Transportation Security: TSA Could Strengthen Oversight of Allegations of Employee Misconduct Page: 4 of 9
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TSA Investigated and
from Fiscal Years
2010 through 2012
In July 2013, we reported that TSA investigated and adjudicated
approximately 9,600 cases of employee misconduct from fiscal years
2010 through 2012, according to TSA employee misconduct data that we
analyzed.5 Two offense categories accounted for about half of all cases-
(1) attendance and leave, which accounted for 32 percent; and (2)
screening and security, which accounted for 20 percent. Charges for
screening and security-related incidents pertain to violating standard
operating procedures, including not conducting security or equipment
checks, and allowing patrons or baggage to bypass screening. TSA
developed a Table of Offenses and Penalties that delineates common
employee charges, along with a suggested range of penalties. Of the
cases that we analyzed, 47 percent resulted in letters of reprimand, which
describe unacceptable conduct that is the basis for a disciplinary action;
31 percent resulted in suspensions of a definite duration; and 17 percent
resulted in the employee's removal from TSA. The remaining cases
covered a variety of outcomes, including suspensions of an indefinite
TSA Has Taken Steps
to Help Manage the
Process, but Could
Procedures to Better
In our July 2013 report, we found that TSA has taken steps to help
manage the investigations and adjudications process, such as creating
OPR in 2010 to provide greater consistency in misconduct penalty
determinations and providing training for TSA staff at airports responsible
for investigating and adjudicating allegations of employee misconduct.
While TSA has taken these steps, we reported weaknesses in four areas
related to monitoring of employee misconduct cases: (1) verifying that
TSA staff at airports comply with policies and procedures for adjudicating
misconduct, (2) recording case information on all adjudication decisions,
(3) tracking the time taken to complete all phases of the investigations
and adjudications process, and (4) identifying allegations not adjudicated
by the agency.
Verifying that TSA staff comply with policies and procedures for
adjudicating misconduct. TSA does not have a process for reviewing
misconduct cases to verify that TSA staff at airports are complying with
policies and procedures for adjudicating employee misconduct. According
to TSA policies and procedures, adjudicating officials need to collect
5Employee misconduct cases refer to allegations for which TSA has completed an
investigation and adjudication.
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Transportation Security: TSA Could Strengthen Oversight of Allegations of Employee Misconduct, text, July 31, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc300158/m1/4/: accessed December 12, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.