In November 2004, as required by law, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began allowing all commercial airports to apply to use private screeners in lieu of federal screeners as part of its Screening Partnership Program (SPP). GAO's prior work found that airports and potential private screening contractors had concerns about the SPP, including whether they would be liable in the event of a terrorist attack and how roles and responsibilities would be divided among TSA airport staff and private screening contractors. This report addresses TSA's efforts to (1) provide liability protection to private screening contractors and airports and address other SPP stakeholder concerns; (2) achieve cost-savings through the SPP; and (3) establish performance goals and measures for the SPP.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Directorate of Border and Transportation Security||To strengthen its administration of the SPP and to help address stakeholder concerns, the Secretary of DHS should direct the Assistant Secretary, TSA, to formally document and communicate with all federal security directors, current private screening contractors, and entities that apply to the SPP, the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders that participate in the SPP, pertaining to the management and deployment of screening services.|
|Department of Homeland Security||To help ensure the completion of a performance management framework for the SPP so that TSA can assess SPP contractors and to promote accountability of SPP contractors for achieving desired program outcomes, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security should establish a time frame for completing its review of the performance goals, measures, and targets for the SPP so that TSA may apply them at the earliest possible opportunity.|