Program to find gaps in TSA screening called a “waste of money”

Remember those government-run tests of TSA security in which an investigator posing as a passenger tries to sneak a bomb by airport security? You know, those tests that the TSA routinely fails?

You’d think the TSA might try to learn something from these repeated embarrassments– like why they keep happening and how to prevent them in the future. But a new report from the Government Accountability Office (my new favorite oxymoron) indicates that the investigators don’t actually investigate why the screeners fail to find the prohibited items.

The Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson, recently called the covert tests a “waste of money,” saying that without a follow-up investigation as to why the guns, knives, and explosives weren’t found, the program is useless.

The TSA, for its part, claims that it has implemented a number of new strategies as a result of the undercover tests, such as using machines to peer under passengers’ clothing to find items metal detectors might miss. TSA spokeswoman Ellen Howe says that although the undercover investigators don’t write down why the item managed to sneak through security, they disclose that information elsewhere, like at meetings.

In recent years, screeners at some airports have failed as much as 60% of the security tests the government has run.

Doesn’t that just fill you with confidence?

More here.

[HT: Hit & Run]