627 million that you got to look at to spend for security.
Mr. Kennedy. For bricks and mortar.
Mr. Gejdenson. Bricks and mortar. How much of that do you
have a plan for?
Mr. Kennedy. We have plans for all of it.
Mr. Gejdenson. So basically the difference between what you
have been authorized to spend on bricks and mortar and what you
have obligated or spent is a function of process. It takes time
to get architectural drawings, and what we are talking about is
you have spent 2 years trying to spend this money. I guess my
question is, or my statement would be, is this Committee would
cause you serious damage if you ran out and spent that money
the first day without doing the title search, without getting
the drawings, without getting the bids.
I think, Mr. Chairman, they are doing a pretty good job in
spending money, generally Republicans aren't in a hurry to
spend money, but I am glad to see we are both committed to
fixing these security issues. I don't think there is an issue
here. I think if you look at the normal contracting process, if
it was the House of Representatives or any other institution,
that this 2-year period is not an unreasonable length of time
to go through the process of coming up with plans, to doing the
bidding, to doing the research on title and to then executing
Chairman Gilman. Thank you for your testimony, Mr.
Mr. Gejdenson. You are welcome, Mr. Chairman. The clock
doesn't seem to be running today. I thought I would get it in
before the evening news.
Ms. Williams-Bridgers. Mr. Chairman, may I also offer
I think another reason for what appears to be a fairly low
obligation and expenditure rate is that the Department did
experience I believe during the first three quarters of 1999 a
fairly favorable exchange rate, which meant that the amount of
funds that they actually had to obligate and expend were much
less than what they had anticipated.
Chairman Gilman. So does that mean you have a surplus now?
I don't think you have to respond to that.
Mr. Kennedy, before my time runs out, please update us on
the implementation of these construction projects. My
understanding was that 119 posts were to be surveyed for
improvements, but in September surveys were suspended with 75
posts, then reviewed because of the cost of the project, and as
of December 1999, only one project had been completed and seven
were in a construction or design building stage. Have any more
of the perimeter projects been initiated?
Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Chairman, the security improvement is a
four-part effort, and if I could take them in reverse order,
the fourth part is window improvements and door improvements.
In that case, 230 posts have already received their funding for
the window improvements, and all the new window improvements
will be completed by June of this year, and we have installed
160 new security doors.
The second part of it is projects that are under way at
post. Posts have completed 272 projects at 178 posts. That
includes examples like closing of streets in Abidjan and
building barriers in the streets; in Cotonou, installation of
barriers that push the setback to a hundred feet. In Budapest,
we leased a park with the concurrence of the local government
and pushed our security perimeter out, and so there are 272
projects now completed at 178 posts.
Then we move down into what we call the mega projects, the
projects that no post can complete on its own because they do
not have the architectural and engineering capabilities nor
does the host nation often have those abilities. So, we can't
safely turn them over to the posts because you certainly don't
want to use firms that fall below the level of providing good
security. In those cases, we do do the security projects. We
turn to American contractors and have an American architectural
and engineering firm go to the post and develop the scope of
work according to the standards that Mr. Carpenter's membership
on the Overseas Security Policy Board provides to us.
Those are the security surveys that are being done. We've
done 72. We have awarded 18 construction contracts to American
corporations, and we have also done eight additional projects,
five of which are in design and three are in the design/build
process. So when you say there is only one completed, there is
one completed out of one-fifth of all the efforts involved, the
mega projects. The others are the slides I showed during my
testimony, which showed that we are under way with the
bulldozers, the backhoes----
Chairman Gilman. Mr. Kennedy, let me interrupt. Do you have
additional funds in your fiscal year 1999 slated for 2000 for
continuing to work on these projects?
Mr. Kennedy. Yes, sir, that is the money we have not yet
Chairman Gilman. I am going to reserve the balance of my
time. Mr. Gejdenson has to attend another meeting. Mr.
Mr. Gejdenson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Again, I would just like to say on this anybody who has
built a home, it takes 10 months once you have got plans,
approval from the zoning folks, if you have got your drawings
in place. I think what we want is a good quality project. At
the end, we want to get our money's worth. I am sure you are
getting bids that are off the charts because they figure the
U.S. Government, you have got unlimited money and so it takes
some time to renegotiate these. I want you to do a good job, I
want you to do a careful job, and I don't want you to waste a
lot of money. So don't just rush and dump these buckets out the
window so you can come become here and say, yes, we have spent
all the money.
Let me ask you, Mr. Carpenter. There was a proposal to set
up a new government corporation to solve all of these problems.
I am a little skeptical of new corporations. I am like the 100-
year-old man. They told him, I bet you have seen a lot of
changes in your life. He said, and I have been against most of
it. I think I am getting to that point. Because we move the
chairs around, we create a whole new set of bureaucracies, I am
not sure we solve any problem.
Putting aside new government corporation, of the
authorities they say this corporation should have, do you not
have any of those now and do you need them? You get my
question? Because it is new corporation, here's the authorities
the corporation have. If we got rid of the idea of a new
corporation, we go to your organization and we say, all right,
here are the authorities we are going to give them. Do you need
any of those? Do you not have any of those now?
Mr. Carpenter. I think, if this answers your question, the
working relationship that the Bureau of Diplomatic Security has
with the FBO has been extraordinary and, quite frankly, very
constructive. If a new organization were created, that
relationship would have to be recreated. An understanding of
the important elements, ideas, and concepts we bring to the
table would have to be transferred. Right now, we have a very
smooth working machine. If you were to create a new institution
to deal with this, clearly authorities would have to be granted
to ensure that this would continue.
Mr. Gejdenson. Let me ask you a question. Are you familiar
with the attack on the Ambassador's residence in Syria some
year or so ago and the Ambassador's wife bravely stood in a
room there calling people, telling them not to show up to work,
and we finally resolved that situation and the Syrians paid us
for the damages? How much of your focus is on that Ambassador's
residences, employees' compounds? Is that a big challenge for
Mr. Carpenter. It is clearly a challenge. In some parts of
the world it is more of a challenge than in others.
I happened to be in Syria 2 weeks after that particular
attack, and I saw firsthand the damage that was done, and it
does give you an appreciation of what can happen and how
quickly it can happen. We have not been of a closed mind or
turned our attention away from ambassador residences or the
residences of our other employees overseas. It is difficult,
quite frankly, when they are dispersed throughout the cities.
