Oversight of the Secret Service

Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Hearing Date: November 15, 2016 10:30 am 2154 Rayburn HOB

TAKEAWAYS:
  • Adequate compensation for overtime hours worked during the 2016 presidential campaign has not been paid to USSS employees. Chairman Chaffetz introduced legislation (HR 6302) that allows agents to receive additional pay for overtime hours worked during this time.
  • The investigative mission placed an additional burden on USSS employees and distracts from the core mission of protecting the president and others.
  • The Agency continues to suffer technology failures casting doubt on its ability to protect the nations financial infrastructure.
  • USSS employees are promoted to senior management positions despite alleged misconduct, including viewing and sending pornography on official computers and misusing official vehicles.
  • Subpoenaed documents containing information related to alleged misconduct by senior leadership continue to be withheld from Congress, resulting in obstruction of the Committee’s reform efforts.

PURPOSE:

  • To examine allegations that United States Secret Service (USSS) agents are not receiving compensation for overtime hours.
  • To review implementation of recommendations made by the Oversight Committee and Blue-Ribbon Panel.
  • To review Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General reports addressing USSS’s inadequate protection of sensitive information.

BACKGROUND: 

  • A 2015 Committee report found that the USSS was experiencing a staffing crisis that threatened to jeopardize its critical mission.
  • USSS has been implementing reforms but remains plagued by low staffing levels, high attrition rates, and an inability to compensate for overtime worked on protective missions. 

KEY VIDEOS:

Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT): “If we can’t trust the senior most people in the Secret Service you’re right, they’re going to have to lose their keys to the kingdom . . . I want to look at those files. And guess what, that’s the way Congress is set up . . . we have the right and the duty and the obligation to look at it. That’s what oversight is all about.”

Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC): “I continue to hear from agents who say the systemic problem within the service is not about the systems, it’s not about the computer systems, it’s about the 8th floor. It’s about the management . . . we continue to upend them and when are we going to fix that problem?”

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-FL): “One of the things that frustrates us, that frustrates people back home is that something deplorable did happen, something awful did happen, that the Secret Service of the United States used private records about a sitting member of Congress to try and make him look bad and undermine his authority . . . nobody was fired . . . Homeland Security actually reduced the amount of discipline . . .”

Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
The Honorable John Roth Inspector General Department of Homeland Security Document
Mr. Tom Dougherty Chief Strategy Officer U.S. Secret Service Document
BGen Kevin Nally, Ret. Chief Information Officer U.S. Secret Service
The Honorable Patrick P. O'Carroll, Jr Executive Director Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Document