Many of us have had the unfortunate experience of standing in a long line, waiting to pass through security screening. These choke points in screening processes create exceptionally soft targets for the motivated bad actor, and they are a security vulnerability that needs to be corrected.
Newly released data from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) shows that for calendar year 2014, the agency received more than 30,400 complaints and 2,700 compliments. This reveals an opportunity for the private sector to work closely with TSA.
On the day before Thanksgiving, in the midst of one of the busiest travel days of the year, TSA Administrator Pete Neffenger announced to TSA employees that Roderick Allison had been named the Acting Deputy Administrator.
The recent House Homeland Security Committee’s hearing on the threat from bioterrorism raised the troubling threat that drones could be used to deliver deadly pathogens. Do we have the tools to detect biological agents and the drones that might carry them? Nope.
The recent DHS Inspector General test of TSA airport screening processes revealed a 95% failure rate. To improve, tradeoffs will have to be made, and they all have costs. How much the failure rate changes will depend on how much people will want to pay.
There were about 160,000 unanswered FOIA requests in 2014, with the Department of Homeland Security accounting for 65%. The federal government has a culture of risk aversion, but there are four reasons why taking a smart risk in answering FOIA requests would be good for TSA and other agencies.
As much as I like Mel Carraway, it is difficult to disagree with DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson’s decision to reassign Carraway, the (now former) acting TSA Administrator. The news reports of an Inspector General (IG) investigation finding serious problems in TSA screening processes were difficult to ignore. A good man – one whom I am 100% convinced does not condone sloppy security procedures – was sacrificed to set an example to the rest of the agency.
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.
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.