If they were collocated on a compound, it would be much easier
to secure. However, the difficulties in securing these
residences vary from country to country.
Mr. Gejdenson. Is there a balance between--I hear a kind of
desire to put them in a compound, but a compound is a much
bigger target. You take all your employees, you spread them all
over the town, you know, you have got people living amongst the
public. That is some danger. On the other hand, there is no one
place you can go to get 200 Americans or 100 Americans. What is
your estimate on the advantages, disadvantages, or is it
country specific? In some countries, it is better to disburse
them; and, some countries, it is better to keep them in a
Mr. Carpenter. I believe it is country specific. In areas
where crime is a larger threat than is a terrorist attack, I
would suggest keeping them on a compound would be preferable.
When you are looking at a terrorist attack, perhaps dispersal
would be the better. It is going to be country specific. Quite
frankly, we are fully engaged in looking at this issue as we
move down the road toward building new facilities. Do we need
to collocate on embassy compounds? Do we need to collocate all
of our employees on compounds separate from our embassies? Or
is dispersal the proper way to go?
Mr. Gejdenson. I think it is a tough call. I know you
obviously spent a lot of time--Mr. Kennedy, what do you think
about the relationship between your two organizations?
Mr. Kennedy. I think the relationship is very good. I think
that what we have done over the past few years, which is taking
a unit of professional security officers and placing them
within the Bureau of Administration's Office of Foreign
Buildings where they oversee, monitor and implement the
security standards, has worked exceedingly well. That close
nexus where they are part of the same organizations and we
bring in the construction, the architectural and engineering
expertise, and they bring security professionalism, is the way
to go. We get fast turnaround. We always get the professional
advice we need on scene.
Mr. Gejdenson. Let me close by saying two things.
Most of the embassies I have been to lately have done an
excellent job showing me when I go there their security
concerns, their needs, the conditions they are operating under.
But I would suggest that maybe one of the things you do is you
send out a memo to our embassies around the world that when a
congressional delegation shows up, if they already have it,
they ought to put the security issues at the top of their
explanation, what their problems are, what changes they have
made, so that every Member as they go someplace gets a deeper
understanding for this. Because I think it is not just the
White House's responsibility, it is our responsibility to make
sure we have got an adequate system of protection for our
employees, Americans, serving overseas.
Second, maybe the Chairman and I and other interested
Members might take a tour of the State Department, take a look
at what you are doing there, things you can tell us, give us--
some of the stuff I think is better when you see it than just
kind of talk about it. Maybe the Chairman and I can get
together and pick a date.
I thank the Chairman for his indulgence.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Mr. Gejdenson.
Mr. Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to thank our distinguished witnesses for the good
work they are doing on embassy security. I think our Committee
properly dispatched and fulfilled its responsibilities when we
passed the Embassy Security Act last year. It was signed by the
President, and it provided a 5-year predictable amount of
authorized levels of funding to ensure that there were no gaps,
no years that might be leapfrogged, which, unfortunately, look
like might have been the case for fiscal year 2000. So I am
very glad to see our distinguished witnesses here.
I think we have more in common than some of our Committee
hearings, Mr. Chairman, because I think the Administration and
these particular individuals are trying to really protect our
embassies, to use all available resources to make a difference.
So I would like to ask just one or two questions.
Admiral Crowe had testified, and, Secretary Carpenter, you
might remember this, when he pointed out that, throughout the
proceedings, his Accountability Review Board was most disturbed
regarding two interconnected issues, the first the inadequacy
of resources to provide security, which, hopefully, is being
addressed; and if it is not, if more resources are needed,
perhaps you can tell us today, notwithstanding OMB's looking
over your shoulder. Second, the relatively low priority
accorded to security concerns throughout the U.S. Government
and the State Department.
The point was made by Admiral Crowe that there no longer
are any more low threat or missions abroad. You pointed this
out, Secretary Carpenter, that because of the mobility--of the
enhanced mobility of terrorists that every site has to be seen
as a potential threat.
How are we addressing those issues? And, again, do you have
money--notwithstanding the amount of the request, and we all
have the request from the congressional presentation in front
of us. We know what we have authorized. Is more money needed or
is this the right amount? Is it too little? Please tell us.
Mr. Carpenter. Shame on me if I came up here and didn't say
we needed more money. But, really the answer to your question
One, we have received a good injection of funds here, and
we are most appreciative of that. But in my professional
expertise, if there were an area where we are wanting, it is
that we clearly do not have enough personnel to support the
mission at hand. And I have testified before, sir, regarding
lack of ``bench strength'' within my Bureau to respond in the
event of threats to our posts overseas, we are using the same
cadre of people to support every problem we have. Whether it be
domestic at the Department of State, whether it be the
protection of our foreign dignitaries, responding overseas to
emergency situations, it is the same people. And there are far
too few of them. This is a process that has been going on for
over 2 years in a very, very intense way. I am burning up my
people as we go.
We will continue to do our jobs, but without more
personnel, my fear is that over the long haul we will fail.
These people will wear out and another shoe will drop in
another area that is as yet unknown to us.
Mr. Smith. On that point, if you could just suspend
briefly, how many personnel are we talking about and how much
money are we talking about? Do you have an estimate?
Mr. Carpenter. It is difficult to quantify, but we are in
the process of preparing, as a result of the top-down study
that was done that we discussed last Thursday at the hearing, a
strategic plan over a 3-year period asking for somewhere in the
neighborhood of about 900 people over a 3-year period. These
people come in all disciplines, including special agents,
engineers, civil servants, to address our shortfalls in a lot
of projects in our counterintelligence arena, our uniform
guards program, etc.
Mr. Smith. Will a request for that be forthcoming from the
Mr. Carpenter. It is our intention to have this prepared
within the next 30 days, and it would be my hope to get it here
Mr. Smith. I appreciate that, and thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Again I want to congratulate you on an excellent job.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Mr. Smith.
Mr. Cooksey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman; and we thank you for
being here. When I walked into the meeting earlier, I walked in
and said, gee, these are the same people who were testifying
the other day or is it just deja vu? But it is a slightly
different topic, but we are glad to have you back. We have gone
from State Department to embassies.
