Private security guards at the Social Security Administration have been spending their time watching television, making long personal phone calls, and even taking naps. The activities were observed between January and August 2010 by investigators from the agency’s office of inspector general, The Washington Post reported
The investigation was conducted at SSA headquarters in suburban Baltimore and concerned guards employed by Paragon Systems of Chantilly. The private firm provides security at other federal offices in the Washington area, the Post said.
The investigation also found that guards were failing to check ID badges and were unable to operate an X-ray scanner, vehicle barriers, and other security equipment. Telephone records during one month and a half period showed 227 calls lasting 20 minutes or more and 23 more than an hour. Investigators concluded the calls “were not of a business nature,” the Post said.
The revelations come amidst reports that threats against SSA employees have jumped from 897 in fiscal 2007 to 2,336 last year. Paragon called the report misleading and said it “gives an incomplete picture of the swift actions taken by Paragon to resolve these problems, including replacing personnel and installing an independent quality control officer to monitor progress,” the company said in a statement according to the Post.
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