Editor’s Note: It’s now been a year since this news broke. Have you seen this happening at your own duty station? Have any of your concerns come to light? Would you make any changes?
Military officials have been taking an “unnecessary safety and security risk to military personnel, their dependents…and assets” by not properly screening civilian tenants who apply to live in privatized housing on base, the Defense Department Inspector General has found.
In some cases, that included failing to conduct criminal background checks at one of the Defense Department’s most highly classified sensitive installations, Fort Detrick, Maryland, home to the military’s chemical and biological research programs.
“The consequences of unauthorized access to these types of facilities could be catastrophic,” the Inspector General auditors wrote.
According to the report, some of the tenants also received access badges that expired after their lease is ended, including some that exceeded the lease termination date by six months or more.
In addition to Fort Detrick, IG auditors reviewed the records at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana; and Naval Station Mayport, Florida.
They found that of the 128 general public tenants they reviewed, 120 received unescorted access to their base without the required background checks, and 61 received access badges that expired after the lease termination dates.
Karen Jowers covers military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times. She can be reached at kjowe