April 15, 2013

Alleged Mismanagement of the Department of Energy's Executive Protection Operations

The Office of Special Operations (Special Operations) has primary responsibility for the protection and evacuation of the Secretary of Energy and other executive personnel as designated by the Secretary.  Special Operations, a part of the Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS), employs special agents charged with managing executive protection operations.  These special agents apply tactics, techniques and procedures designed to protect an individual from physical assault or harm.  Special Operations agents are augmented by Office of Secure Transportation (OST) agents while the Secretary is on travel status, and in coordination with HSS Headquarters Security Police Officers (SPOs) when in the Headquarters building. 

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) received allegations of mismanagement of the Department of Energy's Executive Protection forces.  The complaints varied, but generally fell into categories such as inadequate training; mismanagement of resources, such as failure to provide appropriate body armor; and lack of implementation of recommendations for improvement.

While certain aspects of the allegations were substantiated, the evidence did not support a number of concerns that had been raised.  However, perhaps of greatest importance, the Special Operations agents generally described their work environment as one permeated by low morale. We noted, for instance, that certain operational training had not been completed and individual purchases of body armor were not made between 2007 and 2012.  We did not substantiate a number of other specific allegations involving issues such as failure to complete recommended actions.  In response to the findings, management concurred with the recommendations and agreed to take corrective action to address the concerns raised by Special Operations agents and to ensure that the executive protection function is operating as effectively as possible.

Topic: National Security & Safety