Posts Tagged Secret Service

Industry Talk: PSC That Handled The White House’s ‘Burn Bag’, Files For Bankruptcy

This isn’t good. lol I mean a lot of attention is put on overseas security contracts, but what about stuff like this? I am not familiar with TW & Co. but it is odd to me that they would owe this much in taxes and no one, to include the Secret Service, did not know about this? Or they knew what was going on, and they just looked the other way. Who knows?

Which also begs the question, why is a company like this even allowed to ‘sell off’ it’s contracts, and especially after showing such irresponsibility? How about kicking them off the contract, and re-bid the thing using ‘best value’ as a tool to get the best deal for the White House?

The 617-worker company said it would use the bankruptcy case to shut down its operations and sell off its 22 contracts for the best price it can find.

And if the Secret Service is in charge of this stuff, that maybe they should keep a little closer tabs on the companies that operate this close to the Presidency? (although they have been busy with their own problems recently….)

In my view, every company that works there, should be the best and most squeaky clean companies out there.  Hopefully, whomever they sell these 22 contracts too will be responsible folks that actually pay their taxes. –Matt

 

Security Firm Handled White House’s ‘Burn Bag’
By Katy Stech
April 30, 2012
The government contractor that disposed of the White House’s secrets kept one of its own: It hasn’t paid its taxes in full since 2008.
That admission came spilling out into bankruptcy court less than a week after Maryland-based security-guard provider TW & Co. filed for Chapter 11 protection owing nearly $3 million on its federal tax bill. The 617-worker company said it would use the bankruptcy case to shut down its operations and sell off its 22 contracts for the best price it can find.
“The end game is an orderly liquidation,” bankruptcy attorney James Greenan told Bankruptcy Beat.
So far, a bankruptcy judge has allowed the company to transfer management of its biggest contracts to a subcontractor, ensuring that the federal institutions like the historic Winder Building, some Smithsonian buildings and several Air Force bases don’t go unwatched as the company searches for a buyer to take on the work permanently.

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Executive Protection: Some Thoughts On How To Protect Members Of Congress

     I thought this first article was a good little run down of some commonsense moves for protecting members of congress.  Of course all of this is coming out after the recent shooting that killed six and critically wounded Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona. The other two articles detail the potential for copycat killers, and what members of congress think about their own personal security or lack of it.

     Although I would have liked to have heard more of a discussion about private security and specifically privatized executive protection services for members of congress.  We use highly trained private security specialists to protect members of congress in war zones through programs like WPS, but what about for members of congress in the US?  Perhaps a similar program could be started just to meet the needs of congress throughout the nation?

    Or a stipend could be given to members of congress with the idea that they could contract the services of competent executive protection specialists wherever they go in the nation.  To depend upon police departments purely for this type of security could be a strain on them in terms of man power and financially, or these officers could be the wrong tool for the job.  In some parts of the country, I don’t know if a member of congress would want a police officer watching their back. Meaning there are some cops out there that are very low paid and minimally trained for high end executive protection duties.  Private industry is very good at this task, and this is their bread and butter.

     Finally, the government could just ramp up the Secret Service and task them to get this going.  They could literally assign a detail to every member of congress, and give everyone custom tailored protection.  Of course the cost of this could be pretty high, but they are leaders of this country and they are public figures.  Or we could tell members of congress to wear a vest, a gun, and tell them to hope for the best. It is a dangerous world out there and executive protection services, either private or public, should be a priority. –Matt

How to Protect Members of Congress

Officials warn of Arizona copycat attacks

Lawmakers rethink security after Arizona shooting

How to Protect Members of Congress

It doesn’t have to break the budget to provide the security they need.

By Marc Ambinder

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On Wednesday, the FBI and the U.S. Capitol Police will brief members of Congress on basic security precautions they can take when they’re interacting with constituents. Also on the agenda: an explanation of how Capitol Police officers conduct threat assessments. What the members are likely to hear may be as simple as surrounding themselves with aides wearing suits or setting up a thin rope line to create a slight barrier between them and possible danger.

They will also hear about threats beyond the shooting in Tucson, Ariz. Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrence Gainer told WTOP Radio on Monday that he had referred 49 threats against senators alone to the FBI within the past year. But the rarity of actual assassination attempts against members of Congress underscores the challenge for investigators.

