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Although I have been a member of the U.S. Capitol Police Board for a relatively short period of time, and Chairman for only two months, I have developed a strong respect for the capabilities and professionalism of the men and women of the United States Capitol Police. In particular, I would like to express my appreciation to Bill Livingood and Alan Hantman for their outstanding contributions as members of the Board and for their wise counsel during this learning period I am traversing. We have developed an excellent working relationship in a short period of time and this spirit of cooperation and unity is evident today in our testimony before this Subcommittee. For the first time, the members of the U.S. Capitol Police Board have submitted a single joint statement regarding the U.S. Capitol Police budget request.
Mr. Chairman, the next few years will be a challenging time for the United States Capitol Police. The Department plans to add 260 police personnel to its ranks over a two year period; we will provide officers with upgraded personal equipment and training; we will make significant changes to the Department's administrative and operational capabilities; we will upgrade physical security equipment; and, under the direction of the Architect, we will make much needed improvements to the physical security barriers which protect the Capitol Complex. The challenge for the members of the Capitol Police Board will be to manage this change and to continue to meet the unique security needs of Congress during the transition.
In accordance with the provisions of Public Law 105–277, the U.S. Capitol Police Board recently submitted to the authorizing and appropriations committees an integrated implementation plan detailing the needed police equipment upgrades and outlining the first phase of the security enhancements to the Capitol Complex and Library of Congress buildings and grounds. The segment of the implementation plan which addresses the personnel increase has been approved by all committees and we have initiated an aggressive recruitment agenda to fill the approved positions. Just last week, the House oversight and appropriation committees approved the remaining parts of the Security Enhancement Implementation Plan. We would very much appreciate your early consideration and approval of the remaining parts of the plan which will allow us to move ahead with the upgrade of police equipment and physical security technology. In an unprecedented fashion, the USCP, Architect of the Capitol, Library of Congress Police, and even the U.S. Supreme Court Police are working closely to coordinate the efficient execution of the Plan upon final approval.
With regard to physical security upgrades, we have just received final approval for the Capitol Square Perimeter Security Plan. As you know, this plan addresses the need to upgrade the physical barriers that will surround the Capitol Square and the Senate office buildings. The new barriers will provide a higher level of security and will also be more aesthetically pleasing than the current structures. These initiatives, implemented under the guidance of the Architect, will provide long-term security for the Capitol Complex and meet current industry standards to protect against vehicular terrorist attacks. For your information, the security perimeter upgrades along Delaware Avenue and C Street on the Senate side are currently under design and we will be requesting approval to release funds to proceed with construction shortly.
Last year, the Chairmen of the Legislative Branch appropriations and oversight committees tasked the General Accounting Office (GAO) to contract and oversee an evaluation of selected administrative operations of the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) to identify opportunities to improve efficiency and cost effectiveness. The GAO selected Booz-Allen & Hamilton to perform the evaluation and to conduct a management review of selected USCP administrative operations. Specifically, the review addressed the management of the financial services, human resources, and information technology operations. The members of the Board have been briefed by the staff of the General Accounting office and last week we were provided with the final report of Booz-Allen & Hamilton. Areas highlighted for emphasis during the briefing process included the need to establish an administrative structure to support the core mission; the need to develop a strategic plan; and the need to establish policies and procedures for all support activities. The Board is in general agreement with the findings and recommendations of the report.
The Board and the USCP have begun addressing the issues raised in the report. Actions to be taken include preparing a draft reorganization plan; acquiring the resources for preparing the Department's strategic plan; and rectifying staffing deficiencies in the areas of financial management, information technology management, and human resources management. Many of the staffing issues were addressed in the staffing proposal which has now been approved by this Committee. In addition, the creation of an improved policy review and personnel evaluation process is under way.
Once the Board has had the opportunity to fully review and discuss the information contained in the final report, we will make additional decisions on how to institute measures to improve the Department's administrative infrastructure to reflect best business practices. As a matter of fact, immediately following this hearing, the Board has scheduled a two and a half day workshop to discuss USCP activities and operations, with the Booz-Allen report being one of the agenda items for discussion. We will keep the Committees advised as we make progress toward implementing the recommendations contained in the report.
