TSA responds to 9,600 cases of agent misconduct

1 Aug

TSA responds to 9,600 cases of agent misconduct

 

English: A TSA officer screens a piece of luggage.

 

TSA Deputy Administrator John Halinski defended his
management before Congress yesterday following a damning report on
airport agents’ behavior released by the GAO.

Some felt the
Government Accountability Office report seemed to draw a picture of a
culture of where misdeeds, and the nation’s security, were not taken
seriously enough. Literally and figuratively, TSA was at times asleep on
the job.

The report found more than 9,600 cases of
misconduct within the Transportation Security Administration between
2010 and 2012, with the number steadily rising over the years.

Only 17% of the perpetrators were fired; most were either reprimanded or suspended.

“I’ve
given you my word,” Halinski told Congress.  “If they’re stealing,
they’re doing drugs, or they’re breaching the security system
intentionally and I can prove it, they’re out.”

The acts of
misconduct varied widely. Some TSA officers were found napping on the
job; more than 3,000 instances involved screeners who either left their
shift without permission, arrived late, or didn’t show up at all.

In some cases agents let their families and friends through security with prohibited items.

But
there also were 56 cases of theft and bribery. One TSA agent admitted
stealing between $10,000 and $30,000 from passengers; two admitted
taking $40,000 from a traveler’s bag at New York‘s JFK Airport.

In many cases, employees who broke the rules were given light punishments.

Less than a third of those involved in misconduct were suspended, and only 17% were fired.

Nearly half only got a letter of reprimand.

 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

 

 

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