Transportation Security: Efforts to Strengthen Aviation and Surface Transportation Security are Under Way, but Challenges Remain
Within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) mission is to protect the nation's transportation network. Since its inception in 2001, TSA has developed and implemented a variety of programs and procedures to secure commercial aviation and surface modes of transportation, including passenger and freight rail, mass transit, highways, commercial vehicles, and pipelines. Other DHS components, federal agencies, state and local governments, and the private sector also play a role in transportation security. GAO examined (1) the progress DHS and TSA have made in securing the nation's aviation and surface transportation systems, and (2) challenges that have impeded the department's efforts to implement its mission and management functions. This testimony is based on issued GAO reports and testimonies addressing the security of the nation's aviation and surface transportation systems, including a recently issued report (GAO-07-454) that highlights the progress DHS has made in implementing its mission and management functions.