Another important issue is the status of the U.S. Capitol Police Year 2000 computer compliance project. The police have identified nineteen mission critical systems which must become Y2K compliant. Thus far, we have renovated fourteen sygtems and have validated ten. The validation of two other systems is 98 percent complete. Currently, the U.S. Capitol Police have ten of their nineteen systems Y2K compliant and in operation. Of the remaining nine systems, two are 98 percent complete and one is 50 percent complete. The remaining six are being renovated in conjunction with the Office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms, the Metropolitan Police, or are otherwise the sole responsibility of the USCP. We project that we will have achieved full Year 2000 computer compliance for all U.S. Capitol Police systems by September, 1999.
The increase reflected in the U.S. Capitol Police fiscal year 2000 budget request is primarily a result of funds needed to sustain the revised longevity rates and differentials for Sunday, holiday, and evening shifts that were approved by the authorizing and appropriations committees for fiscal year 1999. It also includes the cost of the anticipated COLA and comparability pay increases, as well as personnel benefits.
Also, it should be noted that the USCP fiscal year 2000 budget request includes an increase in funding to cover the Department's computer and telecommunications expenses. Additional funds are necessary to cover the needed improvements in the information technology area based on our own analysis and as recommended in the Booz-Allen report. We are proposing to include this funding in the USCP budget rather than continue to use resources from the budget of the Office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms. The Senate has provided the U.S. Capitol Police with extensive equipment and technical support over the past several years. The Board feels that the Chief and the Command staff, under the supervision of the Board, should have direct control over and accountability for the funds required to purchase and operate these systems. Therefore, we have proposed that these items be included in the U.S. Capitol Police Budget.
The Capitol Police Board has approved security related projects that are included in the Architect of the Capitol's budget request for fiscal year 2000. These include such items as: Infrastructure for Security Installations which provides the infrastructure accommodations to support the continued installation by the Capitol Police of door controls, alarms, cameras and other security devices throughout the Capitol Complex; Security Project Support that will provide the AOC with technical staffing resources to coordinate, oversee, and implement the design and construction of capital improvements that were funded in the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental and Appropriations Act, 1999, Public Law 105–277; and, Secure Attic and Basement Areas for Senate Office Buildings, that will provide for the construction of physical barriers in various storage areas of the Senate. The Board also concurred with the AOC and LOC Book Conveyor System Security Plan that will provide for access control to the Library of Congress book conveyor system; and Collections Security that will provide for the continued installation of card readers and other security sensors and devices to protect the Library's collections.
The U.S. Capitol Police Board is grateful for your efforts to pass and fund the pay parity and benefits package for our personnel last year. The greatest asset of any organization, whether public or private, is its personnel. The U.S. Capitol Police relies on the ability, dedication, and contribution of its personnel at all levels in order to meet its mission. Thanks to these pay and benefit initiatives, we believe that we are now in a better position to retain our experienced officers while attracting highly-qualified candidates.
The members of the U.S. Capitol Police Board and I would like to express special thanks to this Committee for the strong support you provided to the U.S. Capitol Police in the aftermath of the tragic deaths of Officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson. The outpouring of concern and support from members of Congress, the Congressional community, and the public helped to sustain the families of our fallen heroes and the men and women who continue to serve. We are pleased to report that pursuant to Public Law 105–223, the Board has made a substantial distribution from the Capitol Police Memorial Fund. This contribution was equally divided between the Chestnut and Gibson families.
We look forward to working with the Committee as we strive to meet the challenges and demands of protecting the Capitol Complex and those who work and visit here. A detailed budget has been previously submitted to the Committee. Thank you for this opportunity to appear before you and we will be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
PREPARED STATEMENT OF GARY L. ABRECHT Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I am honored to appear before you today to discuss the fiscal year 2000 Budget Request for the United States Capitol Police.
As you are aware, 1998 proved to be a difficult and challenging year. On July 24th, Officer Jacob J. Chestnut and Detective John M. Gibson were killed in the line of duty inside the United States Capitol. The service and sacrifice of these fine officers reminds us all of the inherently dangerous and unpredictable nature of our mission. The ability of Congress to safely and freely perform its legislative function is inextricably tied to the ability of the U.S. Capitol Police to perform its law enforcement, security, and protective function. The July 24th attack on the Capitol underscored that bond. So did the response from the Congress and the Congressional community to our loss. It was clear that the deaths of J.J. and John also struck a chord with the American people and individuals around the world because the Department was overwhelmed with expressions of sympathy and support. The kinds words of support and the donations of flowers, food, cards and letters helped us through this trying time. Likewise, people generously contributed to the Memorial Fund which Congress graciously established to aid the families of our fallen heroes. On behalf of the men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police, I would also like to thank Congress for granting the unprecedented honor of holding a Congressional Tribute for Officer Chestnut and Detective Gibson in the Rotunda of the Capitol.
