2359 Rayburn House Office Building
Good morning Chairman Carter, Ranking Member Roybal-Allardand distinguished Members of the Committee. I am pleased to appear before you today to discuss the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Budget for the Secret Service. I am grateful to this subcommittee for the courtesies you have extended to me in my short time back, and for your support in crafting a budget for FY 2015 that will help the agency continue the hiring, training, and protective mission enhancements required to get well. As the newly appointed Director of the Secret Service, I am tremendously honored to lead the men and women of this important agency through this challenging time. Despite the allegations of misconduct involving two senior-level special agents at the White House Complex on March 4, 2015, in my short time back I have been impressed by the selfless dedication of the workforce and people’s willingness to make the necessary reforms for the betterment of the mission. With respect to these recent allegations, the Secret Service has turned over the investigation to the Department of Homeland Security’s (“the Department”) Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”). I have committed our full cooperation with this investigation and eagerly await its findings.
This subcommittee’s support is especially critical given the high protection demands and increased operational tempo expected later this year. Pope Francis will visit the United States in September with events planned in Washington, DC; New York, NY; and Philadelphia, PA. Thus far, only the World Meeting of Families event in Philadelphia, which is expected to draw 2.1 million people, has been designated a National Special Security Event (“NSSE”) by the Secretary. Also in September, the Secret Service will fulfill its obligation to secure the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (“UNGA”) on its 70th anniversary. The UNGA is always a challenge for the Secret Service, as it recurs annually in the final weeks of the fiscal year, but with a major anniversary coinciding with the Papal visit, I expect this year to be especially demanding on our front-line employees. Special agents from across the field and headquarters will be called upon to establish temporary protective details for an expected record number of visiting heads of state and government, Uniformed Division (“UD”) officers will provide magnetometer support and protective site security for multiple venues, special operations teams will be assigned to high-level visiting dignitaries, and technical security and communications teams will be working weeks in advance to ensure mission success.
Superior performance by these men and women on the front lines begins with superior leadership. To that end, I have worked to open the lines of communication between the rank and file, their supervisors, and executive leadership. I made significant changes in top leadership positions across the Secret Service to inspire a renewed focus on human capital, training, protective operations, investigations, budgeting, and professional responsibility. Part of this effort included the creation of a standalone Office of Training, which will have a direct impact on the way the agency plans for and conducts operational training for special agents and UD officers by creating a stakeholder seat on the Secret Service’s Executive Review Board. This will allow the agency to set clear priorities and better align training requirements with the demands of the mission. It is critically important that the Secret Service get back to basics by staffing the agency at levels commensurate with the workload and incorporating the required training to ensure optimal performance at all times.
Professionalism within the Workforce
When I talk about optimal performance, I want to be clear that I expect all employees in the Secret Service to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the oath they swore to uphold when they entered the agency, and with the individual responsibility and core values that have guided many generations of employees before them. The conference report that accompanies the FY 2015 Homeland Security Appropriations Act requires the Secret Service to submit a report to the Appropriations Committees “providing evidence that the [agency] has sufficiently reviewed its professional standards of conduct; issued new guidance for the procedures and conduct of employees when engaged in overseas operations and protective missions; and instituted a professional standards policy consistent with the agency’s critical missions and unique position of public trust.”1
Over the past several years, the Secret Service has taken numerous actions in response to the recommendations of the Professionalism Reinforcement Working Group and the Department of Homeland Security’s (“the Department”) Inspector General. These actions include the creation of a Chief Integrity Officer to centralize discipline processes and reinforce the importance of leadership and accountability with supervisors; the establishment of a Table of Penalties; the creation of an “Inspection Hotline” for employees to report misconduct and allow the agency to initiate swift investigative or administrative action; and the addition of senior-level employees to jump teams on all foreign trips.
As these actions took place prior to my appointment, I am committed to fully reviewing them to ensure they are achieving their intended outcomes. I firmly believe the Secret Service’s mission requires all employees to strive for operational and personal excellence at all times.
1 Joint Explanatory Statement, which accompanied H.R. 240, Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2015.
FY 2016 Budget Context and Summary
Before I provide details on the FY 2016 Budget for the Secret Service, I want to thank all Members of the Committee for your work on the FY 2015 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, which the President signed on March 4, 2015. For a second year in a row, this subcommittee worked diligently to provide the Secret Service with resources to help the agency recover from staffing shortfalls associated with attrition and limited hiring in FY 2012 and FY 2013, support our training and operational needs, and expand training for State and local law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges at the National Computer Forensics Institute (“NCFI”).
