Aviation Security: Progress Made to Set Up Program Using Private-Sector Airport Screeners, but More Work Remains Page: 10 of 55
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officials acknowledged that TSA had already identified and collected some
cost and performance data on passenger and checked baggage screening
operations at 15 airports with private and federal screeners, including all
five pilot airports, and completed a study in 2004 that estimated how much
TSA spent for screening operations at each of the five pilot screening
program airports. However, they stated that additional cost information
based on the actual costs of participating in the SPP is needed for larger
airports because the SPP contracts differ from the pilot and extension
contracts that TSA previously awarded. For example, the SPP contracts
will allow for contractors to recommend and, if approved, implement
innovations, and to select among options for assessing screener
candidates and training screeners. TSA officials said that it would be
difficult for prospective SPP contractors for larger airports to accurately
estimate the costs of providing screening services for a fixed-price
contract. As a result, TSA plans to continue using cost-reimbursement
contracts for screening services at the two largest airports for up to
2 additional years in order to determine estimated costs under the SPP
TSA developed performance goals and began drafting related measures
and targets to assess the performance of private screening contractors
under the SPP in the areas of security, customer service, costs, workforce
management, and innovation. However, DHS, which is currently reviewing
the performance goals, measures, and targets developed by TSA, has not
yet completed its review nor set a time frame for doing so. According to
TSA's draft quality assurance and award fee plan for the SPP, 14 separate
performance measures have been established and performance targets-a
tangible objective against which actual achievement will be compared-
have been developed for 10 of the 14 measures. For example, 1 of the
14 measures would require contractors to ensure that new hires receive
required training before assuming screener duties. TSA's related target for
this measure is that 100 percent of new hires will receive required training.
TSA officials stated that contractors will be required to meet the
performance targets set by TSA specific to the airports they serve.
Working with these airports, TSA stated that it has already established a
baseline describing how federal screeners or private screening contractors
have actually performed at individual airports, and these baseline data are
being used to set performance targets for each airport. Officials further
stated that TSA is considering providing financial incentives to contractors
for a limited time in an effort to move their airports to meet TSA's baseline
performance level. In March 2005, TSA officials stated that they had
recently submitted the performance goals, measures, and targets to DHS.
However, as of January 30, 2006, DHS had not yet approved the SPP
performance metrics, and had not set a deadline for doing so. We asked
GAO-06-166 Aviation Security
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Aviation Security: Progress Made to Set Up Program Using Private-Sector Airport Screeners, but More Work Remains, report, March 31, 2006; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc295707/m1/10/: accessed April 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.