Transportation Security: Actions Needed to Address Limitations in TSA's Transportation Worker Security Threat Assessments and Growing Workload

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Nonfederal government entities have varying roles and responsibilities under three TSA transportation worker credentialing programs we reviewed--the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program (TWIC) for maritime workers; the Hazardous Materials Endorsement program (HME) for truckers seeking a commercial drivers license endorsement to carry hazardous materials; and the Aviation Workers program for airport workers. TSA administers the TWIC credentialing process, with no role for maritime port facility operators outside of verifying issued credentials. Under HME, state licensing agencies issue endorsements based on whether TSA reports favorable background checking ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. December 8, 2011.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Nonfederal government entities have varying roles and responsibilities under three TSA transportation worker credentialing programs we reviewed--the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program (TWIC) for maritime workers; the Hazardous Materials Endorsement program (HME) for truckers seeking a commercial drivers license endorsement to carry hazardous materials; and the Aviation Workers program for airport workers. TSA administers the TWIC credentialing process, with no role for maritime port facility operators outside of verifying issued credentials. Under HME, state licensing agencies issue endorsements based on whether TSA reports favorable background checking results. In contrast, under the Aviation Workers program, TSA and airports share responsibility for the vetting process for airport workers, with airports responsible for enrolling applicants, adjudicating criminal history results TSA provides, and issuing, and if necessary, revoking airport badges. Eleven of 17 selected maritime ports--including 4 of the top 10 largest ports--reported implementing additional credentialing requirements to those under TSA regulations, which generally included requirements for applicants to obtain and present local port identification--in addition to a TWIC--to gain unescorted access. At three of these ports, local agencies conducted additional criminal history checks. In addition, 4 of 6 selected state licensing agencies responsible for issuing commercial drivers licenses were conducting additional criminal history checks on HME applicants. Some programs included applicant fees which added to the costs already incurred by applicants in obtaining TSA credentials. However, port officials reported their programs provided additional benefits over TSA's programs. The state and local credentialing programs we reviewed complemented the existing credentialing programs administered by TSA."

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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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  • December 8, 2011

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Transportation Security: Actions Needed to Address Limitations in TSA's Transportation Worker Security Threat Assessments and Growing Workload, report, December 8, 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302673/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.