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TSA

  • Additional Controls Needed to Better Manage FEMA's Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program

    Executive Summary

    This interim report is part of an ongoing audit to determine the extent FEMA is meeting disaster survivors’ transitional shelter needs after the California wildfires and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017. We determined that FEMA does not require disaster survivors to notify the agency when they vacate hotels participating in the TSA program, thus allowing the hotels to continue to bill FEMA for unoccupied rooms. Because FEMA is unaware when disaster survivors vacate the hotels, the agency does not know the magnitude of unnecessary hotel charges. Consequently, FEMA could not account for associated TSA payments it may have paid since August 2017, related to the 2017 hurricane season and California wildfires.

    Report Number
    OIG-19-37
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2019
  • TSA Needs to Improve Efforts to Retain, Hire, and Train Its Transportation Security Officers

    Executive Summary

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) needs to continue to improve its retention, hiring, and training of Transportation Security Officers (TSO). Specifically, TSA needs to better address its retention challenges because it currently does not share and leverage results of TSO exit surveys and does not always convey job expectations to new-hires. TSA does not fully evaluate applicants for capability as well as compatibility when hiring new TSOs. Thus, the agency may be making uninformed hiring decisions due to inadequate applicant information and a lack of formally documented guidance on ranking potential new-hires

    Report Number
    OIG-19-35
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2019
  • Management Alert - FEMA Did Not Safeguard Disaster Survivors' Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information (REDACTED)

    Executive Summary

    Through the TSA program, FEMA provides transitional sheltering in hotels to disaster survivors displaced by emergencies or major disasters. TSA reduces the number of survivors in congregate emergency shelters by providing hotel lodging. During our ongoing audit of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program, we determined that FEMA violated the Privacy Act of 19741 and Department of Homeland Security policy2 by releasing to the PII and SPII of 2.3 million survivors of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the California wildfires in 2017.3

    Report Number
    OIG-19-32
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2019
  • Covert Testing of Access Controls to Secure Airport Areas

    Executive Summary

    The objective was to determine whether TSA implemented proper procedures to safeguard the secure areas of our Nation’s airports and whether airports, aircraft operators, and contractors were complying with TSA’s security requirements to control access to these areas.

     

    We identified vulnerabilities with various airport access control points and associated access control procedures. We made six recommendations related to standard operating procedures, deployment of new technology, identification of industry best practices, and training.

    Report Number
    OIG-19-21
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2019
  • FAMS' Contribution to International Flight Security is Questionable

    Executive Summary

    As a follow-up to our 2017 report on TSA’s Federal Air Marshal Service’s (FAMS) domestic flight operations, we conducted this audit to determine the extent to which FAMS can interdict an improvised explosive device during flight. We identified vulnerabilities with FAMS’ contribution to international flight security. Details related to FAMS operations and flight coverage presented in the report are classified or designated as Sensitive Security Information. We made two recommendations.

    Report Number
    OIG-19-17
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2019
  • DHS' and TSA's Compliance with Public Law 114-278, Transportation Security Card Program Assessment

    Executive Summary

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not promptly fulfill its first requirement mandated by Public Law 114-278. Specifically, DHS delayed commissioning a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of the Transportation Security Card Program in enhancing security and reducing security risks for facilities and vessels. The public law required the assessment to begin no later than 60 days after its enactment. However, DHS did not award a work order for the assessment for more than a year after the deadline.  TSA only partially complied with requirements mandated by the public law. Of the six required actions, TSA partially complied with two and fully complied with four. We have concerns with aspects of TSA’s responses to all of the required actions.

