Science and Technology Directorate (11 - 20 of 42 items)
Aviation Security: TSA Should Limit Future Funding for Behavior Detection Activities
GAO-14-159: Published: Nov 8, 2013. Publicly Released: Nov 13, 2013.
Available evidence does not support whether behavioral indicators, which are used in the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program, can be used to identify persons who may pose a risk to aviation security. GAO reviewed four meta-analyses (reviews that analyze other studies and synthesize their findings) that included over 400 st...
Nuclear Terrorism Response Plans: Major Cities Could Benefit from Federal Guidance on Responding to Nuclear and Radiological Attacks
GAO-13-736: Published: Sep 30, 2013. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 2013.
Many emergency managers from the 27 major cities responding to GAO's questionnaire, although not all, reported that their city had assessed the risks of a terrorist attack using a radiological dispersal device (RDD) or improvised nuclear device (IND) and had ranked the risk of these attacks as lower than the risk of other hazards they face. Also, 11 of the 27 reported that they had completed RDD r...
Department of Homeland Security: Opportunities Exist to Better Evaluate and Coordinate Border and Maritime Research and Development
GAO-13-732: Published: Sep 25, 2013. Publicly Released: Sep 25, 2013.
Between fiscal years 2010 and 2012, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) border and maritime research and development (R&D) components reported producing 97 R&D deliverables at an estimated cost of $177 million. The type of border and maritime R&D deliverables produced by DHS's Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate, the Coast Guard, and the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) varied...
Information Technology: DHS Needs to Further Define and Implement Its New Governance Process
GAO-12-818: Published: Jul 25, 2012. Publicly Released: Jul 25, 2012.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has defined a vision for its new information technology (IT) governance process, which includes a tiered oversight structure that defines distinct roles and responsibilities throughout the department. The new governance framework and the associated policies and procedures are generally consistent with recent Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance a...
Aviation Security: Status of TSA's Acquisition of Technology for Screening Passenger Identification and Boarding Passes
GAO-12-826T: Published: Jun 19, 2012. Publicly Released: Jun 19, 2012.
In summary, TSA has completed its initial testing of the CAT/BPSS technology and has begun operational testing at three airports. We found the projects associated life cycle cost estimate to be reasonably comprehensive and well documented, although we are less confident in its accuracy due to questions about the assumed inflation rate. In addition, we could not evaluate its credibility becau...
Homeland Security: DHS and TSA Face Challenges Overseeing Acquisition of Screening Technologies
GAO-12-644T: Published: May 9, 2012. Publicly Released: May 9, 2012.
GAOs past work has found that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have faced challenges in developing and meeting program requirements when acquiring screening technologies. GAOs past work has demonstrated that program performance cannot be accurately assessed without valid baseline requirements established at the program start...
Department of Homeland Security: Further Action Needed to Improve Management of Special Acquisition Authority
GAO-12-557: Published: May 8, 2012. Publicly Released: May 8, 2012.
In the last 8 years, the Department of Homeland Securitys (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate has used its special acquisition authority to enter into 58 other transaction agreements. Use of the authority has declined since 2005. DHS officials said the decline is due to uncertainty about the agencys continuing authority to enter into these agreements, among other thing...
Transportation Security Administration: Progress and Challenges Faced in Strengthening Three Key Security Programs
GAO-12-541T: Published: Mar 26, 2012. Publicly Released: Mar 26, 2012.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) relies on layers of security encompassing personnel, processes, and technology to deter, detect, and disrupt persons posing a potential risk to aviation security. The Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program consists of about 3,000 behavior detection officers (BDO) who examine passengers to identify those who might pose a sec...
Supply Chain Security: Container Security Programs Have Matured, but Uncertainty Persists over the Future of 100 Percent Scanning
GAO-12-422T: Published: Feb 7, 2012. Publicly Released: Feb 7, 2012.
As part of its efforts to identify high-risk cargo for inspection, CBP uses various sources of information to screen containers in advance of their arrival in the United States. For example, in 2009, CBP implemented the Importer Security Filing and Additional Carrier Requirements to collect additional information for targeting. The additional cargo information required, such as country of origin,...
Transportation Security Infrastructure Modernization May Enhance DHS Screening Capabilities, but It Is Too Early to Assess Results
GAO-12-192R: Published: Dec 8, 2011. Publicly Released: Dec 8, 2011.
Securing transportation systems and facilities requires balancing security to address potential threats while facilitating the flow of people and goods that are critical to the U.S. economy and necessary for supporting international commerce. As we have previously reported, transportation systems and facilities are vulnerable and difficult to secure given their size, easy accessibility, large numb...