This week, the House Homeland Security Committee Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies held a hearing: “Examining DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s Engagement with Academia and Industry.” The committee members all but ignored what is actually going on in DHS S&T, and their myopia was encouraged by three witnesses who appeared to be accomplices to the debacle rather than advisors on how to understand the problems and fix them. How can you have a hearing about “engagement with academia” and not one time mention the S&T Directorate’s Office of University Programs?
In an era where the public and private sectors alike are using data analytics to better understand and manage resources, DHS’ stance on making customer service compliment and complaint data publicly available is frustrating. This is a missed opportunity, as public access to analyze and learn from this data would improve our national economy, especially the travel and tourism industries.
DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson announced at the 2015 RSA Conference that DHS is opening a satellite office in Silicon Valley. His words were vague, leading to questions of why DHS is setting up this office and with whom the Department will be working. Perhaps a more pressing question is, what makes DHS think Silicon Valley wants to work with the federal government in the first place?
The watchdog group Judicial Watch issued a press release announcing it had obtained records from TSA detailing allegations of sexually related assaults on passengers by TSA screeners. Unfortunately, these claims are just the latest in a trend of poor TSA performance at the Nation’s airports. It’s time for a change at TSA.
TSA has responded to outlandish claims made by Judicial Watch about TSA screeners. Judicial Watch asserts that TSA screeners were engaged in improper behavior while performing secondary screening procedures, such as a despicable occurrence at Denver International Airport. Rather than commend TSA leadership for its prompt action, Judicial Watch and others paint with broad brushes to create the (false) impression that most, if not all, TSA screeners are insensitive “perverts.” I know the truth is otherwise.
By Sharla P. Rausch, Ph.D.
The results from the last few years of the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Federal Employee Viewpoint Surveys (FEVS) has reflected decreasing morale in the federal government. I agree with DHS Secretary Johnson’s plea to stop talking about low morale. It’s time to act in resolving the core issues stemming from senior political leaders and their closed inner circles.
The travel and tourism industry would benefit from understanding how well the efforts of TSA contribute to improved customer service at our nation’s airports. Fortunately, they provide this data to the Department of Transportation (DOT). This analysis shows some of the impacts before and after the introduction of Pre-Check.
On Sunday, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) hosted a “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest,” and two gunmen opened fire on the event. Violence is never OK, and this kind of inflammatory activity actually perpetuates the threat from violent extremism. AFDI is not blameless in their rhetoric.
Members of Congress recently re-introduced the Residue Entries and Streamlining Trade (REST) Act, and at issue were requirements on getting empty containers back into the United States. CBP should be applauded for a policy on delaying these additional requirements.
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