    Report Number
    OIG-19-16
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2019
  • Review of Coast Guard's Oversight of the TWIC Program

    Executive Summary

    DHS did not complete an assessment of the security value of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program as required by law.  This occurred because DHS experienced challenges identifying an office responsible for the effort.  As a result, Coast Guard does not have a full understanding of the extent to which the TWIC program addresses security risks in the maritime environment.  This will continue to impact the Coast Guard’s ability to properly develop and enforce regulations governing the TWIC program. For example, Coast Guard did not clearly define the applicability of facilities that have certain dangerous cargo in bulk when developing a final rule to implement the use of TWIC readers at high-risk maritime facilities.  Without oversight and policy improvements in the TWIC program, high-risk facilities may continue to operate without enhanced security measures, putting these facilities at an increased security risk. In addition, Coast Guard needs to improve its oversight of the TWIC program to reduce the risk of transportation security incidents.  Due to technical problems and lack of awareness of procedures, Coast Guard did not make full use of the TWIC card’s biometric features as intended by Congress to ensure only eligible individuals have unescorted access to secure areas of regulated facilities.  During inspections at regulated facilities from FYs 2016 through 2017, Coast Guard only used electronic readers to verify, on average, about one in every 15 TWIC cards against TSA’s canceled card list.  This occurred because the majority of the TWIC readers in the field have reached the end of their service life.  Furthermore, the Coast Guard’s guidance governing oversight of the TWIC program is fragmented, which led to confusion and inconsistent inspection procedures.  This resulted in fewer regulatory confiscations of TWIC cards.  The Department concurred with our four recommendations, and described the corrective actions it is taking and plans to take.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-88
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • CBP's International Mail Inspection Processes Need Improvement at JFK International Airport

    Executive Summary

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for inspecting all international mail arriving at U.S. airports, with limited exceptions. A major challenge for CBP is preventing imports of opioids and other illegal items mailed from overseas through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). We conducted this audit to determine whether CBP's air mail inspection processes at JFK airport are effective and have adequate information technology (IT) security controls. CBP has ineffective processes and IT security controls to support air mail inspection operations at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), the largest of nine USPS facilities that receive and handle incoming international mail. Despite legislative requirements to systematically target and widely prevent illegal imports, CBP inspects only a limited number of the hundreds of thousands of pieces of incoming air mail each day, largely due to difficulty inventorying and locating targeted mail, as well as having inadequate guidance, equipment, and resources. These air mail inspection deficiencies hinder CBP's efforts to prevent prohibited items (particularly opioids) from entering the United States.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-83
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • FAMS Needs to Demonstrate How Ground-Based Assignments Contribute to TSA's Mission

    Executive Summary

    Despite dedicating approximately $272 million to ground-based activities, including VIPR operations, FAMS could not demonstrate how these activities contributed to TSA’s mission. Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) operations, in which VIPR teams collaborate with local law enforcement to augment security at transportation hubs through an increased visible deterrent force.

    FAMS could not demonstrate how these activities contributed to TSA’s mission. During our assessment of FAMS’ contributions to TSA’s layered approach to security, we determined that FAMS lacked performance measures for the 24 strategic initiatives and most ground-based activities outlined in its strategic plan. Additionally, FAMS’ VIPR operations performance measures fail to determine the program’s effectiveness. FAMS could not provide a budget breakout by division or operational area.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-70
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • Special Review: DHS Executive Travel Review

    Executive Summary

    In light of the heightened public and congressional interest in the misuse of government-owned, government-leased, and chartered aircraft, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted a special review of the use of government aircraft by the heads of the Department and several of DHS’s operational components. DHS OIG’s review also included a review of other-than-coach-class travel by this same group of senior officials. We determined that each instance of the use of government aircraft by DHS’s senior leaders during the time period of our review generally complied with relevant laws, rules, regulations, policies, and guidance.

    With respect to DHS senior leaders’ other-than-coach-class (OTCC) commercial air travel over the same time period, we determined that such travel generally qualified as allowable premium travel. We could not definitively determine, however, whether one trip taken by a former Deputy Secretary met all of the Department’s criteria for allowable OTCC travel. We also identified two specific instances of non-compliance with the Department’s internal request and approval processes for such travel; however, the related travel was properly justified, and the process deviations were quickly identified and corrected by the Department.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-52
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
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