I am on the transportation subcommittee that deals with
public buildings and domestic buildings in this country and
know some of the issues that have come up on our domestic
buildings, not State Department buildings, but some of the
buildings in the Washington area and around the country, and my
line of questioning will reflect that background.
First, Mr. Kennedy, you said that of the contractors who
there have been 18 of these buildings or modifications of
buildings that have been done by American contractors. Is that
Mr. Kennedy. We have 18 major efforts overseas that we are
using American contractors. For certain small projects--for
example, Dr. Cooksey, when you are just building iron beams
around the perimeter of the embassy, where the local labor and
materials are available, it is advantageous to the American
taxpayer to use local labor supervised by an American officer
from the embassy, using a standard that comes from the Overseas
Security Policy Board. So those small projects are done by
Mr. Cooksey. So are any of the major projects done by local
contractors or have they all been American contractors, United
Mr. Kennedy. The majority of the major projects are done by
American contractors because we want to use American
architectural standards, American engineering standards; and we
use companies such as Brown and Root and Perini which are under
contract to us, because we know the quality is there.
Mr. Cooksey. What about Bechtel? Have they done any of
Mr. Kennedy. They are not a part of this. Bechtel has
worked for us before, sir, but we put out for bid these
indefinite quantity efforts, and the two winning American
companies were Brown and Root and Perini.
Mr. Cooksey. When I was in the Air Force many years ago
Brown and Root did a lot of construction then. Of course, that
was when Lyndon Johnson was President, which is another story.
Is there any consideration to using sort of a standardized,
cookie-cutter type of building construction, and is that done?
Mr. Kennedy. Patsy Thomasson, who is my director of the
Office of Foreign Buildings, has a team that is working on that
now. There are a certain number of I guess you could say small-
to medium-sized embassies around the world which do have almost
a standard pattern, sir, an ambassador, deputy chief of
mission, security officer, consular section, etc. cetera. So we
are looking at that right now to find out if we can come up
with an architectural and engineering design that would be
standard, and then we would maybe have a different facade on
the building, brick one place, stone in another, in order to
blend into the local environment. But that is something we are
looking at very, very closely because we see advantages both in
time and in cost.
Mr. Cooksey. Well, I think it is important to consider the
local environment. I would hate to have all of our embassies
look like McDonald's hamburger places. I hate to go to another
country and see a McDonald's because that is a sign that the
ugly Americans have gotten there before we have. I think that,
too often, we go in and try to impose our culture and standards
on other countries, and I warn them not to be inundated by
Americans, but just so far as the walls, the structure, the
Mr. Kennedy. We have security standards. The walls must be
so thick, they must resist so many pounds per square inch. What
we do is engage a local architect to work with us on the
facade, nothing inside, nothing of a security nature, so that
we can blend into the local environment, as you rightly point
Mr. Cooksey. Mr. Carpenter, would you agree that the
emphasis on physical security and counterintelligence is a
change in the basic RSOs, regional security officers, job or
has their job description always been the same?
Mr. Carpenter. I think that there has been expansion of
their duties and responsibilities. If I had to put it in one
category, it would be ``outside the walls.'' We have always
been focused on counterintelligence issues. However, what we
are involved in to a much greater extent is relationships with
host government officials, local police authorities, and local
An RSO under duress needs to be able to pick up the phone
and get the person that he knows can respond. In years gone by,
the RSOs' responsibilities basically were confined ``inside the
walls.'' We will lose if we don't extend our reach outside
those walls. The countersurveillance program that we have
talked about is a major step in that direction. It gets ``eyes
and ears'' outside the embassy, one block, two blocks, or three
blocks away and forces us to engage more with local
authorities. It forces an RSO to get out of an embassy and make
these contacts that would be needed in the case of an
Mr. Cooksey. Good. Well, the State Department security
people that I have had some contact with on CODELs are
professionals, that I know are good people, but still they were
apparently confined to the area within the walls. They need
someone with your background and your expertise, and I am
encouraged to hear that.
With the increase in Diplomatic Security positions you have
been able to provide posts with assistant RSOs, but are you
sending out assistant RSOs with different skills to augment
these people? And are these RSOs former Secret Service
personnel or are they former State Department security
personnel? For example, computer security, electronic security.
Who has the most expertise and who is doing that, Secret
Service personnel or former State Department security
Mr. Carpenter. The Bureau of Diplomatic Security has a mix
of special agents, engineers, technicians, and computer
experts. We have also used former Diplomatic Security agents
temporarily. Clearly, and coming from the Secret Service I can
say this firsthand, Diplomatic Security has the most knowledge
of how to work in an overseas environment of any Federal law
enforcement agency. None of the others are even close--and I
think other agencies would testify to that reality.
The agents that we have sent out come up through the
system. We have more senior agents at the larger posts where
the programs are more demanding. They have assistants who work
for them. But all receive a substantial amount of training in
the appropriate fields and disciplines that they will be
required to use overseas.
Mr. Cooksey. Good. I have been impressed with the
professionalism of the people in the State Department and
favorably impressed. I am concerned sometimes that the
political appointees don't have the background, the expertise
or the--they are good people, well-intentioned people, but are
a little naive, somewhat naive when it comes to these security
considerations, and I hope that they come up with some level of
I used to work in Kenya and East Africa doing--quite
frankly, doing eye surgery. I am very sensitive to that issue.
You know, as you well know in Kenya, there was a small bomb
detonated, the people ran to the windows, looked, and most of
the injuries that occurred were eye injuries. I know one
surgeon that works at a Presbyterian hospital that I did 8 or
10 cornea transplants in about a 24-hour period 1 day, and he
was involved in taking care of those, and it is a very
sophisticated hospital for that part of the world.
I gather from your comments that you are really taking
major measures to prevent flying glass and blinding injuries.
Mr. Kennedy. If I might, that is one of the things that we
are most concerned about. We are pursuing this on two tracks.
As Admiral Crowe's report so rightly recommended and as the IG
has pointed out as well, if the structure of the building is
sound enough for us to put in laminated windows and heavier
frames, we do that. At the same time if the building structure
isn't good enough, when the blast goes off what will happen is
the entire window, the entire big piece of laminate in the
frame, will go flying through the room like a sieve, wiping out
the people in front of it.
Mr. Cooksey. So it's bad either way.
