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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommends the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rework its security protocols following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. DHS has specific protocols to respond to special events that require increased security.

  • Triana McNeil, director of homeland security and justice issues at GAO, said DHS does not agree with its recommendations, adding, “which we found somewhat disturbing because they’re really easy lifts.”
  • DHS did not deem three key events on Jan. 6 to be National Special Security Events; GAO recommends the department increase the factors it uses to make these decisions and clarify its policy for requesting a special security designation, explained McNeil.
  • DHS indicated it needs ample lead time to make designations, develop security plans and implement them, but the accommodations it made for last-minute changes during a 2015 papal visit suggest it is able to move quickly, said McNeil.
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