The General Services Administration (GSA), in conjunction with the Interagency Committee on Security
Equipment (IACSE), has developed a program to determine if security equipment is approved to store classified
information and arms, ammunitions, and explosives (AA&E). The objective of the program is to provide a
uniform and consistent method of evaluating existing security equipment to determine if it meets GSA configuration
and performance specifications.
Information Security Oversight Office, Classified National Security Information Directive
; Final Rule, Sec. 2001.42 Standards for security equipment [4.1] states:
"The Administrator of General Services shall, in coordination with agency heads originating classified information, establish and publish uniform standards, specifications and
supply schedules for security equipment designed to provide secure storage for and destruction of classified information.
Whenever new security equipment is procured, it shall be in conformance with the standards and specifications established by the Administrator of General Services, and shall, to the maximum extent possible, be of the type available through the Federal Supply System."
General Services Administration (GSA) security containers and vault doors MUST have a GSA approval label or a GSA recertification label on the front of the equipment in order to store classified national security information (NSI) or arms, ammunitions, and explosives (AA&E).
The IACSE SEALS subcommittee, in coordination with GSA, writes and maintains federal performance specifications for security equipment used to protect classified information, weapons, explosives, and sensitive assets.
Commercial manufacturers develop products to meet those specifications and submit them to GSA for validation testing.
Products that pass validation testing are approved by GSA and are identified by a GSA label applied to the outside surface of the container drawer or door (labels are not applied to GSA approved combination locks).
Original labels may be missing from the container or vault door for a variety of reasons: the container or door may have been opened/repaired in an unauthorized manner; the glue dried out and the label fell off;
or a custodian removed the label without realizing it's importance.
Regardless of the reason for the labels absence, the user does not know if the container provides the intended level of security.
Some federal or contractor security managers may have containers or vault doors that have left government control or were in the possession of other government agencies.
This may lead a security manager to question their security integrity even though they still have a GSA approval label.
If the integrity of a security container is questionable, it should be inspected.
Certified Container: When a security container is manufactured, it is considered "certified" after GSA determines it meets the specifications in existence at the time of production.
This is shown on a test certification label located on the side of the control drawer / back of door that provides the product's model and serial numbers, date of manufacture, manufacturer's name
and address, and the Government contract number.
The "GSA Approval Label" on the front of the control drawer or door also shows certification.
Authorized Inspector: When a person takes the appropriate classes from an approved training facility and passes the exams, they obtain authorization valid for three years.
This authorization allows them to inspect, approve, and recertify that a container may store classified material or AA&E.
When the container or vault door is approved, the inspector may place a GSA approved recertified label on it.
Recertification: A formal process by which a container or vault door previously approved by GSA is inspected and determined to be in
compliance with requirements for storage of classified material or arms, ammunitions, and explosives (AA&E).