Transportation Worker Identification Credential: Mailing Credentials to Applicants' Residences Would Not Be Consistent with DHS Policy

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Securing transportation systems and facilities requires balancing security to address potential threats while facilitating the flow of people and goods that are critical to the U.S. economy and necessary for supporting international commerce. As we have previously reported, these systems and facilities are vulnerable and difficult to secure given their size, easy accessibility, large number of potential targets, and proximity to urban areas. To help enhance the security of these systems and facilities, the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) required the Secretary of Homeland Security to ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. April 13, 2011.

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Description

Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Securing transportation systems and facilities requires balancing security to address potential threats while facilitating the flow of people and goods that are critical to the U.S. economy and necessary for supporting international commerce. As we have previously reported, these systems and facilities are vulnerable and difficult to secure given their size, easy accessibility, large number of potential targets, and proximity to urban areas. To help enhance the security of these systems and facilities, the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) required the Secretary of Homeland Security to prescribe regulations preventing individuals from having unescorted access to secure areas of MTSA-regulated facilities and vessels unless they both possess a biometric transportation security card and are authorized to be in such an area. MTSA further tasked the Secretary with the responsibility to issue biometric transportation security cards to eligible individuals unless the Secretary determines that an applicant poses a security risk warranting denial of the card. The Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program is designed to implement these biometric maritime security card requirements. The program requires maritime workers to undergo a background check to obtain a biometric identification card. This card is required for an individual to be eligible for unescorted access to secure areas of vessels and facilities. It is still the responsibility of facility and vessel owners to determine who should be granted access to their facilities or vessels. Within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the United States Coast Guard are responsible for implementing and enforcing the TWIC program. TSA's responsibilities include enrolling TWIC applicants, conducting background checks to assess individuals' potential security threat, and issuing TWICs. In January 2007, TSA contracted out TWIC enrollment center operations to enroll applicants and issue TWICs to approved applicants. This contract expires in June 2012. The Coast Guard is responsible for developing TWIC-related security regulations and ensuring that MTSA-regulated maritime facilities and vessels are in compliance with these regulations. In addition, DHS's Screening Coordination Office (SCO) facilitates coordination among the various DHS components involved in TWIC, such as TSA and the Coast Guard, as well as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which, through an interagency agreement, personalizes the credentials and ships them to enrollment centers, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which administers grant funds in support of the TWIC program. Section 818(b)(1) of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 provides that the Comptroller General shall submit a report to the House Committee on Homeland Security and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation assessing the costs, technical feasibility, and security measures associated with procedures to (1) deliver a transportation security card (i.e., a TWIC) to an approved applicant's place of residence in a secure manner or (2) allow an approved applicant to receive the card at an enrollment center of the individual's choosing.."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • April 13, 2011

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Transportation Worker Identification Credential: Mailing Credentials to Applicants' Residences Would Not Be Consistent with DHS Policy, text, April 13, 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301629/: accessed September 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.