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5

Conclusions and Recommendations

The committee carefully considered a number of strategies for protecting federal office buildings against the threat of terrorism. In its deliberations, the committee urged that security issues be considered as paramount as other building requirements. For example, if a building is to undergo minor modifications, security upgrades could be designed in at little extra cost. The committee realizes that major fortress-like upgrades for every federal office building is neither desirable nor likely.

With this in mind the committee makes the following conclusions and recommendations, and urges agency administrators to carefully consider each.

Conclusion 1 While incidents of terrorism in the United States are currently few in number, the committee believes that the consequences of even one serious act of terrorism against a federally owned or leased office building would be significant. It is the responsibility of those agencies that own or lease office facilities to consider security measures to protect persons, information and property, including the building itself, from a terrorist act.

Recommendation 1 Agencies that own or lease office facilities should develop and implement an ongoing security program for



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Page 43 5 Conclusions and Recommendations The committee carefully considered a number of strategies for protecting federal office buildings against the threat of terrorism. In its deliberations, the committee urged that security issues be considered as paramount as other building requirements. For example, if a building is to undergo minor modifications, security upgrades could be designed in at little extra cost. The committee realizes that major fortress-like upgrades for every federal office building is neither desirable nor likely. With this in mind the committee makes the following conclusions and recommendations, and urges agency administrators to carefully consider each. Conclusion 1 While incidents of terrorism in the United States are currently few in number, the committee believes that the consequences of even one serious act of terrorism against a federally owned or leased office building would be significant. It is the responsibility of those agencies that own or lease office facilities to consider security measures to protect persons, information and property, including the building itself, from a terrorist act. Recommendation 1 Agencies that own or lease office facilities should develop and implement an ongoing security program for

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Page 44each building as part of that building's facility management function. This security program should cover routine security matters as well as provide for consideration of extraordinary events that threaten persons, information or property. Full-scale operational testing of the security program should be conducted periodically. Conclusion 2 Setting policy and implementing procedures for security-related concerns can affect the work routines of building occupants, the operations of the building, and the degree of public access to the facility. Recommendation 2 The responsibility for security policy and implementation should reside with top management of the agency or agencies that own or occupy the building. Management should consider establishing a security planning group to develop a building security program and a security management team to oversee the day-to-day operation of the program. In buildings housing more than one agency, a senior agency should be designated to take the lead responsibility on security matters. Conclusion 3 A threat against a federal office building and the people and information housed within it can take many forms and have many purposes. Certain buildings themselves may be symbolic targets, for example, federal courthouses. The information contained within the building may be a target or people who work in the building may be targets, from high ranking officials to innocent bystanders. Threats can be of a long-term or constant nature, or can have short-term implications, such as a direct threat on a specific agency in a certain city. Recommendation 3 In order to offer the greatest degree of protection possible for the persons, information and property housed within a federal office building, security strategies should recognize the nature of the threat and plan building modifications accordingly. These strategies would include permanent security modifications that are expressly undertaken in response to a constant security threat, permanent security modifications that are undertaken when a building is renovated or major work is undertaken, and temporary security measures that are implemented when there is reason to believe an incident may occur.

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Page 45 Conclusion 4 The dissemination of threat information currently is subjected to uncontrolled variables with the result that proper and timely information may not reach the appropriate parties within an agency. Recommendation 4 A formal means of threat communication— including the reporting and sharing of information—should be established between the building occupants (through the security management team) and the law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, that possess the information. Conclusion 5 It has been shown that existing federal office buildings offer potential targets for terrorists and that if an incident was to occur, the consequences would be great. In a multitenant federal offce building, certain agency tenants may be more vulnerable to a terrorist act than others. A vulnerability analysis of a building can reveal strengths and weaknesses of a building from a security standpoint. Recommendation 5 A vulnerability analysis for every federal office building should be undertaken as the first step in the implementation of a building security program. This vulnerability analysis should be a dynamic document and should undergo systematic and ongoing reviews. The analysis should consider the mix of agency occupants especially regarding those agencies at higher risk of being targeted than others. Conclusion 6 Effective and coordinated analysis of threat information and building vulnerability will determine what, if any, security modifications should be implemented. Recommendation 6 Government agencies that own or occupy office buildings should initiate procedures to adopt security measures, where appropriate, and respectful of legal considerations concerning the rights of those who use or visit the building. Each federal office building should have a base line or minimum level of protection established for its use. It is the responsibility of the security management team to determine the minimum level of protection.

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Page 46 Conclusion 7 In response to a threat assessment, several levels of security measures can be undertaken varying from temporary to permanent. Recommendation 7 When temporary security measures are taken in response to a threat assessment, they should be systematically reviewed for removal upon withdrawal of the threat. The review should also evaluate whether the security measure should be left in place where such measures do not impair the functions of the building.