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December 06, 2012

GAO Report Shows Problems with TSA SPP Program

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement in response to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Screening Partnership Program (SPP), a program in which airports can opt-out of having federalized screeners in favor of privatized ones. The report is entitled "Screening Partnership Program: TSA Should Issue More Guidance to Airports and Monitor Private versus Federal Screener Performance" (GAO-13-208).

"This report reveals that some privatized airports do not perform passenger screening as well as their federalized counterparts. It also reveals that TSA does not have the proper controls in place to regularly monitor private screener performance and does not validate data on attrition, absenteeism, and injury rates for privatized screeners."

"GAO also shows that under the current system, it is impossible to accurately measure any system cost-savings or efficiencies by moving to the SPP model. Therefore, I would urge Administrator Pistole to refrain from approving additional SPP airports until the costs and possible benefits can be accurately assessed and we can more closely monitor the program."

Link to Report

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