The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is lagging behind an August 3 mandate to inspect all cargo flown on passenger planes, says a Government Accounting Office (GAO) report.
GAO found that even though TSA increased screening for domestic cargo to meet new requirements of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, the agency "does not expect to meet the mandate" for cargo coming to the United States from other countries, the report says.
The GAO report says that by May, TSA had increased the amount of domestic cargo that it inspects from 50 to 75 percent. Inbound cargo, however, isn't always subject to the same scrutiny before it boards a domestic flight. GAO reports that 96 percent of inbound cargo, is shrink wrapped and thus is often exempt from screening.
GAO also found low participation in a voluntary Certified Cargo Screening Program created by TSA to encourage shippers and freight companies to screen domestic cargo. The GAO also found that TSA is testing screening technologies, and has increased its force of sniffing dogs. However, TSA still has to find the technology to screen containerized cargo that moves on wide-body aircraft.