Why the U.S. Secret Service is ‘in Crisis’

December 3, 2015, 8:56 PM UTC
US Secret Service Director Joe Clancy testifies before a joint Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, November 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Jim Watson—AFP via Getty Images

A congressional committee released a damning report about the U.S. Secret Service on Thursday that detailed embarrassing security lapses, high attrition rates, and low morale at the agency tasked with protecting the president and other national leaders.

“The agency’s weaknesses have been exposed by a series of security failures,” the bipartisan report said, citing multiple incidents, including a gunman firing shots at the White House, a prostitution scandal in Colombia, and a booze-fueled jaunt in which agents interfered with a crime scene.

The episodes of mistake and misconduct mark a low point for the law enforcement outfit, which the report described as an “agency in crisis.” The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which conducted the investigation, recommended that the agency restore peoples’ trust by meeting its mission and staffing up.

“The agency’s recent public failures are not a series of isolated events, but the product of an insular culture that has historically been resistant to change,” the report concluded.

The problems, according to the committee, stem from budget cuts beginning in 2011, a workforce stretched too thin, mismanagement, and sinking morale.

The Secret Service said in a statement to Fortune that it is currently reviewing the 200-page report. The body of that note below.

The Secret Service has received a draft copy of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s 200-page report on Wednesday afternoon, and appreciates the work that went into it.

Our leadership has long acknowledged that, in addition to its many successes, the Secret Service faces many challenges. Over the past year, under the leadership of Director Joseph Clancy, the Secret Service has taken a number of steps to address these challenges, including altering the way the Secret Service is structured and managed, striving to hire new members of its workforce, expanding training opportunities for current employees, and implementing the other recommendations of the independent Protective Mission Panel.

The Secret Service is taking the time to give the document the serious and thorough review a report from this Committee deserves. Addressing all of these challenges will take time and we are committed to continuing to improve the Secret Service, address its challenges, and build on its proud tradition of accomplishment.

Follow Robert Hackett on Twitter at @rhhackett. Read his cybersecurity, technology, and business coverage here. And subscribe to Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily newsletter on the business of technology, where he writes a weekly column.

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