Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act “gutted”

Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act “gutted”

The FY 97 Department of Defense Reauthorization Act (PL 104-201) had incorporated into it the repeal of the Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990 provision that mandated that federal employees stay in fire-safe hotels when traveling on business. The new legislation “frees federal agencies from complying with the Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act by discharging the General Accounting Office from its responsibility for making sure federal agencies complied with the law,” points out the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI).

Under the 1990 act, government employees traveling on business were required to stay in hotels with hard-wired smoke detectors; buildings that had three or more stories were to have automatic sprinklers in guests` rooms. Federal agencies were to have had a 90-percent approved accommodation level by 1996.

“Defense Department officials claim they will have the ability to conduct internal audits, as will other federal agencies,” says CFSI Executive Director Bill Webb. “Yet, nothing was written into the repeal that transfers the responsibility for auditing to individual agencies. Therefore, the audits are meaningless with respect to compliance to the original act.”

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