Homeland Security Report: Almost Half Of All 60,000 TSA Employees Fined For Misconduct

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A recent report of the U.S. House of Representatives revealed that misconduct among the ranks of TSA employees is rampant and that nearly half of the 60,000 workers have been fined for related incidents.

TSA Seattle

The Homeland Security Committee noted in it’s report that recent TSA data shows that misconduct continued to grow by almost 29% from fiscal year 2013 to 2015.

This data is of alarming nature and cause for concern in times where the TSA makes more headlines for mistreating passengers at airports and single officers actually engaging in criminal activity themselves rather than conducting a professional and effective passenger screening process.

You can review the full report here.

Download (PDF, 325KB)

Here are four of the most striking findings among many others in this report:

In fiscal year 2015, TSA data shows that 17,627 allegations of employee misconduct were filed compared with 13,722 in fiscal year 2013. This number of allegations could be equivalent to one in every three TSA employees. TSA had 54,129 full-time equivalent (FTE) in fiscal year 2013 and 55,016 in fiscal year 2015, which indicates that the nearly 30% increase in allegations was likely not correlated with the about 1.6% increase in FTEs.

One small airport in the Northeast had 77 allegations of misconduct in fiscal year 2015 compared to two in fiscal year 2013, representing a 3,750% increase. In fact, 35% of airports experienced an increase in the number of allegations of employee misconduct, with some airports having nearly 40 times the number of allegations than in fiscal year 2013.

According to TSA data, from fiscal year 2013 through 2015, almost 27,000 unique employees had an allegation of misconduct filed against them. Moreover, about half of those employees had two or more misconduct allegations filed against them, with some employees having 14, 16, and 18 allegations. In fact, 1,270 employees had five or more misconduct allegations filed against them.

Additionally, according to a 2013 DHS OIG report, TSA OOI did not use its staff and resources efficiently to conduct cost-effective inspections, internal reviews, and covert testing. The report found that TSA OOI misclassified its criminal investigators as law enforcement officers, which resulted in higher pay and enhanced retirement benefits. … The DHS OIG reported that classifying certain individuals as criminal investigators allowed those employees to receive premium pay and other benefits for which they would otherwise be ineligible, resulting in as much as $17.5 million over five years.

How does this misconduct spread among the ranks of TSA? The statistic below provides a visual example of where the offenders can be found.

TSA Offenders

As you can see even Federal Air Marshals are represented with a healthy 4.2% of all reported cases. These are people who carry a gun, sitting next to you on board the aircraft! You can expect the real number of offenders to be much higher as this only includes individual cases that have been reported.

Conclusion

TSA has been given more or less free reign post 9/11 to do more or less however they please. Unfortunately if a government arm (any really) is allowed to do that long enough it’s grows cancers everywhere and it’s pretty evident in the case of TSA that the agency has become highly inefficient in both the management of the employees and the screening process itself.

Many airports including Atlanta and the New York Port Authority put the TSA on notice that they would switch to private screeners if the situation of horrendously long lines wouldn’t improve which left many passengers wait for hours and miss their flights.

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