Time to overhaul the TSA?

ATLANTA — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), created in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, suffers from mismanagement and should be drastically overhauled.

That’s the position of Republicans on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee who issued a scathing report of the federal agency. The report, titled “A Decade Later: A Call for TSA Reform,” contends, in part, the TSA:

  • Lacks “administrative competency and is made inefficient by its massive bureaucracy”
  • Fails to effectively carry out agency operations
  • Falls short of developing and deploying effective technology

“Despite TSA’s massive bureaucracy, reports indicate that more than 25,000 security breaches have occurred in U.S. airports since 2001,” U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., said in a news release. Broun is a member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

“The agency as a whole has been a colossal disappointment; the one thing it has been successful at is violating the rights of the American people,” Broun added. “Instead of worrying about ‘political correctness’, TSA should be putting our resources into intelligence and technologies that could be more effective when it comes to catching highly elusive and dangerous terrorists. We should know about terrorist attacks before they materialize on U.S. soil, and I have yet to see that kind of progress come out of TSA.”

U.S. Rep. John L. Mica, R-Fla., chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said the TSA “has strayed from its security mission and mushroomed into a top-heavy bureaucracy.”

“Currently, TSA has 65,000 employees. Unfortunately, over the past ten years, the agency has spent $57 billion on numerous operational and technology failures,” Mica said in a news release.

“While we are safer today than we were ten years ago, this is largely thanks to the vigilance of American citizens and passengers, the actions of flight crews and armed pilots, the addition of hardened cockpit doors, and the assistance of foreign intelligence agencies,” Mica added. “After ten years, we cannot continue to rely on luck. It is time for reform. TSA must become the kind of agency it was intended to be – a thinking, risk-based, flexible agency that analyzes risks, sets security standards and audits security performance.”

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