Mr. Kennedy. Yes. But what we do is we have gone to
laboratories like Sandia National Laboratories and to the
private sector and we have doubled the strength of what is
called shatter-resistant window film. In fact, it is plastic
wrap that is used now--we used to use 4-millimeter thick. We
have now doubled that to 8-millimeter strength. We are applying
that to all the windows on all of our facilities. We will have
that done by June of this year. When the blast goes off, the
window shatters, but this 8-millimeter film holds the glass
shards together, and you get the whole window, the glass part
in effect, plopping down into the room without any damage.
In one of our posts in the newly independent States about 6
months ago a bomb went off, not directed at us but at a
neighboring facility, and after the bomb went off many of our
windows shattered, but the entire window was still intact
because the plastic had done exactly what it was supposed to
do, not injure our personnel.
Chairman Gilman. The gentleman's time has expired.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you. I had another committee so I
apologize for not being here, and you may have already answered
my question. So I will apologize in advance for that if you
My question is just about the overall--I know we have many
embassies all over the world, and of course since the terrorist
attacks some time ago our concern about this has been elevated
even higher than it always was about the safety of our people
and the other folks working there. How many of our embassies
just--and you don't have to specifically name which ones--but
how many of our embassies still really need to be dramatically
improved relative to security measures? In other words, do we
still have some that are out there that may be fairly easily
attacked or come under some sort of successful terrorist
attack? And, again, we don't want to broadcast which ones they
might be, for obvious reasons, but either a percentage or just
some--without giving specific examples, could you comment on
Mr. Carpenter. Yes, sir, I would be glad to. About 85
percent of our embassies still do not meet the 100 foot setback
standard that is critical for protection against a large
vehicle bomb. Set back is really the best protection, and we do
not have that in 85 percent of our embassies on one or more
sides of the building. They may meet it on three sides, but one
side remains vulnerable.
Mr. Chabot. Can I followup on that then. How does one then
go about obtaining that goal? Do you have to buy up buildings
around there and literally tear them down? Is that what you do
Mr. Carpenter. It is a combination of those things. We have
bought and torn down buildings in some instances. We bought
adjacent buildings when buildings were available. We have also
bought parks. We have bought gas stations. We have bought empty
lots in an attempt to obtain the setback. Long term, the
solution is to move the facility to a site large enough for the
Mr. Chabot. And then if you do move to another site--I
mean, at what point do you run into the problem where, you
know, it is more of a--some sort of fort as opposed to an
embassy where people can easily come in and do business with
the representatives of the U.S. Government in that particular
country? I presume that is a fine line you are always walking
in these matters.
Mr. Carpenter. It is a fine line. But let me assure you, we
have no intention of building forts or prisons or military
bases. We think you can attain an aesthetically attractive
building, and still have it be secure.
Mr. Kennedy. I would just say, sir, in response to your
earlier question, we have already acquired 87 properties around
the world at 25 posts, and we are now negotiating on 31 others
at 14 posts. So we need to push that back. I think that if you
use clever design work you can create a facility that is safe
but inviting, and we are partnering with a large number of
American architectural firms, some of the best, and are also
engaging at every post where we are doing this one local
architect who knows the local culture and the local
environment, and he or she works on the outside of the
building, never on the inside where there would be technical
But I think there are cases such as Lima, Peru, for an
example, where we have built an inviting building, created the
perimeter but creating sort of controlled pathways for people
to come in from the walk to the consular section or the public
diplomacy section. It is not easy, but if you get the right
architectural and engineering support we can do it.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Mr. Chabot. I have one or two
questions, and then I will call on Dr. Cooksey for a few more.
Mr. Kennedy, FBO is ready to begin construction on their
new embassy in Luanda, Angola. However, that will require
waivers for not meeting the 100 foot setback on all sides. That
seems to be setting the wrong precedent for these important
standards. Has the FBO searched for a larger plot of land to
allow for full setback?
Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Chairman, this is one of the knottiest
conundrums. We have been searching for a larger part of land in
Luanda, Angola, for 5 years. We have simply not been able to
find a plot of land that would give us the full 100 foot
setback on all sides.
Our people in Luanda now, some of them are literally
working out of trailers where, you know, a firecracker might
blast the walls of the trailer down. So we, in full
consultation with Diplomatic Security, have been measuring
this. Given that we have in effect an F in security in Luanda
and we can move--potentially move with waivers to A minus or a
B plus, we figure, though that does not meet everything, the
movement from F to A minus without regard to any precedent it
is setting would be in the interests of both the U.S.
Government on the whole and our people there in particular.
Chairman Gilman. What kind of a setback would be available
at the land you are looking at?
Mr. Kennedy. We would have a 100 foot or so on two sides
and over 65 foot on two sides. So it is significantly better
than we have now.
If I might add one other thing, Mr. Chairman, the standards
that come from the Overseas Security Policy Boards say a 100
foot setback and a concrete wall of so many inches thick for
yield blast resistance, and that is a formula: 100 foot plus
concrete equals safe setback. What we would do on the two sides
that are 65 foot is to increase the thickness and the strength
of the concrete wall. So you, in effect, have exactly the same
setback effect by simply increasing the thickness and the
strength of the concrete.
Chairman Gilman. You will be doing that in the front wall
Mr. Kennedy. Yes, sir. So we would achieve the same goal by
using more concrete and less footage.
Chairman Gilman. Mr. Carpenter, there are incidents where
American government employees in Inman-qualified embassies are
being allowed to move off the embassy space, thereby creating
new security concerns and security challenges. What is your
view on permitting employees to leave the Inman embassies for
less secure facilities and who is granting waivers for that
kind of movement? Are you being consulted?
Mr. Carpenter. Mr. Chairman, I am not aware of the specific
facility to which you refer. I would, quite frankly, not want
to hear it in this hearing.
Chairman Gilman. If I may, it is USAID in Bogota.
Mr. Carpenter. USAID in Bogota? Unfortunately, the most I
can tell you is that proposal is under review. Quite frankly, I
am not aware of the specifics of that request on AID's part.
Chairman Gilman. We would hope you would take a look at
that and let our office know.
Mr. Carpenter. I would be glad to.
Chairman Gilman. Is that a generally good idea, when we are
being asked to fund so many security projects already, of
allowing the movement?
