The Navy reportedly allowed security to loosen at the D.C. Navy Yard and other facilities in an effort to cut costs, a soon-to-be-released government audit will reveal, and the Navy is already ordering a complete security review at all facilities.
Time's Alex Rogers reports an upcoming audit from the Pentagon inspector general has been in the works since September 2012 to determine whether "the Navy Commercial Access Control System [NCACS] is mitigating access-control risks to Navy installations." The report, to-be-released soon, will find the Navy "did not effectively mitigate access-control risks associated with contractor-installation access," at installations like the D.C. Navy Yard. The lapses came from an effort "to reduce access-control costs," the report concludes.
On Monday, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis used the access card granted to him as a Naval contractor to enter a building at the D.C. Navy Yard and kill 12 civilians and injure many more, including two law enforcement officials, despite a long history of gun-related arrests and mental health issues. Alexis should have been flagged by a background check as a risk. But this report will show that, before yesterday's tragic events, he was not the worst offender granted access to Navy facilities:
The audit shows a history of those with criminal records managing to bypass the Navy’s security. Fifty-two “convicted felons received routine unauthorized installation access, placing military personnel, attendants, civilians in installations at an increased security risk,” according to the audit.
Too bad it's too little, too late. Now the backlash to bolster security at Navy facilities in the wake of yesterday's shooting and the forthcoming report has already begun. Fox News reports Navy Secretary Ray Mabus will order today a full security review at all facilities.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.