Skip to Highlights
Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the effectiveness of screening checkpoints at airports, focusing on the: (1) causes of screeners' problems in detecting dangerous objects and the efforts of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to address these problems; and (2) screening practices of selected foreign countries and the potential for using these practices to help improve screeners' performance in the United States.

Skip to Recommendations

Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Transportation 1. To better implement FAA's efforts to improve screeners' performance and to provide a valid basis for evaluating FAA's progress in achieving its performance goals for screeners, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to require that FAA's integrated checkpoint screening management plan, which ties together the various initiatives for improving screeners' performance, be promptly completed, implemented, continuously monitored and updated, and periodically evaluated for effectiveness.
Closed - Implemented
FAA developed a Passenger Screening Checkpoint Integrated Plan that is a working document. The Associate Administrator for Civil Aviation Security approved the plan on September 22, 2000. The plan is reviewed annually and adjusted as security situations dictate.
Department of Transportation 2. To better implement FAA's efforts to improve screeners' performance and to provide a valid basis for evaluating FAA's progress in achieving its performance goals for screeners, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to establish separate goals for the detection of standard test objects and improvised explosive devices concealed in carry-on baggage for reporting under the Government Performance and Results Act.
Closed - Implemented
FAA has established a goal that encompasses multiple detection rates. However, because detection rates are sensitive security information protected under 14 CFR Part 191, neither the targets nor trend data are suitable for a public document such as the DOT Annual Performance Plan and Report where GPRA goals are reported. Therefore, the public version of the goal will continue to be a general statement that encompasses multiple rates.

Full Report