Thursday, June 18, 2015

And here's the band-aid

The string of negative publicity following the IG report of the TSA's 95% failure rate at detecting bombs, combined with a Congressional hearing on other TSA ineffectiveness, was so thrilling to see! With editorials across the country calling for abolishing the TSA or at least a top-to-bottom revamp of the TSA, we instead get: a bipartisan bill insisting that the TSA maintain its equipment better (Yeah. That'll work.)

Rice’s legislation, the Keeping Our Travelers Safe and Secure Act (HR 2770), would require the TSA administrator to develop and implement a preventive maintenance process for airport screening technology within 180 days. The process must include specific maintenance schedules, guidance for TSA personnel and contractors on how to conduct and document maintenance actions, mechanisms to insure compliance and penalties for noncompliance.

Note how that barely scratches the surface of the IG's concerns:
“Our audits have repeatedly found that human error— often a simple failure to follow protocol—poses significant vulnerabilities,” [DHS inspector general John Roth] said. Further, despite the billions spent on aviation security technology, “our testing of certain systems has revealed no resulting improvement.”
Other areas of concern include how TSA plans for, buys, develops and maintains equipment; potential for misuse of the expedited PreCheck screening system; continued vulnerabilities in baggage screening equipment; unreliability of the behavior detection program; cybersecurity; and more.
Not to mention all those lost badges.

Is it too much to hope that this loser bill will fail and something with real muscle will be proposed instead?