Mr. Carpenter. Again, Mr. Chairman, that is a decision that
is country and post specific. In some places, dispersal of our
employees is, in fact, a security enhancement. One of the
realities, even with an Inman building, is they may be limited
in functionality, and sometimes very hard decisions have to be
made. However, let me assure you, before we would move someone
out of an Inman-style building, we would have to have
reasonable assurances that what they were moving to would
provide them maximum security.
Chairman Gilman. Ms. Williams-Bridgers, do you agree with
this proposition of allowing such movement?
Ms. Williams-Bridgers. I do agree with Assistant Secretary
Carpenter that it has to be a country specific decision.
But certainly one of the greatest challenges that FBO and
the Department have faced in building new embassies overseas or
making major renovations to accommodate increased staff is the
accommodation of other agencies' requests for either movement
off the compound or for increasing their staff.
We saw this in Moscow when other agencies throughout the
course of the construction decided on significant increases in
their staff and it made for major reconsideration of
configuration of space in the embassy. We shall see this in
many other instances. So whether or not FBO continues to
maintain the functions as presently structured or if those
functions are assigned outside of the Department of State, the
``right sizing'' of mission staffing is going to have to be a
primary consideration of the new unit held responsible for
designing and constructing new embassies. Interagency
communication will be essential during the design phase of
future embassy facilities.
Chairman Gilman. Madam Inspector General, your statement
indicates that the Department spent $77 million in fiscal year
1999 on the surveillance detection program. Does your initial
assessment of the value of that program support that kind of an
expenditure and can that level or more be sustained over time
when there are so many demands for costly physical upgrades?
Ms. Williams-Bridgers. I think it is important to note that
as we have focused our attention on the need for physical
security improvements in our embassies overseas that there are
a number of other initiatives, including procedural security
initiatives and information and intelligence gathering, that
are as important in contributing to our ability to protect
Americans overseas where they live and work. The surveillance
detection program improves our ability to collect information
about those who may potentially harm our employees in the
embassy. I think there are improvements that need to be made in
the surveillance detection program.
Currently, the principal objectives of the program are to
collect information about those that might be watching us in
the embassy and to engage local police services, local guard
services to spread our eyes and ears outside the embassy
compound. I think it is most important for us to now begin
using that information more smartly, sharing the information
regionally with those that can better assist us in identifying
who the potential terrorists are and then identifying what
kinds of assertive action we might take to pursue those
individuals, beyond just the mere photograph and the recording
of their name and a photograph.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you.
Mr. Cooksey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Carpenter, I have got two questions I want to ask you
and would like you to answer them in 60 seconds or maybe give
us a written explanation, because I don't want to totally
ignore Ms. Williams-Bridgers.
It has been brought to my attention that there is an
embassy that was actually checking vehicles inside the embassy
gates and didn't have any type of operational delta barriers to
prevent this type of access to the compound. Is there a
standard operating procedure for inspecting vehicles and has
this been reiterated to the basic security people?
To elaborate on that, I was at an embassy last year in a
part of Asia and--good people, but, I mean, the embassy is
right out on the street. There is no security, and there is
really no way to check. There is not even a perimeter there. I
mean, it is on the main street. That is one question.
No. 2, does DS believe that it can do most--should there be
some risk analysis made so you can make some informed judgments
about the spending priorities with this limited amount of
Mr. Carpenter. With regard to vehicle inspection, yes, sir,
there is a standard procedure. I think I was just at that same
embassy 2 weeks ago that you have had the occasion to visit and
was appalled when I saw it.
The reality is that we have to play the hand we are dealt,
and we have had to do some things in nontraditional ways.
Sometimes that includes sweeping the vehicle after it is inside
the gate. That is not our SOP, but we felt it better to sweep
it even though it is inside the gate than not sweep it at all.
We can't close the necessary streets or obtain a location
reasonably close by in which to do these inspections.
Part of the reason for having a countersurveillance program
is to try to give us a virtual setback. That program gives us a
span of control outside the embassy. It gives us early warnings
of impending problems and the ability to alert a facility that
a problem is coming.
We have been dealt a bad hand when it comes to setback. As
I said earlier, 85 percent of our facilities don't have it. We
are trying to make adjustments and accommodations to the best
of our ability. We are going to have to continue to change the
way we are doing business out there.
What we have in place is good now. Next month, it is going
to be better and the next month even better; and certainly a
year from now, assuming we are still in those safe facilities,
it is going to be even better, still.
Mr. Cooksey. Good.
Ms. Williams-Bridgers, I was on the IG team the last 6
months I was in the Air Force so I know that all IG people
aren't terrible, ruthless people, but the job has to be done.
In my capacity on the Public Buildings Subcommittee of
Transportation we found that there was some buildings in this
country, domestic again--of course, this is a domestic issue--
that were built, one as many as 30 years ago or 27 years ago
for probably 50 to 70 million dollars, I forget the exact
number, but over the years the lease payments for that building
are approaching $900 million and nearly a billion dollar. Do we
own all of these buildings abroad? Do we own all embassies or
are, in fact, some of them leased out?
Ms. Williams-Bridgers. I will defer to Assistant Secretary
Kennedy. However, we do not own all of our overseas property
Mr. Cooksey. There was some political patronage. Does it
carry over into our embassies? That is ultimately my question.
Mr. Kennedy. Dr. Cooksey, I don't think it involves
political patronage so much as the lack of a capital program.
If you take----
Mr. Cooksey. You remind me of Congress, for giving me your
money, should--I will quote Admiral Crowe who says, there's
enough blame to go around between the Legislative and Executive
Branches. I will blame it on Congress.
Mr. Kennedy. We have some 12,000 buildings overseas. We
probably own less than 2,000 of them.
Mr. Cooksey. Really.
Mr. Kennedy. Basically, we try to own wherever we can. But,
in many cases, because the funds available to us are simply
enough to pay the rent but not enough to make the up-front
payment that is needed to purchase, we are stuck--just as you
pointed out from your experience on your other committee, we
are stuck paying the rent every day.
That is something that the overseas presence panel pointed
out. It is something we are working with under Ms. Thomasson.
We are in constant consultation with OMB to see if there were
some way to move this along so that we could lease to own or do
some new, inventive, creative way of funding and financing
which would not be an immediate burden on American taxpayers
but would put us in a very different position 10 years down the
Mr. Cooksey. From a total long-term cost standpoint, we
would be better off to own these buildings.
Mr. Kennedy. Absolutely, sir.