In addition, our FY 2015 appropriations includes $25 million above the request to begin the necessary protective mission enhancements associated with the findings related to the September 19, 2014 White House incursion. The details of that egregious security breach were documented in a report prepared by Deputy Secretary Mayorkas (“Mayorkas Report”), which was followed-up by recommendations from the independent Protective Mission Panel (“the Panel”) that were included in a report to Secretary Johnson on December 15, 2014. Taken in sum, these two reports provide a consistent assessment of what went wrong on September 19, 2014, and steps the Secret Service must take to ensure a breach of that magnitude never happens again. The Panel’s recommendations in particular have brought focus to staffing, training, leadership, and technology and perimeter security requirements at the White House Complex. However, since the Secret Service’s mission extends beyond the issues addressed in the Panel’s report, I am committed to zero-basing the agency’s budget to determine the full extent of our operational requirements. Although the FY 2016 Budget was formulated prior to my arrival, I believe it represents an important step forward.
The FY 2016 Budget represents the largest year-to-year increase for the Secret Service since the agency was transferred from the Department of Treasury to the Department of Homeland Security more than 12 years ago and builds on the protective mission enhancements that are underway this fiscal year. The request totals $1.94 billion, an increase of $273.3 million or 16.4 percent above the FY 2015 enacted level, and supports 6,647 Full Time Equivalents (“FTEs”) across the agency. Program increases in the budget total $235.9 million and include: $86.7 million for Protective Mission Enhancements associated with the Panel’s recommendations; $25.7 million to complete the staffing requirements for President Obama’s protective detail once his term in office comes to a close; and $123.5 million for protection costs associated with the 2016 Presidential Campaign and campaign-related NSSEs.
Protective Mission Enhancements
The $86.7 million requested in FY 2016 to address specific recommendations made by the Panel can be broken down across four categories: (1) personnel initiatives; (2) training center improvements; (3) White House security infrastructure improvements; and (4) protective technology upgrades. Of all the Panel’s recommendations, there are no greater priorities for me than staffing the agency at a level commensurate with the demands of the mission, and ensuring that our employees receive the training they need to do their jobs effectively.
For personnel initiatives, the request includes $3.4 million to continue the Secret Service’s efforts to address attrition within the Uniformed Division. Combining efforts to address attrition with our aggressive hiring strategy for UD officers in 2015 and 2016 is critical to meet the Panel’s recommendation to “[increase] the Uniformed Division, as quickly as can be appropriately managed, by an initial 200 positions…” The Panel also recommended that the Secret Service “[reform] and professionalize recruiting, hiring, promotion and rotation [processes]…” To partially address this recommendation, the Budget includes $4.8 million to enhance administrative support to help the agency hire people in a more efficient manner, as well as support focused marketing campaigns to target highly qualified and diverse candidate populations.2 In addition, the Department’s Deputy Chief Human Capital Officer is on a temporary assignment to the Secret Service to help identify strategies to professionalize the agency’s recruitment and hiring efforts.
Training Center Improvements
The Mayorkas Report made clear that lack of training contributed to the White House incursion on September 19, 2014, and documented the confusion that took place that evening between responding UD officers and special operations teams. Since that time, the James J. Rowley Training Center (“JJRTC”) has implemented a number of enhancements to in-service training, including mandatory 4th Shift Training for the Presidential and Vice Presidential protective divisions, and the creation of several mandatory integrated training courses for all Washington, DC-based protective details and UD officers.
To fulfill the Panel’s recommendation to “[train] in conditions that replicate the physical environment in which [Secret Service law enforcement personnel assigned to the White House] will operate,”3 the Budget includes $8 million for the design and initial construction of a White House mock-up at the JJRTC in Beltsville, Maryland. The Secret Service currently uses a rudimentary, not-to-scale simulation of the north grounds of the White House, using bike barricades to act as the fencing. There are no structures, vehicle gates, lighting, or other aides to enhance the training simulations at the JJRTC. The proposed White House mock-up will provide a more realistic environment, conducive to scenario-based training exercises, for UD officers and special agents during basic recruit and in-service training courses. Funds requested in FY 2016 will enable the Secret Service to complete design and move to construction of the White House façade, including the residence, East and West Wings, guard booths, surrounding grounds, and roadway.
