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Transportation Security Administration

  • 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
  • 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: TSA's Handling of the 2015 Disciplinary Matter Involving TSES Employee (Redacted)

    Executive Summary

    DHS OIG’s review determined that TSA senior leaders deviated from standard policy and practice in a number of key respects indicating that the TSES Employee received unusually favorable treatment in the resolution of his disciplinary matter. Our review specifically found that former Deputy Administrator Mark Hatfield, Chief Counsel Francine Kerner, and former Office of Professional Responsibility Assistant Administrator Heather Book each interfered with the disciplinary process in a way that circumvented the very TSA policies and procedures that were established to prevent favoritism in such circumstances.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-35
    Issue Date
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • TSA's Adjudication Resources are Inadequate to Meet TSA PreCheck Enrollment Goals

    Executive Summary

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) intended to expand TSA PreCheck to 25 million air travelers at a rate of more than 5 million enrollments per year. We evaluated whether the current TSA PreCheck Application Program adjudication process will allow TSA to meet its enrollment goals. TSA did not allocate additional resources or staff to the TSA Adjudication Center, which had multiple vacancies and was tasked with manually processing about 26 percent of TSA PreCheck Application Program applications. To make matters worse, in June 2016, TSA PreCheck applications surged, leaving the Adjudication Center overwhelmed with applications to process. As the application queue grew, TSA brought on detailees from other Federal agencies to assist with adjudications part time, but they did not have a significant impact. Further, the Adjudication Center relies on a manual caseload assignment and reporting process, which is inefficient for the volume of TSA PreCheck applications needing adjudication.

    Report Number
    OIG-18-27
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Keywords
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • FAMS’ Contribution to Aviation Transportation Security is Questionable (Unclassified Summary)

    Executive Summary

    We identified limitations with FAMS contributions to aviation security. Details related to FAMS operations and flight coverage presented in the report are classified or designated as Sensitive Security Information. We are making five recommendations that when implemented, should improve FAMS
     

    Report Number
    OIG-18-04
    Issue Date
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2018
  • Covert Testing of TSA’s Screening Checkpoint Effectiveness

    Executive Summary

    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.

    Report Number
    OIG-17-112
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2017
  • TSA's Office of Intelligence and Analysis Has Improved Its Field Operations

    Executive Summary

    We determined that although a complainant alleged there were systemic security challenges in the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (OIA), there were few documented security incidents over the past 5 years, all of which OIA addressed with corrective actions.  Further, OIA has improved the effectiveness of its Field Intelligence Division and the Field Intelligence Officers by hiring qualified, experienced intelligence professionals and implementing clear policies and procedures, but it could enhance officer training.  OIA is also addressing weaknesses in coordination among its watches and perceived delays in intelligence reporting.  We made two recommendations to improve the effectiveness of OIA operations; the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) concurred with both recommendations.

    Report Number
    OIG-17-107
    Issue Date
    Document File
    DHS Agency
    Oversight Area
    Fiscal Year
    2017
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