Mr. Cooksey. I want to make one other closing comment. I
made this to a Republican colleague the other day, and I put
him on the spot, and I apologized to him, but it is a message
that I still want to put out, and it is marginally related to
I think one of the most disgraceful, cowardly, despicable
acts of omission that is going on right now by members of both
parties, the Executive Branch, maybe the State Department, is
the fact that we are totally ignoring the human rights abuses
that are going on in Africa. I am talking about Rwanda,
Burundi, today Sierra Leone. A good friend of mine had a
wonderful eye clinic with wonderful equipment there that is
destroyed. And Eritrea, Ethiopia and now Zimbabwe, places where
they are going in and slaughtering people, cutting children's
hands and legs off. We are focused on human rights abuses in
China, and they have got abuses there but not on this scale. I
think that the politicians in this city who don't have the
courage to stand up to these human rights abuses when they are
diverting attention to China should be held to account for it.
My question, in these countries I mentioned, Sierra Leone,
where they cut the children's hands off and feet and legs, in
Rwanda and Burundi and more recently in Zimbabwe, where they
are shooting people, and today I read in the paper they are
taking a lumber company out, what kind of security do we have
there for our embassies and are the embassies able to take a
position there? Is the fact that we have got a bunch of
cowardly people in this city a reflection of the fact that we
don't have embassies there or security there that could address
this really despicable, cowardly act of omission by the people
in this city?
That would be a good one for you, Ms. Williams-Bridgers. I
didn't mean to ignore you on the other questions, but I am
concerned about this. Is it because we don't have the embassy
personnel, the security in these countries?
Ms. Williams-Bridgers. We do have an American presence in
the many of the places that you mentioned, and I couldn't agree
with you more that there is no more despicable act than what we
see commissioned across too much of the globe as the abuses
against human beings, against women and children who are
The security of our embassies and our embassy personnel are
established, first and foremost, to protect Americans who are
working and living to support the business of the American
embassies abroad. The mission of our embassies abroad is to
advance human rights issues in many of those locations, and I
don't believe that it is being ignored at all by the Department
of State, and its best efforts are being put forward.
That said, we haven't looked specifically at the
advancement of human rights policies by any of those particular
missions that you have mentioned in the course of recent
Mr. Cooksey. My question then, in summary and in closing,
Mr. Chairman, if in these countries we had a state-of-the-art
embassy in terms of construction security, could we have a more
effective presence in addressing these human rights abuses
against women and children? That is who the abuses are against.
I have delivered babies with women who have had female genital
mutilation. I have taken care of people with land mine injuries
and AK-47 injuries, some years ago, 8 or 10 years ago. But
could we do a better job of addressing these problems if we had
this state-of-the-art security in our embassies that you are
talking about or could we not?
Ms. Williams-Bridgers. There is absolutely no doubt that
without the adequate facilities, without safe facilities to
house U.S. Government employees who are working overseas to
advance issues like human rights that we cannot effectively
execute our mission. I think that it is why it is one of the
first and foremost priorities of the Department to ensure that
we have the commitment of funding, that we have all of the
resources that are necessary to enhance the security and,
therefore, the viability of our missions overseas.
Mr. Cooksey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Dr. Cooksey.
One last question, Mr. Carpenter. The case that Dr. Cooksey
mentioned in the South American embassy, that delta barrier, I
have been informed, in front of the vehicle being checked
inside the compound was not working. The next stop was the
front door of the Ambassador's residence and the chance for a
suicide bomber. Has that delta barrier been fixed since that
Mr. Carpenter. They are still working on it. Like a number
of other issues out there, we are aware of the problems that we
have. That clearly is one. Equipment is sometimes slow to be
installed. It is critical that it be installed. They have taken
some other measures to mitigate the threat until it is
installed; but unfortunately, I have to report that it has yet
to be completed.
Chairman Gilman. Our Committee called this to your
attention several months ago. We hoped that that would be taken
care of properly.
Mr. Carpenter. I wish it had been. It should have been.
Chairman Gilman. I want to thank the panelists for your
time. Committee stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 11:52 a.m., the Committee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
May 11 and May 17, 2000
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Prepared Statement of Patrick F. Kennedy, Assistant Secretary of State
for Administration, before the Committee on International Relations,
U.S. House of Representatives, May 17, 2000
Mr. Chairman: I appreciate the opportunity to appear before your
Committee. It is always a pleasure for me to be able to update you on
the many accomplishments that the Department has made in improving our
overseas security posture, facility infrastructure, and our worldwide
facility operations. Obviously, since the tragic bombings of our
embassies in East Africa, the issues concerning our infrastructure and
the security of our missions overseas have received great attention
within the Administration and the Congress. We very much appreciate the
support of the Congress, and particularly of this Committee, for the
Emergency Security Supplemental and the Administration's proposals for
physical security upgrades at our overseas posts. I would also like to
say a few words today on the Overseas Presence Advisory Panel (OPAP)
and its recommendations concerning our Office of Foreign Buildings
Operations (A/FBO). Finally, I will give a brief report on what we are
doing at the Main State headquarters building here in Washington and
the issue of security clearances for custodial and operations and
As you know, the Overseas Presence Advisory Panel, which issued its
report last November, described many of our facilities abroad as
unacceptable in terms of security and condition. Fully 85 percent of
our facilities do not meet optimum security standards. Some are in need
of extensive renovation. Some are seriously overcrowded. Most, however,
simply have to be replaced. To protect our employees overseas, our goal
is to expeditiously locate into safe facilities more than 22,000
embassy staff in over 220 vulnerable buildings. This is a formidable
task. Achievement of this task will require an enormous initial and
sustained level of capital investment. Mr. Chairman, quite frankly,
during the past 10 years, we neither requested nor received sufficient
funding to allow us to maintain our infrastructure base. Most recently,
since the 1998 bombings, we are finally beginning to arrest that
decline in resources, thanks to the support of the President and the
Congress, and have taken the first steps toward rebuilding our
facilities infrastructure. In fiscal year 1999 alone, A/FBO obligated
over $800 million, the most ever obligated in a fiscal year, to replace
unsafe facilities and improve security at those posts whose facilities
cannot be replaced for several years.
