As part of a standard testing procedure, the Transportation Security Administration was tested and failed. The Department of Homeland Security performed a routine undercover operation to test the TSA’s field agents and discovered that the TSA agents missed detecting the concealed weapons.
The Department of Homeland Security investigators revealed that over 70% of all tests conducted by them around the country succeeded in smuggling weapons, knives and dummy explosives through TSA checkpoints. While this is an improvement of the same testing performed two years ago, where 95% of all TSA checkpoints failed to detect the concealed weapons.
The TSA, the Office of Inspector General, and the Department of Homeland Security appeared before the House Committee on Homeland Security on Wednesday to review the findings. The result was obvious, the house blasted the TSA and stated that the findings were extremely disturbing and required that the TSA get its act into gear and not just rely on new technologies but also invest in the human interface, making TSA checkpoint officials more focused on finding concealed weapons.
Rep. Mike Rogers told the newly confirmed TSA Administrator David Pekoske that “This agency that you run is broken badly, and it needs your attention.” Pekoske replied, “We will invest in our people, continue to improve our processes, and engage new technology to keep transportation systems secure.”
Rep. Bill Keating (D-Massachusetts) said “We have the technology and resources to do it, but we’re not doing it because … we’re paying for a wall,” referring to how the TSA’s funding has been diverted by President Donald Trump’s US-Mexican border wall project.
The TSA officials stated that “We take the OIG’s findings very seriously and are implementing measures that will improve screening effectiveness at checkpoints,” and “We are focused on staying ahead of a dynamic threat to aviation with continued investment in the workforce, enhanced procedures, and new technologies.”
When considering the implications of the report, and basing the 70% rule, then at Charlotte Douglas Airport, the TSA caught its 53rd gun on Wednesday, which means a further 212 weapons might be up on flights.
The office of the Inspector General classified eight recommendations to be dealt with, which were mentioned in this brief report:
Report Number: OIG-17-112
Issue Date: 09/27/2017
Document File: OIG-17-112-Sep17.pdf
DHS Agency: TSA
Oversight Area: Transportation Security
September 27, 2017
We conducted covert tests to determine the effectiveness of TSA’s checkpoint screening equipment and screener performance in identifying and resolving potential security threats at airport security checkpoints. We identified vulnerabilities with TSA’s screener performance, screening equipment, and associated procedures. Details related to our testing results presented in the report are classified or designated Sensitive Security Information. We are making eight recommendations that when implemented, should improve TSA’s screening checkpoint operational effectiveness.