Stung by the prostitution scandal in Colombia on the eve of Summit of Americas on April 14-15 the United States Secret Service, on Friday toughened its “standard of conduct” by imposing restrictions for agents and other staff.
Strict restrictions have been clamped on drinking alcohol, while ban has been imposed on “patronizing of non-reputable establishments,” and a complete prohibition on agents bringing foreign nationals back to their hotel rooms.
According to Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary drinking is off-limits 10 hours before the shift of an agent starts and should be consumed only “in moderate amounts” while off duty. When the official to be protected arrives, the consumption of alcohol is entirely forbidden.
The tough standards of conduct becomes effective immediately.
He said standards of conduct briefings will be conducted for all protective visits, events and NSSEs, as well as prior to foreign car plane departures.
The US Department of State Regional Security Officer will work with the advance team of United States Secret Service (USSS) to provide intensified country-specific briefings upon arrival in a foreign country. The briefings will update personnel on safety issues, off-limit zones and off-limit establishments for USSS personnel, and any country-specific rules imposed by the Ambassador.
Foreign nationals, excluding hotel staff and official counterparts, are prohibited in the hotel room of Secret Service agents.
He further explained that alcohol may only be consumed in moderate amounts while off-duty on a TDY assignment and its use is prohibited within 10 hours of reporting for duty. Not only that alcohol may not be consumed at the protectee hotel once the protective visit has begun.
As per the new rules and regulations car planes will be staffed with two GS-15 supervisors––one from the Office of Professional Responsibility and one from the field. The car plane supervisors will be responsible for briefing the standards of conduct expectations prior to departure to the destination country, as well as for enforcing these standards while in the foreign country.
The enhanced standard of conduct says that all personnel travelling will have to have completed relevant LMS-based ethics training in order to be eligible for protective travel. The Security Clearance Division will intensify country-specific briefings covering all pertinent topics prior to departure for the destination country. Laws of the United States shall apply to Secret Service personnel while abroad.
The above steps have been taken with a view to refurbishing the image of the Secret Service on whom President Obama has reposed full faith even after the April 13 embarrassment.