TSA misconduct is threatening the security of the flying public, according to a report.
The report was by the House Homeland Security committee, which is chaired by Chairman Scott Perry’s (R-PA) Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency and Chairman John Katko’s (R-NY) Subcommittee on Transportation Security.
The six-month investigation the report on the agency shows that misconduct grew by almost 29% from fiscal year 2013 to 2015, according to TSA data. And while the number of misconduct allegations has increased, TSA has conducted fewer investigations into misconduct and taken fewer disciplinary actions against employees.
The authors of the report say misconduct within the agency is affecting airport security.
Subcommittee Chairman Perry: “Growing misconduct across TSA’s ranks and TSA’s lack of accountability is alarming and unacceptable. We’re in the highest threat environment since 9/11 and terrorists are intent on attacking civil aviation, as we’ve seen in Brussels and Istanbul. TSA needs significant and lasting reforms to address its employee misconduct crisis. I urge Administrator Neffenger to immediately implement the recommendations in our report to improve the integrity of the workforce and ensure they are focused on their core mission—protecting travelers.”
Subcommittee Chairman Katko: “This report comes at a pivotal time for the Transportation Security Administration, which has long been plagued by allegations and instances of employee misconduct from the highest levels of the agency on down to the frontline work force. Federal employees, particularly those entrusted with the security of the American public, must be held to the highest ethical standards. While the vast majority of TSA personnel are dedicated, hardworking employees, their work is too often undermined by a lack of management support for those willing to speak out against wrongdoing, as well as fellow employees who abuse the position of trust that has been afforded to them. I commend Administrator Neffenger for his hard work to right the ship at TSA during his time at the helm, and it is my hope that this report will spur further action to mitigate instances of misconduct at TSA.”
- Despite a large bureaucracy designed, in part, to address employee misconduct, TSA data shows that misconduct grew by almost 29% from fiscal year 2013 to 2015.
- While the number of misconduct allegations has increased over time, TSA has conducted fewer investigations into misconduct and taken fewer disciplinary actions against employees.
- The ever-evolving threat landscape and increased concern about the insider threat to aviation security underscores the need for a capable aviation security workforce to detect and stop nefarious activity.
- While the report commends Administrator Peter Neffenger for the changes he has made to improve TSA to date, it is unclear whether these changes will be institutionalized as the next Administration begins its term.
- TSA needs bold reform, led by senior officials with a strong commitment and willingness to change in the face of criticism in order for lasting, positive change to take hold. To improve, significant management reforms at TSA must be made.
The report makes 17 common-sense recommendations for TSA to implement to get a better handle on employee misconduct.