GSA-Approved Security Equipment
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Under what circumstances should a GSA-approved security container used for classified storage be inspected for recertification?
A. When the security integrity of a GSA-approved container or vault door is in question, including every case where the external GSA approval label is missing, an inspection by a trained inspector can determine whether the security integrity is intact or, if it is not, whether it can be restored. The container's or vault door's custodian may request such an inspection. Favorable results of the inspection enable the inspector to relabel the container. (QA1. 3/20/06)
Q. If a container cannot be recertified, what must be done to prevent it from being used for classified storage in the future?
A. The external GSA approval label should be removed, if it is present. The container should be marked in some way to indicate that it is not approved for classified storage. The status of the container shall be indicated on the inspector's report to the customer and to the inspector's training organization, and on the Optional Form 89. (QA2. 2/23/16)
Q. Have any GSA-approved security products lost their approval?
A. Yes: the Art Metal Class 5 single-lock 2-drawer and 4-drawer security containers are no longer approved. The external GSA approval label shall be removed, the container shall be removed from service and the container's status reported as above. (QA3. 3/20/06)
Q. What modifications will cause a GSA-approved container to permanently lose its approval?
A. Any drilling into or welding to a GSA-approved container will permanently void its security integrity. There is no approved repair for the body or frame of a GSA-approved container. The only approved repair is to a hole no larger than 3/8" diameter drilled under the dial ring in accordance with FED-STD-809. (QA4. 3/20/06)
Q. Must replacement parts be from the original manufacturer?
A. With the exception of drawerheads, which may be from GSA-approved sources, all parts for containers or locks shall be from the original manufacturer. They may be new or may be cannibalized from other containers / locks. (QA5. 3/20/06)
Q. How should inspectors determine whether lock case mounting screws are acceptable?
A. The lock case mounting screws shall be tight to prevent any movement of the lockcase. Lock washers and / or a threadlocking compound may be used. (QA6. 3/20/06)
Q. When a mechanical combination lock is installed or reinstalled, must a new spline key be used?
A. Yes. (QA7. 3/20/06)
Q. Are missing label holders a sufficient reason for not recertifying a container?
A. No. Their absence must be noted in the inspector's report and on the Optional Form 89. (QA8. 2/23/16)
Q. Containers manufactured prior to the requirement for external GSA approval labels were approved for classified storage. Do such containers require inspection for recertification?
A. Yes. GSA's policy is that the external GSA approval label must be present for the container to be considered GSA-approved. (Since such containers are approximately fifty years old and replacement parts are no longer available, replacing them with currently manufactured containers is recommended.) (QA9. 3/20/06)
Q. If an inspection determines that a GSA-approved product's security integrity has been voided, should the inspector remove the external GSA approval label, if it is present?
A. The label should be removed. The written agreement authorizing the technician to inspect the container should authorize him / her to remove the label, if it is present, in the event that the container / vault door fails the inspection. (QA10. 3/20/06)
Q. What is the recommended procedure to follow if an inspector observes or suspects unauthorized modifications to a container, vault door, or its boltwork or lock?
A. The inspector should stop the inspection, immediately notify the security manager, and record all details in the inspection report. (QA11. 3/20/06)
Q. Can a drilled drawerhead be repaired and maintain its security integrity?
A. A drawerhead can maintain its security integrity as long as the drilled opening and repair were done in accordance with FED-STD-809. (QA12. 3/20/06)
Q. If the identification and certification labels on the side of the control drawer or inside a cabinet or door have been removed, can they be replaced?
A. No, they cannot be replaced. The absence of those labels is not a cause for denying recertification of the container or vault door. (QA13. 3/20/06)
Q. How is quality of instruction in the inspection training classes maintained?
A. Members of the IACSE SEALS Subcommittee will perform periodic audits of the classes. Currently there are two approved training organizations: Lockmasters Security Institute and MBA USA, Inc. To obtain contact information for these training orgranizations, visit the GSA-Approved Security Equipment Inspector Training page. (QA14. 3/20/06)