Pentagon beefs up info sharing after Fort Hood review

Defense secretary mandates that commanders, supervisors get increased access to personnel and medical records on potentially violent staff

In the wake of the review of fatal shootings at Fort Hood, Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered the military to adopt tighter security measures and improve methods that unit commanders use to share medical information about potentially violent individuals under their command.

Gates’ Aug. 18 memorandum came in response to a series of recommendations made by a DOD review panel that looked at security lapses surrounding actions of the alleged Fort Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, accused of killing 13 and wounding another 43 at the Army base on Nov. 5. Hasan survived and has been charged in the attack. DOD released the panel’s final recommendations on Aug. 20.

To protect against another attack, Gates ordered that commanders and supervisors have access to appropriate information in personnel records. He also ordered that installations share that information with one other and with outside law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI. Gates also said DOD needs to do a better job at responding to emergencies—and that it must clarify its roles and responsibilities for providing security at its domestic installations.

Gates ordered DOD to examine ways to update clearance procedures, including better background checks on those entering DOD employment. Background checks for security clearances at the Secret level were unsatisfactory, the panel noted in its findings.

“The tragic shooting of U.S. military personnel at Fort Hood underscored the need for the DOD to thoroughly review its approach to force protection,” Gates said. “These initiatives will significantly improve the department’s ability to mitigate internal threats, ensure force protection, enable emergency response and provide care for victims and families.”

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group