As difficult as it was, the mission of the Department proceeded. Shortly after the shootings, security was again heightened in the wake of the terrorist attack on the American embassies in east Africa. The recent military action in Iraq also raised the specter of terrorism. Through it all, the men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police rose to the challenge and performed their duty in a professional and effective manner. I am proud to be associated with such an outstanding group of individuals.
In the aftermath of the shootings and the other incidents which affected security, a comprehensive security survey of the Capitol Complex was conducted at the direction of the Capitol Police Board. The security task force, which was comprised of security experts from federal law enforcement agencies and the private sector, used the 1995 U.S. Capitol Police/U.S. Secret Service study as a base-line. The preliminary results of the study were transmitted to the committees of jurisdiction for their consideration and funding was provided for the recommended security upgrades through Public Law 105–277.
In accordance with the provisions of Public Law 105–277, an integrated implementation plan was submitted to the authorizing and appropriations committees detailing the first phase of the security enhancements to the Capitol Complex and the Library of Congress buildings and grounds. The plan includes adding an additional 260 police personnel to the Department, providing upgraded equipment to our officers, and obtaining state-of-the-art physical security equipment. The segment of the plan which addresses the personnel increase has been approved by all committees and we have begun an aggressive recruitment and training agenda to fill these positions and deploy additional officers in the field. Just last week, the House Administration Committee and Appropriation Committee approved the remaining parts of the Security Enhancement Implementation Plan. Your prompt consideration and approval of the remaining parts of the plan will allow us to move ahead expeditiously with these very important security issues.
With the addition of 260 police personnel over a two-year period, my concern regarding the inadequacy of several of our facilities to meet the mission of the Department has deepened. Several facilities currently used by the U.S. Capitol Police can no longer adequately support the mission of the Department. Others are in need of repair and expansion or relocation to another site. In addition, our training facilities, which consist of three converted offices in the Ford House Office Building, are woefully inadequate to support our diverse training needs. The Committee has approved funding to the Architect to develop a comprehensive facilities needs assessment and space plan for the Department and other congressional entities. This study, known as the Capitol Complex Integrated Security Facilities Program, is currently underway. It will examine the long-term facilities requirements of the U.S. Capitol Police in the areas of training, administrative and security operations, and personnel support. We look forward to working with the Committee to address this critical issue once the final report has been submitted. In the short term, the Architect is addressing several issues relating to the condition and functionality of numerous facilities currently used by the police. Your favorable consideration of the Architect's repair and improvement requests will ensure that our personnel can be provided with clean, safe, and functional working environments until such time as the long-term police facilities issues are resolved.
As you are aware, last year the General Accounting Office (GAO) was tasked with conducting an evaluation of U.S. Capitol Police administrative operations in the areas of financial management, human resource management, and information technology management. I have been briefed by the GAO staff and last week was provided with the final report by their consultant, Booz-Allen & Hamilton. At the direction and supervision of the Board, we have begun addressing issues raised in the report. These actions include preparing a draft reorganization plan; acquiring the resources for preparing a strategic plan; and rectifying staffing deficiencies in the areas of financial management, information technology, and human resources management. In addition, the creation of an improved policy review and personnel eval. uation process is under way. This report was issued at a propitious time for the U.S. Capitol Police. Our administrative infrastructure is being strained by the functions related to the expansion of the Department and associated security projects. This report will provide us with a blueprint to make needed adjustments to our administrative functions so they can effectively and efficiently support the core mission of the Department.
Another issue which is critical to the core mission of the Department is the Year 2000 computer conversion. We have identified nineteen mission critical computer systems which must become Y2K compliant. Currently, we have renovated fourteen of these systems and validated ten. The validation of two additional systems is 98 percent complete. Currently, we have ten systems Y2K compliant and in operation. Of the remaining nine systems, two are 98 percent complete and one is 50 percent complete. The remaining six systems are being renovated in conjunction with the Office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms, the Metropolitan Police, or are otherwise the sole responsibility of the USCP. We project full Year 2000 computer compliance for all nineteen U.S. Capitol Police systems by September, 1999. It should be noted that, as a precaution, we have begun continency planning to ensure that our core life-safety, security, protective, and law enforcement operations can proceed unhindered in the event of significant, unanticipated Y2K disruptions affecting our critical computer functions.