As part of OPAP's overall charter to evaluate the way the United
States organizes its overseas activities, it made 44 recommendations in
eight general areas. This morning, I would like to focus some of my
remarks on the Panel's recommendation to establish an Overseas
Facilities Authority (OFA).
The Panel advocated replacing the Bureau of Administration's Office
of Foreign Buildings Operations with a federally chartered government
corporation--an Overseas Facilities Authority. The issues that led to
the Panel's proposal included the perception that A/FBO-managed
construction projects took longer and cost more than comparable private
sector projects, that timelines were not always met, and that staffing
levels appeared to be too high for the number of properties and
projects being handled. However, I believe that the staff work that
underpins these perceptions is faulty, as it failed to give due
consideration to security requirements and special overseas needs.
The Panel proposed creating a government-chartered corporation that
would allow the use of management and financing techniques commonly
found in the private sector. This new authority--OFA--would exercise
responsibility for building, renovating, maintaining, and managing the
Federal Government's civilian overseas facilities, including office and
residential facilities. As envisaged by OPAP, the OFA, in addition to
receiving annual appropriations from Congress, would have features not
currently available to the Office of Foreign Buildings Operations,
including receiving funds from other agencies, levying capital charges
for new facilities, obtaining forward funding commitments from the
Federal Budget and loans from the U.S. Treasury, as well as retaining
service fees from sources approved by the Congress. The OFA, again,
unlike the current A/FBO, would have the ability to apply management
techniques commonly used in the private sector to include using
financial incentives and performance-based compensation standards. The
Panel reasoned that higher salaries and incentives would allow OFA to
attract highly qualified real estate and other professionals and
further motivate employees and contractors to better meet construction
We are currently giving serious and careful consideration to the
Panel's proposals to reinvent the method of funding and administration
of our overseas facilities' design and construction program. An
interagency group headed by the Director of the Office of Foreign
Buildings Operations, Patsy Thomasson, is reviewing all aspects of
overseas facilities. Earlier this year, Ms. Thomasson formed six teams
within A/FBO to look in to, and analyze in depth, five critical areas--
organizational structure, financing alternatives, business process
reengineering, customer focus, and communications. A sixth team manages
the overall effort. Together, these teams will make recommendations on
how the Panel's desired outcomes can best be achieved. We have also
contracted with a leading consulting firm to examine various funding
options and ways to make A/FBO a more performance-based organization.
While these team efforts are still continuing, I believe that creating
an independent OFA is not essential to accomplish the changes that OPAP
laid out. Most of the proposed attributes of the OFA could be assigned
either administratively or legislatively to A/FBO without disrupting
and halting the very positive direction in which A/FBO is now headed.
Although we agree with the thrust of the Panel's recommendations,
we question whether the creation of an independent, federally chartered
organization, comprised of both the public and private sectors, is
necessarily the best approach to meet our infrastructure challenges
overseas. Principally, we are concerned that such an entity may
compromise the vital link between foreign policy and facility
decisions. For example, there are foreign policy issues, such as
reciprocity, that are intricately intertwined with overseas facility
programs. Such is the case with China, where we are seeking a site for
a new embassy in Beijing and China is seeking, as a condition, a site
in Washington. Such is also the case with the United Arab Emirates,
where we are seeking to acquire a parcel of land adjacent to our
embassy in Abu Dhabi, and they want a new residence for their
Ambassador here in Washington. These are classic examples where
facility decisions are affected and sometimes driven by foreign policy
The Panel also urged that we continue to implement the
Accountability Review Board's (ARB) proposals providing for security
upgrades at our overseas posts throughout the world. We are doing that,
and I am pleased to report that the Office of Foreign Buildings
Operations has been particularly successful in responding to the
mandates of the security supplemental that followed the 1998 bombings.
Interim facilities are fully operational in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi,
and we are moving smartly toward constructing permanent facilities in
both locations. The Office of Foreign Buildings Operations conducted a
competition for a fast-track design/build contract and awarded the
contract last September. The designs of these projects have now reached
the point where we anticipate giving the contractor the green light to
mobilize onsite at Dar and Nairobi next month. We have also opened a
temporary office building in Doha and are fitting out three buildings
in Pristina to serve as temporary facilities. We have permanent
facilities under construction in Doha and Kampala.
Currently we have 14 new embassies or consulates in various stages
of development: Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Abu Dhabi, Abuja, Berlin, Doha,
Istanbul, Kampala, Luanda, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Tunis, and
Zagreb. We are also in the process of acquiring several additional new
office building sites. Also, since the bombings, A/FBO has completed 15
major rehabilitation projects at overseas posts with another 46 major
rehab projects ongoing at this time.
Since the bombings we have also relocated many overseas Department
and other Agency personnel to more secure facilities. For example, AID
personnel have been/are being relocated to more secure facilities in
Almaty, Antananarivo, Asuncion, Ashgabat, Cairo, Kampala, Luanda,
Manila, New Delhi, Rabat, Tel Aviv and other locations around the
Increasing setback from streets and other buildings is another way
of reducing the threat to loss of life and injury. During the past year
and a half A/FBO has been extremely active in acquiring 87 setback
properties at 25 posts around the world to provide greater security to
our personnel. Negotiations and investigations are continuing on
another 31 properties at 14 posts.
Worldwide Security Upgrade funding appropriated by the Congress has
enabled A/FBO to approve 1,051 security upgrade projects at overseas
posts with 34 percent of these projects having been completed. Every
project will further protect our employees overseas. The Worldwide
Security Upgrade Program which includes security projects such as the
installation of berms, bollards, and access controls, is being executed
at each post by A/FBO, the post itself, and/or by an implementation
contractor or basic ordering agreement contractor. Other components of
this program include the installation of shatter resistant window film
on all office windows and the installation of forced entry/ballistic
resistant (FE/BR) doors and windows. The bombings in Africa
demonstrated all too tragically that the greatest threat to life and
injury from a bomb blast is from flying shards of glass. Since the
bombings, we have purchased 5.5 million square feet of window film.
Nearly half has been installed, with the remainder to be installed by
the end of the summer. We have also installed or replaced over 500 FE/
BR doors and windows.
A/FBO's Asset Management Program, which acquires essential property
by using proceeds from the sales of excess or underutilized properties,
has been very successful, purchasing 18 properties in fiscal year 1999
and the first half of FY2000, while disposing of 17 properties.
These successes are the result of retorquing internal processes,
applying new initiatives, and introducing innovative methodologies.