“A lot of people will talk, but a tiny few will act; and most who act tend not to talk beforehand,” is how one current federal agent describes people who threaten public officials.

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Leadership: Dealing With Crisis–A Look At Toyota, Tiger Woods, And The Secret Service

     The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.-Martin Luther King Jr.

*****

    I wanted to look outside of the industry today, and see what I could learn from other companies or organizations that are going through crisis.  Specifically, organizations that have typically been looked at as solid performers and highly dependable.  I talk about Toyota a lot on this blog, and Kaizen is an immensely inspirational concept here.  Tiger Woods and the Secret Service are also leaders in their industries, and have been held up to a high standard as well.  What they all have in common is that they have all faced ‘problems’ that have negatively impacted their reputations.

   What I wanted to highlight with all cases, is that the actions of the CEO or leaders of these organizations during times of crisis, is absolutely vital.  And in all cases, minus maybe the Secret Service, these groups are taking some serious hits because the leaders are not doing enough to either apologize or to make amends for the actions of their organizations. Perception is everything, and all of these groups listed below are taking some big hits for their actions, or lack there of.

   So what can we learn from them?  Well for Toyota and Tiger Woods, the verdict is still out.  But at the very least, we can deduct that the media and public want some honesty and they want some apologies for not living up to their ideals.  The public has a vision of what these companies are supposed to be, and it is up to those companies to live up to that image.  After all, these guys did not start off with bad reputations and in fact have sterling reputations.  These two companies have mad a lot of money off of that reputation, so it is up to them to do what they can to live up to it.

   It’s the same with the Secret Service, but Mr. Sullivan had to answer to congress for the actions of the Secret Service and the Secret Service does not work for profit.  But they do work for the tax payers and the President, and they are accountable.  With the Iraqi shoe incident under President Bush, and with the Salahi incident with President Obama, these two incidents were very public embarrassments that the USSS had to deal with. There were some in the media that were calling for Mr. Sullivan’s resignation even.  Although I think some public trust has been diminished with these incidents, for the most part, the USSS has recovered and are out of the limelight.  What took the edge off, in my opinion, was Mr. Sullivan getting out front about it all and taking full blame.

    Which begs the question? Why wasn’t there dismissals or reprimands for this incident?  I suspect that because this is government, that firing people or reprimands are just ‘too stern’ and harsh for the Secret Service. Firing some folks would have added some action to the apology given, but in today’s touchy feely government, probably too extreme.

     Or maybe it was because Mr. Sullivan was up front and took the blame right off the bat, that the public really didn’t apply the pressure necessary to force a punishment?  He is still in that position, and still tasked with the protection of the President.  I also don’t see a push for his removal from any kind of massive outrage from the taxpayers.

   So what can we learn from this? Having some humility in the face of crisis, is something that leaders need think about when it comes to dealing with the public.  Of course you also want to be a source of strength and stability for your company, but you also want to show that you care what the public thinks.

     Maybe all of these groups got too comfortable with their position, and maybe bleeding a little was good for them?Maybe the leaders will get humble again, and try to redeem themselves? A lot depends upon the leader, and how they deal with crisis, and this industry certainly has had it’s fair share of that.  Learning from other companies, and how they deal with crisis, is an excellent idea if you care about ‘being prepared’ for future incidents. Interesting stuff, and I would like to hear what you guys think are the lessons learned? –Matt

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Toyota and Tiger Woods: Kindred spirits

By Alex Taylor III

February 11, 2010

NEW YORK (Fortune) — The question is being raised more and more: Can Toyota recover its reputation?

There is no simple answer. The automaker once enjoyed exceptional renown. In addition to being the largest and most profitable auto company on the planet, Toyota was the most studied and copied. Its production system became a benchmark and a model for competitors to emulate around the world.

On top of that, Toyota was known for always putting the customer first, hence its passion for building cars with the highest quality and reliability. The automaker obsessively studied car buyers to find out what they wanted and then provided it for them. It became a leader in new vehicle segments like crossovers, and new technologies like gas-electric hybrids.

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Washington DC: White House Security Breach

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Funny Stuff: Security Sweep

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Secret Service agents perform a security sweep on Ukrainian cultural performers before Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko and U.S. President George W. Bush arrive at St. Sophia’s Cathedral in Kiev, April 1, 2008. 

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