On a related matter, the USCP fiscal year 2000 budget request also includes funds to cover the Department's computer and telecommunications expenses. These funds were previously taken from the budget of the Office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms. If approved, the Department will reimburse the Senate Sergeant at Arms for these services. I would like to point out that should these amounts not be approved, they will need to be restored to the Senate Sergeant at Arms fiscal year 2000 budget.
The majority of the increase contained in the U.S. Capitol Police fiscal year 2000 Budget Request is the result of funding needed to sustain the revised longevity rates and the differentials for Sunday, holiday, and evening shifts that were approved by the authorizing and appropriations committees in fiscal year 1999. In addition, funding is included to cover the anticipated COLA and pay comparability increases and associated personnel benefits.
The final significant increase in the fiscal year 2000 budget is in the category of life-cycle replacement costs. It is essential to the operation of the Department that our officers utilize equipment which is up-to-date and able to meet the demands of police and security work. Therefore, we have requested funding to methodically replace physical security systems, vehicles, and police equipment. The life-cycle replacement of such items will ensure that we have ready access to modern, safe and fully functional equipment. The Department has been unable to adhere to the lifecycle replacement program, particularly with regard to fleet vehicle replacement, due to reprogramming and other funding restrictions in previous budget cycles.
In closing, I would like to thank the Committee for your efforts to provide our personnel with salary adjustments during in fiscal year 1999. In doing so, you helped us achieve pay parity with other similar federal law enforcement agencies. This action has resulted in improved morale, better retention, and an increase in the number of qualified applicants.
I am proud of the level and quality of service the men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police provide on a daily basis. As we saw last year, securing the Capitol Complex is a daunting and dangerous task. With your continued support and guidance, I am confident that we will be prepared to meet the challenges and demands of the coming year.
I will be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
Senator BENNETT. Do you have the money in your proposed budget for that replacement or would that be additional funds?
Mr. ZIGLAR. No, sir, we have that money in the budget.
Mr. ZIGLAR. With respect to the budget, you have outlined pretty much the numbers, the $9,187,000, which is a $7,106,000 increase over the 1999 budget. I might also add that, Senator Feinstein, I think you noted that only $9 million of that $90 million is for nonsalary items. So it is quite clear that most of our dollars go to personnel, as it should be. I mean, that is what we are here to do, to provide that kind of security.
Let me tell you a little bit about the breakdown of the two significant pieces of the $7 million above last year; $4,353,000 of that is salary-related or personnel cost-related, the COLA and some merit increases and things like that. So the biggest part of that $7 million is actually related to the salary item.
The other large part is $1,761,000 for computer and telecom. There is a little history here I would like to tell you about, which I am sure you know. In the past the Sergeant at Arms budget has provided a large chunk of the money for computer and telecom support, that was not in the Capitol Police budget. We have on average over the last few years spent between $500,000 and $600,000 for computer-telecom, which has been unfortunately only at a bare maintenance level. It has not provided for any upgrade in the technology. So we have really fallen behind technologically in the Police Department.
We are proposing, as the Appropriations Committee suggested that those telecom-computer items go into the Capitol Police budget and we not have them in the Sergeant at Arms budget. I think the House is inclined to go along with that now. At least I got that feeling from our discussions with them. And our $1,761,000, which of course is higher than the $500,000 or $600,000 that we have had in the past, represents technology upgrades, not just the maintenance level that we had been supplying.
The other thing that I think is important is that in doing this in the Capitol Police budget, they will have the responsibility and flexibilities to manage their IT programs. Quite frankly they have in the past been forced to accept what the Sergeant at Arms technical people have said they are going to buy or they are going to use, as opposed to being able to independently evaluate what would be best in terms of technology for the police. So I think having it in the police budget, subject to oversight of this committee and obviously the House committee and the Capitol Police Board, is a good idea for making sure that we are at the cutting edge of technology.
COMPATIBILITY WITH OTHER POLICE FORCES
Senator BENNETT. Let me interrupt you with a question. It may be more appropriate later on, but while I am thinking about it let me just ask you now. As you move to replace some of this technology and communications equipment, what about making it compatible with other police forces on the Hill?
You have the Library of Congress police force.