U.S. Rep. Ron Barber closely questioned a top official from the Transportation Security Administration after a government audit found that the number of misconduct cases in the agency had grown by 26 percent over three years.

Barber is ranking member of the Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee of the House Committee on Homeland Security, which yesterday held a hearing on misconduct within the agency that irresponsible for screening airline passengers and baggage.

“TSA’s most important responsibility is to ensure the safety and security of travelers in a professional manner,” Barber said. “We cannot allow one bag or one person go unscreened.”

Barber noted that the GAO found, from 2010 to 2012, one fifth of all TSA misconduct cases were classified as violations in which people or baggage were allowed to bypass screening. During that same period, the GAO also found that the annual number of TSA misconduct cases actually increased from 2,691 to 3,408.

Barber also closely questioned TSA Deputy Administrator John Halinski about procedures to identify allegations of misconduct that have not been resolved.

“What potential impact could this have on the 1.9 million people who travel through America’s 450 airports each day?” Barber asked Halinski.

Barber also questioned Halinski about how open it is with the public. “What can the department do – more than it’s already done – to ensure transparency with the American people?” Barber asked.

(1) comment

John Flanagan

The TSA has personnel problems just as other agencies of the government and private industry.....no surprise here. Usually these issues come about as a given percentage of unsuitable people work in certain fields and give entire groups a bad name due to misconduct. What more can be done? Well, you start with better screaning to weed out those with known problems, and you do a better job of training and orientation. You only promote the most excellent and stable people to supervisory levels. You fire those employees and supervisors who are "enablers" and "look the other way" when their subordinates or colleagues are involved in misconduct. In other words, you must clean house regularly.
But wait....that is not the real reason, even though there will always be the 10 percent of underperforming individuals who cannot be redeemed. The problem goes to the soul of our land, where incivility and profanity are national characteristics, where alcohol and drugs are prevalent, where morals and character are newly defined by reality television and Hollywood as the most negative illustrations of the American way. Cable television gives us pornography, pundits attack Christian values, and love of country, Mom and Dad, and apple pie are the old ethics. Most new films are violent, graphic, sexualized, and to be a narcissist is a virtue in today's climate. Yes, one scandal after another, the IRS, NSA, TSA, the Obama administration, a breakdown of our national character, where good values are no longer discussed. To solve the problems of the TSA, one must lift the veneer and see what lies beneath the surface.

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