These have all been key factors in achieving A/FBO's high level of
productivity over the past 18 months. Today's Office of Foreign
Buildings Operations is not the A/FBO of the late 80's and early 90's
under the Inman program.
A 1991 General Accounting Office review of the management of the
Security Construction Program revealed problems that A/FBO experienced
during its efforts to meet the major challenges of the Inman buildup a
decade ago. The most significant difficulties were linked to inadequate
staffing, difficulties with overseas site acquisition, contractor
performance, and the lack of an effective strategic focus. Since those
years, however, A/FBO has implemented lessons learned throughout the
organization and is now well prepared to undertake a large construction
A/FBO has developed an improved strategy for effectively executing
a difficult, expanded construction program and has augmented its staff
to handle the workload. The strategy is derived from A/FBO's Inman
experience with the simultaneous execution of large, multi-year
projects, and from implementing construction industry best practices.
Included in our strategy are a number of initiatives described below.
Design/build contracting. A/FBO is placing greater
reliance on design/build (D/B) contracting. This method has been
demonstrated in both the public and private sectors to reduce cost and
save time in project delivery as compared with the more traditional
two-contract, design-bid-build procurement method. In addition, we are
looking at other multiple projects that could be packaged into groups
for award to a single, large D/B contractor, as we did with the Dar es
Salaam and Nairobi projects. Additional D/B contracts could be awarded
for groups of projects in the out years.
D/B contracts are being managed by integrated project management
teams to provide effective controls and added expertise. From the start
of a project, these cross-discipline teams are accelerating project
execution; controlling costs; clarifying lines of authority; and
carefully defining roles, responsibilities, procedures, project
priorities, and milestones. Potential risks to project success are
identified and mitigated early.
Staffing. A/FBO is much better positioned than in the mid
1980's when the Inman program began, and its in-house work force
numbered less than 200. The professionalism and depth of the work force
has increased as its size has grown to over 760 today. Eighty-four new
staff members have been, or are being, brought on for worldwide
security upgrades alone. Additional real estate professionals have been
hired to find and acquire new sites and buildings; more design,
engineering, project management, and other professionals and
specialists have been brought on to execute construction projects.
Overall, since the bombings, A/FBO has increased on board staffing by
Contract support has been increased, with Perini Corporation and
Brown and Root assisting with security upgrade work, and with
indefinite quantity contractors increasing A/FBO capabilities,
especially in design-review services.
Priority setting. The Accountability Review Boards
recommended spending $14 billion on embassy construction in the next 10
years to replace all facilities that do not meet standards. Interagency
Embassy Security Assessment Teams (ESATs) determined that most of our
posts have compelling facility needs, such as for adequate setback,
structural hardening, relocations, and other security requirements.
All chanceries, consulates, and multi-tenant annex buildings have
been evaluated for security vulnerability. The analysis assessed the
soundness of each building's structure and facade, the adequacy of the
building compound's perimeter security, the building's setback from
adjacent property, the post's political violence security threat, and
additional security considerations that included the capability and
willingness of the host country to control its internal and border
security relative to external terrorists; as well as other factors. The
resulting ranking was reviewed by stakeholders, i.e., regional bureaus,
other agencies, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Embassy Security
Assessment Teams, and A/FBO managers. Projects were then planned for
different fiscal years based on vulnerability, stakeholder input, and
consideration of factors that will either inhibit or facilitate a
Other measures developed or enhanced since the 1998
bombings. Time and space preclude a full explanation of all the other
industry best practices adopted by A/FBO, however, a representative
listing of these best practices follows:
Security and Blast Research
Site Search Program
Pre-qualified A/E Pool
Generic Statement of Work
A&E Design Guidelines
Integrated Building Systems
Standard Delivery Process
Site Adapted Office Building
Project Execution Support Contractors
Reliability Centered Maintenance
Serviceability Tools and Methods
Post Occupancy Evaluation
These ``best practices'' or initiatives, added to intense efforts
by the Department, have resulted in the outstanding record of
achievement over the past 18 months, and clearly demonstrate that
today's A/FBO has the ability to manage a large and complex building
Let me turn now to the Department's buildings and facilities in
Washington and elsewhere in the United States and the issue of security
clearances for custodial and operations and maintenance personnel.
The Department of State occupies 58 buildings located throughout
the United States, totaling approximately 6 million square feet of
space. The Main State building in Washington, the domestic building you
are most interested in, comprises roughly 2.5 million gross square feet
and houses more than 8,000 employees. Given that size and population,
Main State is similar to a small city in the services that are
required. As you can imagine services to such a large population must
include electrical, heating, air conditioning, plumbing, painting,
carpeting, furniture, communications, custodial services, and all other
normal maintenance and repair specialties employed on a daily basis.
There are two major contracts that supply the majority of services in
Main State, custodial and operations and maintenance (O&M). Those
contracts are competitively bid and the contractors have corporate
clearances at the appropriate level for their work; the custodial
contractor has a corporate top secret clearance while the maintenance
contractor has a corporate secret clearance.
In addition each contractor has employees who are cleared at the
appropriate level in order to perform their jobs within the building.
For example, the custodial contractor has 20 custodial workers with top
secret clearance to work in sensitive and classified areas. Ten more
have top secret security clearances pending. If a maintenance or
custodial worker must work in a classified area and the worker has no
clearance, that person is escorted by cleared Department of State
personnel. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the occupant of any
space classified or not, to watch over custodial and maintenance
workers in their area and protect all material for which they are
The Department is currently undergoing extensive renovations to
bring the building up to par. The overall Main State renovation
project, primarily funded by GSA is a multi-million dollar project.
That work, which is in its early stages, is being done with GSA
contractors. GSA's contractors have corporate clearances as well. In
addition, with the Congressionally mandated reorganization of the
Foreign Affairs agencies, State is in the process of absorbing the
former USIA and ACDA staffs and functions. This has led to further
renovation and construction work in the Main State building at a cost
that will exceed $80 million and will involve probably 200 smaller
construction projects, utilizing perhaps as many as 12 different
contractors. Those contractors will all have corporate security
clearances and most of the workers will also have clearances. The
Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) is involved in those projects as
well. DS is a member of each project team in this process and we work
closely together to ensure that security requirements are met.
I would be pleased to answer any questions.
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