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May 11, 2015

Deficient TSA Maintenance Program Could Lead to Delays & Security Gaps

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement in response to a Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) report on TSA entitled: "The Transportation Security Administration Does Not Properly Manage Its Airport Screening Equipment Maintenance Program" (OIG-15-86).

In the report, the IG found that:

  • TSA does not properly manage the maintenance of its screen equipment and not have adequate policies in place to fulfill this responsibility.
  • Without the diligence of proper maintenance, TSA risks shortening equipment life and downtime, both which increase costs and force TSA to rely on backup screening methods which lead to increased wait times and delays.
  • Backup screening methods may be less effective at detecting dangerous items and their use could be a security gap. Three recommendations were made by the IG and TSA agreed with all three.

Congressman Thompson released the following statement on the report:

"Correctly maintaining sensitive screening equipment at our nation's airports is critical to both protecting the flying public and preserving this taxpayer-funded investment. With hundreds of millions spent on this critical function every year, TSA must ensure that maintenance contractors are in compliance and do the work they are paid for. I hope TSA quickly implements the Inspector General's recommendations to ensure security gaps, cost overruns, and longer wait times are not needlessly created."

Link to Report

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978