WASHINGTON, June 21 (UPI) -- Federal lawmakers in Washington are objecting to a Bush administration plan to overhaul the agency that runs security at most federal buildings.
The administration wants to cut personnel from the Federal Protective Service, which employs about 15,000 contract security guards in the United States, and give a greater role to local police. But some legislators fear the plan would leave government employees vulnerable to criminal or terrorist attacks, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
The White House plan follows criticism of the Federal Protective Service's performance in Washington, where 30 percent of guards reviewed were found to have expired certifications. The move also comes after security guards in some Washington-area facilities threatened to walk off the job because they had not been paid by their contractor -- a felon whose hiring is the subject of a Thursday hearing on Capitol Hill.
Some in Congress say the White House plan would leave federal employees without adequate protection.
"I don't think that visitors to, or employees of, federal government agencies ... would be very comforted by the knowledge that if something occurs, if a gunman enters the building, that the contract service will be able to call 911," said Rep. James Oberstar D-Minn.