In addition to the White House mock-up facility, the request includes $8 million to enable the Secret Service to renovate and modernize the agency’s canine training facility at JJRTC to accommodate the current size of the canine program. The existing facility was built in 1983 and was designed to accommodate 14 canine kennels; the Secret Service currently operates 118 canine teams. The existing cages at the facility are smaller than the current industry standard and have caused health issues for the dogs.
The Budget also provides funds to renovate tactical training areas and refurbish existing firearms ranges at the JJRTC. Planned renovations include updates to the indoor pistol range, which currently operates on a single air handling system, and only provides heating/air conditioning for either the ranges or the classrooms when in full operation. In addition, the outdoor pistol/rifle ranges are in need of renovations to target systems, air blowers, tower operations, and lighting. The live fire “shoot house,” used for training by the special operations tactical units, has never been renovated, and is in need of infrastructure replacement, camera systems, and the addition of a classroom facility. The Tactical Village, used to recreate a city street environment for more realistic training scenarios, also requires infrastructure repair and safety enhancements.
White House Infrastructure Improvements
One of the most well publicized recommendations of the Panel was to replace the fence around the White House as quickly as possible. As documented in their report, “the ease with which ‘pranksters’ and the mentally ill can climb the current fence puts Secret Service personnel in a precarious position: When someone jumps the fence, they must decide, in a split-second, whether to use lethal force on a person who may not pose a viable threat to the President or the White House.”4 I have said in previous testimony before Congress that if someone does attempt to scale the White House fence, I want to ensure they are met with immediate and forceful resistance. But I also view the fence itself as a needed deterrent for would-be fence-jumpers.
To advance the replacement of the existing fence around the White House, the Secret Service is in the midst of a joint study with the National Park Service to develop fence options that meet both security and aesthetic criteria in recognition of the historical importance of the site. The fence study is expected to be completed next month at which point the Secret Service will immediately advance to the design stage of the project using funds provided by Congress in FY 2015.
The FY 2016 Budget provides $8.2 million, requested as two-year funds, for the construction of the new fence and associated infrastructure enhancements around the perimeter of the White House. Although the $8.2 million represents a good faith estimate on the cost to replace the fence, the agency will have a better sense of the cost once a preferred fence option is selected and the design work is underway. Once complete, these enhancements will delay individuals attempting to scale or defeat the fence, and provide our personnel with additional time to respond to these attempts. As the Panel noted, “[every] additional second of response time provided by a fence that is more difficult to climb makes a material difference in ensuring the President’s safety and protecting the symbol that is the White House.”5
Protective Technology Upgrades
While much of the Panel’s recommendations pertaining to technology included classified material, their public report made clear that “[technology] systems used on the [White House Complex] must always remain cutting edge, and the [Secret Service] must invest in technology, including becoming a driver of research and development that may assist its mission.”6 To address this recommendation, the Budget requests necessary upgrades to radio communication infrastructure to modernize and improve the reliability of audio communications at the White House Complex and throughout the National Capital Region. As noted by the Panel, these systems are obsolete and need to be upgraded. The Budget also includes funding to update all communication, video, and data systems at the Secret Service’s Joint Operations Center, which functions as the command-and-control center for protective operations at the White House Complex.
To enhance protective intelligence activities, the Budget provides funding to upgrade the system the Secret Service uses to share information between state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies with protective detail responsibilities. This information sharing system gives law enforcement the ability to better assess the level of risk that a known person of interest may pose to the law enforcement community, and is used by approximately 55 law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Capitol Police. Pursuant to the Panel’s findings, these upgrades will allow personnel to query multiple Secret Service databases simultaneously and enable faster dissemination and sharing of information. The FY 2016 Budget would also give the Secret Service’s Counter Surveillance Division the ability to link suspicious activity reports from multiple law enforcement agencies, regardless of the location. This capability would tie into the Protective Intelligence Division reporting system and allow for the immediate dissemination of adverse protective intelligence to our law enforcement partners.
Former President Obama Protective Detail
As authorized by law, the Secret Service protects former Presidents and their spouses for their lifetimes, and children of a former President who are under 16 years of age.7 As was the case with the establishment of past protective details for former Presidents, the staffing and residential security requirements for the Obama Protective Detail (“OPD”) will require funding across three fiscal years (FYs 2015-2017), with actual protective operations scheduled to begin on January 20, 2017.
