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Review of DOT's Analysis of the Washington Nationals' Parking Proposal

The Deputy Secretary of Transportation asked the Inspector General to perform an independent review of a DOT Office of Security (DOT/OS) analysis of a proposal by Major League Baseball's Washington Nationals (the Nationals) to obtain game-day parking privileges in DOT Headquarters' underground parking garage, approximately two blocks away from the Nationals' new baseball stadium. The Secretary of Transportation had decided that DOT could not agree to the proposal, given the Department's obligation to ensure the safety and security of DOT personnel and resources. This decision was based in part on DOT/OS's analysis of the proposal, which identified numerous security, logistical, and cost concerns with the proposal.

We found that DOT/OS personnel sufficiently addressed risk management-related factors identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which focus on assessing threats, vulnerabilities, and consequences. In addition, DOT/OS personnel adequately considered U.S. Department of Justice and other relevant Federal building security criteria and consulted with other Federal agencies, as appropriate, in conducting their analysis of the Nationals' proposal. However, DOT/OS personnel did not fully research and quantify the logistical and cost concerns identified by their analysis nor consider options for implementing all or part of the Nationals' proposal. From a security perspective, DOT/OS determined that the proposal was unworkable without significantly increasing guard services and expanding security operations. And even if such measures were implemented, DOT personnel and resources would still face increased risks without any benefit to DOT's missions. Because of limited historical data and the inherent uncertainties in risk assessment, DOT/OS and other Office of the Secretary officials had to apply policy and analytic judgments in reaching their conclusions. We found no basis to take exception with those judgments.

The results of our review were presented to the Deputy Secretary on January 25, 2008. The memorandum presenting our results was then processed under the Freedom of Information Act and redacted pursuant to Exemption 2 to address security concerns.