The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) received a whistleblower disclosure alleging a sufficiently notorious convicted felon was improperly cleared for TSA PreCheck screening, creating a significant aviation security breach. The disclosure identified this event as a possible error in the TSA Secure Flight program since the traveler’s boarding pass contained a TSA PreCheck indicator and encrypted barcode. On October 16, 2014, OSC referred this allegation to the Secretary of Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Department subsequently requested our assistance with this allegation. We determined that TSA did not grant the traveler TSA PreCheck screening through the TSA PreCheck Application Program or managed inclusion (MI). TSA granted the traveler TSA PreCheck screening through risk assessment rules in the Secure Flight program.
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