Significant planning and funding are required well before that time to ensure that personnel are hired, trained, and stationed in the field to replace the more experienced special agents who will be assigned to the new protective division. Estimating the full cost of protecting a former President this early comes with inherent challenges. The Secret Service does not know at this time where the First Family will reside once they leave the White House; whether or not the daughters will be granted protection beyond 16 years of age as has been done in the past; and whether or not the President and First Lady will travel at a rate commensurate with other former Presidents and First Ladies. These variables will require close attention as they could impact out-year funding requirements.
Our enacted 2015 appropriations includes $4 million to hire 81 special agents for the OPD. The FY 2016 Budget includes second-year costs for those new hires, as well as funding to hire an additional 27 special agents and 30 administrative, professional, and technical personnel to complete the staffing requirements. The request also includes funding for permanent-change-of-station expenses and protective detail training for the special agents who will actually be assigned to the new division.
2016 Presidential Campaign
With less than two years remaining before President Obama’s term in office comes to a close, the Secret Service is preparing for campaign protection requirements similar to those of 2008, the last time no incumbent President ran for office. As authorized by law, the Secret Service protects major Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates and, within 120 days of the general Presidential election, the spouses of such candidates. Secret Service protection for major Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates is directed by the Secretary of Homeland Security after consultation with an advisory committee consisting of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the minority leader of the House of Representatives, the majority and minority leaders of the Senate, and one additional member selected by the other members of the committee. This fifth member of the advisory committee has traditionally been the Sergeant-at-Arms of either the House of Representatives or the Senate.8
During every campaign, the Secret Service’s budget temporarily grows to accommodate the surge in protection requirements associated with the presidential campaign and nominating conventions. Of the total $203.7 million requested in FY 2016 for campaign protection and campaign-related NSSEs, $54.7 million simply reflects a temporary realignment of existing base resources from the Domestic Field Office PPA to support campaign protection activities. When people ask how it is the Secret Service can protect multiple candidates traveling between different cities and states in a matter of hours, I point to the special agents who serve in our field offices around the country. Without the support of highly-trained special agents who have experience with investigations and protection, the Secret Service would be unable to handle the surges in protective operations associated with presidential campaigns, NSSEs, and major events such as the UNGA, or routine protective operations for that matter.
Since it is impossible to know how many candidates the Secret Service will be directed to protect when the campaign budget is formulated, the agency uses scenario-based modeling to estimate the projected costs of campaign protection activities. As was the case with previous campaigns, the Secret Service estimated the total number of protection days and anticipated cost per protection day to develop the budget for the 2016 Presidential Campaign. One significant change in the upcoming campaign was the announcement by the Republican and Democratic National Committees of their decision to move their respective nominating conventions earlier in the calendar year. Since the Secret Service is typically directed to begin protection of Vice Presidential candidates and their families in the lead up to these events, the number of protection days is projected to be higher than previous presidential campaigns.
Securing the two nominating conventions is one of the most expensive and challenging aspects of campaign protection. These high-profile NSSEs typically attract more than 50,000 participants each and last three to four days. The Secret Service begins work months in advance to plan and coordinate comprehensive security operations to identify and mitigate threats that could harm our protectees, other dignitaries, and the general public attending these events. For example, to mitigate the risk of a cyber attack on critical systems and infrastructure that could adversely affect security plans, special agents trained in Critical Systems Protection are responsible for securing venues that are increasingly automated and interconnected, with major building systems that can be operated remotely. For the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention, as well as for major campaign sites and the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates, the Secret Service will protect critical systems and key infrastructure associated with these venues that may be vulnerable to cyber intrusions, surveillance, and manipulation.
2 United States Secret Service Protective Mission Panel, Executive Summary to [the] Report from the United States Secret Service Protective Mission Panel to the Secretary of Homeland Security, December 15, 2014, p. 7. Available at: https://www.dhs.gov/publication/united-states-secret-service-protective-mission-panel
3 Ibid., p. 7
4 Ibid., p. 2
5 Ibid., p. 2
6 Ibid., p. 7
7 18 U.S.C. § 3056(a)(3)-(4)
8 18 U.S.C. § 3056(a)(7)
Criminal Investigative Successes
To accomplish its cyber protection mission, the Secret Service recruits from within the agency’s Electronic Crimes Special Agent Program, specifically the Computer Forensics and Network Intrusion Responder disciplines. Special agents trained in these areas are responsible for the successful investigations into many of the largest known data breaches in recent memory, including Target, TJ Maxx, Dave & Buster’s, Heartland Payment Systems, and others. Just last month, a Secret Service led investigation resulted in the arrest and extradition of Vladimir Drinkman, a Russian national who will face charges that he allegedly conspired in the largest international hacking and data breach scheme ever prosecuted in the United States.9
Investigating these crimes is not new for the Secret Service. For over three decades the agency has investigated cyber criminal activity10 and worked to counter some of the most skillful transnational cyber criminal groups. The Secret Service proactively investigates cyber crime using a variety of investigative means to infiltrate these transnational cyber criminal groups and counter every element of their criminal schemes. As a result of these proactive investigations, the Secret Service is often the first to learn of planned or ongoing data breaches and is quick to provide affected companies and institutions with actionable information to mitigate the damage from the data breach and terminate the criminal’s unauthorized access to their networks.
