Treasury Department Memorandum
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
May 1, 1995
OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
MEMORANDUM FOR SECRETARY RUBIN
Valerie Lau (signed)
Department of Treasury's White House Security Review
On September 12, 1994, the Department announced a two-phased inquiry into the aircraft crash that day at the White House. The
Secretary asked Mr. Ronald K. Noble, Under Secretary for Enforcement, and Mr. Eljay Bowron, Director of the United States Secret Service (Secret Service), to conduct a multi-agency law enforcement investigation of the aircraft crash and to lead a thorough review of the procedures used to protect the President and First Family in such incidents. As part of this review, the Department was to examine and evaluate:
- The facts of the September 12, 1994 aircraft crash on the White House's South Lawn;
- The dangers posed to the White House complex and the protectees therein, by air and ground assaults;
- The adequacy of Secret Service's current procedures and policies for addressing these dangers;
- The effectiveness of established mechanisms for communicating to Secret Service vital intelligence information concerning possible air and ground assaults received by all relevant federal, state and local authorities concerning these risks;
- The feasibility of state-of-the-art technologies to enhance Secret Service's capability to safeguard the White House complex and protectees therein from air and ground assaults; and,
- The need to keep the White House as open and accessible to the public as possible consistent with valid security needs,
The Department further announced the Secretary's selection of an independent advisory committee to monitor and provide guidance to the review team and to ensure a comprehensive and impartial review. The advisory committee members were selected because of their national prominence, integrity and law enforcement or other relevant expertise. The advisory committee was responsible for reviewing the review team's findings and providing an independent assessment of the information contained in the final report.
Role of the Office of Inspector General
The Under Secretary for Enforcement requested the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to monitor the review and its findings and report to the Secretary on the thoroughness and objectivity of the review's final report. Also, the OIG was to comment on whether relevant information obtained during the investigation was properly consolidated and included in the final report.
The OIG's oversight role expanded to 'include subsequent events added to the scope of the review. For example, the OIG monitored the review team's examination of the October 29, 1994 shooting which occurred at the White House.
In our opinion,-the Department's review was both objective and comprehensive. The review team vigorously and thoroughly examined al significant information surrounding the September 12, -1994 aircraft crash, the October 29, 1994 shooting incident, and other pertinent aspects of White House security. In addition, the review team's report addresses all the issues that either were included in the team's investigative plan or otherwise came to the review team's attention. To the best of our knowledge, the review team's findings are consistent with the facts developed and accurately reflect the circumstances surrounding the aircraft crash and the shooting.
Scope and Methodology
We arrived at our conclusions by determining whether the review team
From the project's outset, we provided our views and comments on an ongoing basis to the project leadership as we thought would be appropriate, The team satisfactorily addressed our issues and associated questions during the review,
Our opinion is based on our review of
- identified all appropriate issues for investigation and appropriately considered each issue in the team's planning process;
- reviewed pertinent documentation and information obtained by other law enforcement organizations involved in the incidents;
- identified and interviewed all appropriate individuals that could provide insight on the issues being examined;
- properly followed and satisfactorily resolved all appropriate leads from interviews with Secret Service agents and management personnel and other relevant persons;
- consulted external experts to obtain an independent assessment of the Secret Service's planning training, and execution of its mission as it relates to the White House;
- properly considered input and advice provided by the advisory committee; and,
- reflected in the resultant report the body of information examined, and arrived at well-founded conclusions.
We participated in selected interviews where we observed the review team's work, and we accompanied the team on walkthroughs of the White House and the FAA's flight control tower at National Airport. We also attended numerous team status meetings in which project leaders discussed the team's' efforts and the follow-up necessary to satisfactorily pursue and resolve issues,
- all reports which Secret Service and its external consultants provided to the review team;
- memoranda of interview from selected interviews with .Secret Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Park Service and other personnel either knowledgeable or associated with aspects of White House security;
- other pertinent documentation related to Secret Service's investigation of the September 12, 1994 aircraft crash, the October 29, 1994 shooting incident at the White House, and subsequent events.
We attended advisory committee briefings to observe the quality of the information provided for the advisory committee's use in assessing Treasury's White House security review. We believe that the information provided was accurate, based on information obtained at that time by team investigators, and was relevant to the main issues under examination. Additionally we attended selected briefings with experts employed to assist in evaluating Secret Service's tactical operations and training. The experts' recommendations have adequately been considered and the results of their reports have been incorporated in the final report.
In our opinion, the review team's report provides an accurate account of the events examined. Furthermore, we believe that any conclusions made by the review team have a basis in fact and are consistent with the nature of the findings developed.
During the course of our oversight role, the project leaders cooperated fully and provided us unrestricted access to the information and documentation compiled by the review team during its investigation. We would like to compliment the team for a job well done.
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