Securing Congress

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01/21/2011

Members of the House of Representative have been given the OK the spend up to $10,000 to improve the physical security systems in their district offices, something that's obviously on the mind of many following the Jan. 8 tragedy in Tuscon, where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others were shot, and six people were killed.

The pre-approval is only for one security installation and monitoring company, ADT, according to a story in Roll Call.  Members of Congress who want to spend more than $10,000 or use a company other than ADT must seek special approval from the House Sargeant-at-Arms.

ADT, the story notes, is on the GSA schedule.

From the story: "A spokeswoman for House Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Livingood said he is not showing preference for ADT because he is “precluded from endorsing any one company or product.”

“However, ADT is a nationwide company that is on the [General Services Administration] schedule,” spokeswoman Kerri Hanley said in an e-mail. “They can provide a standardized level of equipment and performance to all Members in all districts. ADT provides similar services to the Senate and courts and understands the nuances of protecting high profile clients.”

Indeed, as SSN reported in 2002 and 2006, ADT got a contract in 2002 to secure U.S. courthouses  and in 2006, following the murder of family members of a federal judge, ADT was given a contract to install and monitor security systems in the homes of federal judges.ADT subsequently got the contract to monitor the systems as well.

Members of Congress haven't hesitated to use other security companies, however, and the report says that members have opted to use Per Mar Security, Alliance Security Systems and Guardian Protection Services and First Solutions, Inc.

Here's a link to the story.