The Secret Service’s global network of 38 Electronic Crimes Task Forces are the foundation for the agency’s investigations of cyber crime and our primary means of sharing actionable information with potential victim companies. For example, in 2014, based on information discovered through just one of the agency’s ongoing cyber crime investigations, the Secret Service notified hundreds of U.S. entities of cyber criminal activity targeting their organizations.
The Secret Service also invests in developing the capabilities of our state and local partners. In partnership with the State of Alabama, the Secret Service operates the NCFI to train state and local law enforcement investigators, prosecutors, and judges in how to conduct computer forensic examinations, respond to network intrusion incidents, and conduct cyber crimes investigations. Graduates of NCFI typically join the Secret Service’s network of ECTFs and have frequently made vital contributions to significant Secret Service investigations of transnational cyber criminals.
As the Secret Service investigates cyber crime, we discover new and emerging cyber criminal methods and share relevant cybersecurity information broadly to enable other organizations to secure their networks while protecting ongoing investigations and the privacy of all involved. The Secret Service accomplishes these objectives through contributions to industry-leading annual reports like the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report and the Trustwave Global Security Report, and through more immediate reports, including joint Malware Initial Findings Reports (“MIFRs”).
Last year, UPS Stores Inc. used information published in a joint report on the Back-Off malware to protect itself and its customers from cyber criminal activity.11 The information in this report was derived from a Secret Service investigation of a network intrusion at a small retailer in Syracuse, New York. The Secret Service partnered with the National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (“NCCIC/US-CERT”) and the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (“FS-ISAC”) to widely share actionable cybersecurity information derived from this investigation to help numerous other organizations, while protecting the integrity of the ongoing investigation and the privacy of all parties. For UPS Stores, Inc., the result was the identification of 51 stores in 24 states that had been impacted, enabling UPS Stores, Inc. to contain and mitigate this cyber incident before it developed into a major data breach.12
As the Secret Service shares cybersecurity information discovered in the course of our criminal investigations, the agency aggressively works to apprehend and bring those involved to justice. Due to the inherent challenges in investigating transnational crime, particularly the lack of cooperation of some countries with U.S. law enforcement investigations, it can sometimes take years to finally apprehend the top tier criminals. The Secret Service works closely with its partners in the Departments of Justice and State to develop the capabilities of foreign law enforcement partners and to foster collaboration.
In July 2014, Secret Service agents arrested Roman Seleznev of Vladivostok, Russia, through an international law enforcement operation. Seleznev had been charged in Seattle in a 40-count indictment for allegedly being involved in the theft and sale of financial information of millions of customers. Seleznev is also charged in a separate indictment with participating in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization (“RICO”) and conspiracy related to possession of counterfeit and unauthorized access devices.13
The Secret Service is committed to safeguarding the Nation’s financial payment systems by defeating cyber criminal organizations. Responding to the growth of these types of crimes, and the level of sophistication these criminals employ, requires significant resources and substantial collaboration among law enforcement and its public and private sector partners. Accordingly, the Secret Service dedicates resources to improve its investigative techniques, provides training for law enforcement partners, and broadly shares actionable information on cyber threats.
9 See http://www.justice.gov/usao/nj/Press/files/Drinkman,%20Vladimir%20Extradition%20News%20Release.html
10 Congress enacted 18 U.S.C. §§ 1029-1030 as part of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 and explicitly assigned the Secret Service authority to investigate these criminal violations.
11 See http://www.us-cert.gov/security-publications/Backoff-Point-Sale-Malware
12 See UPS Store’s press release. Available at: http://www.theupsstore.com/about/media-room/Pages/The-ups-storenotifies-customers.aspx.
