THE MAGAZINE

Better Breach Tracking Needed

By Matthew Harwood

Another area of concern was the failure of airport TSA officials to take corrective action after breaches were reported. At the six airports reviewed, investigators determined that corrective actions were only taken 53 percent of the time. At Newark, corrective action was taken only 42 percent of the time, although the report notes that the airport improved within the time frame of the study. Possible corrective actions range from training to suspension to reconfiguring the screening checkpoint.

Again, rather than blame local staff, the DHS OIG faulted the federal agency itself for not doing more to watch over its employees at U.S. airports. Investigators also reported that TSA could not provide evidence that it looks over the information submitted to PARIS to double check the information’s accuracy.

In a public statement, Lautenberg described the findings as a “gaping hole in our airport security systems. The OIG report recommended that TSA clarify what constitutes a security breach as well as develop a comprehensive oversight program to ensure that security breaches are reported and corrective action is taken.

Bill Hillburg, acting director of public affairs at DHS OIG, says TSA concurs, and he expects the agency to make the necessary corrections.

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