Categorized | Etcetera

Congressional report slams TSA as bloated, ineffective…

Posted on 16 November 2011

The Transportation Security Administration is plagued by significant problems, a congressional report said Wednesday on the 10th anniversary of Congress creating the agency.

 

According to the report “A Decade Later: A Call for TSA Reform,” the problems include:

  • A bloated bureaucracy with 65,000 workers.
  • An ineffective agency with 25,000 security breaches in the last decade.
  • A buyer of inadequate technology, including 500 advanced-imaging technology machines that are “easily thwarted.”

 

“Unfortunately, TSA has lost its way,” Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said during a Wednesday news conference at Reagan National Airport near Washington.

 

“It is time for reform,” he added.

 

While Mica has become a vocal critic of the agency, others have been more supportive.

 

A U.S. Travel Association survey released Wednesday found that two-thirds of the 604 respondents were “somewhat” or “very” satisfied with TSA’s overall performance for security, while only one in eight were dissatisfied. But nearly nine out of 10 thought it still takes too long to get through security.

 

In a hearing last week, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., chairman of the Senate transportation committee, called it “remarkable” that there hasn’t been a successful attack on the country’s transportation network in the last decade. Rockefeller commended TSA Administrator John Pistole, a former FBI official, as “the ideal person” for the job.

 

But Mica’s report recommended:

  • Elevating the TSA administrator’s authority.
  • Revising the luggage screening program with private competition.
  • Reducing the number of TSA staffers.

 

“The agency as a whole has been a colossal disappointment,” said Rep. Paul Brown, R-Ga., who is chairman of a subcommittee on oversight.

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