13 See http://www.justice.gov/usao/waw/press/2014/October/seleznev.html
Major Investment Programs
Many of the Secret Service’s non-staffing investments in cybersecurity, protective countermeasures, and IT systems are included in two programs within the agency’s budget: Information Integration and Technology Transformation (“IITT”) and Operational Mission Support (“OMS”). Prior to the establishment of these programs, in FY 2010 and FY 2012 respectively, the Secret Service did not have dedicated programs to invest in new technologies, and for many years struggled to maintain existing systems with whatever resources were left over after the agency met its payroll obligations.
Information Integration and Technology Transformation Program
The IITT program resulted from the recognition that the Secret Service’s existing IT infrastructure did not adequately serve the requirements of our mission. Additionally, in 2008, the National Security Agency identified critical IT infrastructure, architecture, and application vulnerabilities that required immediate mitigation. The IITT program includes four program capability areas: (1) Enabling Capabilities, which consists of projects related to modernization of the existing IT infrastructure; (2) Control Capabilities, which consists of two projects that will provide the IT tools necessary to secure and control access to Secret Service information; (3) Mission Support Capabilities, which includes operational and administrative applications that directly and indirectly support the Secret Service’s mission; and (4) Communications Capabilities, which was originally conceived in 2009 to enable full communications compatibility with the White House Communications Agency and includes acquisition and sustainment of communications devices.
The FY 2016 Budget includes $45.2 million for the IITT program. This funding will continue investments in IT network modernization, data systems, applications, security, and communications to fully support present operational requirements and sustain prior year investments and achievements.
Combined Operations Logistics Database 2
While the IITT program has provided the Secret Service with a more secure, efficient, and effective IT infrastructure, one disappointment is the Combined Operations Logistics Database 2 (“COLD2”) project, which was planned to provide software applications and systems related to event planning, human and technical resource deployment, notification processes, and tracking. However, last month the contracting officer at the Defense Information Systems Agency (“DISA”) informed the Secret Service that Option 3 of the COLD2 contract would not be exercised due to contractor performance.
Although the COLD2 requirements are still valid, the contractor did not demonstrate sufficient progress in meeting the contract objectives. The task proved too large and too complex for a single undertaking. As a consequence, the Secret Service has reviewed our requirements and concluded that UD scheduling, event planning, and enterprise-wide scheduling are our sequential priorities. We have approached the Department for assistance in performing an independent analysis to determine the best path forward to address our prioritized requirements with options on technical approach and contracting strategies, and I have directed my staff to keep the Committee updated on these developments.
Operational Mission Support Program
To address unmet engineering, scientific, and security technology needs on the White House Complex, Vice President’s Residence, and at temporary sites visited by the President and Vice President, elements of the OMS program were funded through reprogrammings in FY 2010 and FY 2011 before being put on-budget in FY 2012. OMS supports advanced protective countermeasures projects for high-priority hazardous materials detection systems, audio countermeasures, physical security enhancements at the White House Complex, and cyber protection activities to address known and emerging threats directed towards the Secret Service’s protective interests.
The FY 2016 request includes $50.7 million for the OMS program, an $8.5 million increase over the FY 2015 enacted level to accommodate the requirements of the Next Generation Limousine. The majority of the funds requested in FY 2016 for OMS will be used to operate, maintain, and sustain capabilities established in previous years, to include personnel costs, life cycle equipment replacement, training, and testing.
Although much attention is deservedly focused on the Panel’s recommendations, I ask for your continued support of these established investment programs which have improved Secret Service operations and closed critical security gaps over the past five years.
I care deeply about the Secret Service and agreed to return to public life to make a difference. It is my highest honor to represent a workforce I believe is second to none. Much of what I have seen in the past five months gives me great hope, but I also understand the amount of work that needs to be done to put the Secret Service on a path for future success. Strong leadership is a hallmark of any great agency, and I have started to assemble a team of people I believe will take a fresh look at the way the Secret Service operates and will continuously strive for innovation and excellence in the fulfillment of the agency’s clear statutory mission.
As noted by the Panel, the replacement of aging infrastructure and investments in technology to ensure the Secret Service is on the cutting edge of emerging threats is critical, but successful stewardship of the agency also requires that I invest in our people. That investment begins by ensuring that staffing levels across the agency are commensurate with the demands of the mission and that training is not viewed as a discretionary function.
With the support of the Department and the Congress over the next several years, I am confident that we can put the Secret Service on a path to success for many decades to come. Chairman Carter, Ranking Member Roybal-Allard, this concludes my written testimony. I welcome any questions you have at this time.