TSA Oversight Part IV: Is TSA Effectively Procuring, Deploying, and Storing Aviation Security Equipment and Technology?

Hearing Date: May 9, 2012 12:00 am

Joint Hearing of the Full Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Chairman Darrell Issa, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Chairman John Mica
1:00pm in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building

Three years ago, the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General reported that TSA had not effectively deployed, redeployed or disposed of crucial transportation security equipment.  A joint investigation by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, along with recent efforts by the Government Accountability Office, reveal that little has changed in the past three years and that systemic flaws continue to plague the TSA.  These flaws are exacerbated by a management structure that seems content to throw millions of dollars at untested solutions that are bought in excess and poorly deployed and managed.  That is not a security operation, but rather a recipe for disaster.

Today’s hearing will help to explore these lingering issues and outline remedies.

I am concerned that the TSA has grown into a top-heavy, unmanageable agency, evidenced by its 400% increase in workforce since its founding.  The agency’s flaws are not the fault of TSA employees working everyday on the front lines, but instead that of a bloated leadership structure in Washington, DC.  When attempting to conduct oversight, instead of cooperation from TSA the committees have been met with obfuscation, excuses and attempts to mislead.

The operation thwarted earlier this week by American intelligence underscores the importance of this work and the necessity for an overhaul of current TSA operations.

Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
Mr. David Nicholson Assistant Administrator for Finance and Administration, and Chief Financial Officer Transportation Security Administration Document
Mr. Charles Edwards Acting Inspector General Department of Homeland Security Document
Mr. Stephen Lord Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issues Government Accountability Office Document

Related Documents

Name Document
Airport Insecurity: TSA's Failure to Cost-Effectively Procure, Deploy and Warehouse Its Screening Technologies - Joint Oversight and Transportation CommitteeMajority Staff Report Document