Gov’t Report: TSA Misconduct Up 26% in Last 3 Years

A new government report is out with some damaging statistics on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA): misconduct by TSA employees is up 26 percent in the last three years.

Violations, CNN reports, include “employees sleeping on the job, letting family and friends go without being screened, leaving work without permission and stealing.”

“There’s not even a way to properly report some of the offenses, so this may be just the tip of the iceberg of some of the offenses,” Florida GOP Rep. John Mica, who ordered the audit, told the outlet. The report was conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The report includes a table that shows just how many of cases of misconduct occurred from 2010-2012. We’ve highlighted some of them:

A table from the GAO report on TSA misconduct. (Source: GAO report)

“TSA touts ‘integrity’ as one of its core values,” Rep. Jeff Duncan, a South Carolina Republican who is also the chair of the Homeland Security’s oversight panel, said in a statement last week. “Yet a soon-to-be released GAO report raises troubling concerns about misconduct at our nation’s airports. The report’s findings show that TSA plays fast and loose with its use of recommended penalties for misconduct.”

Politico highlights just some of the problems:

The report’s findings show that TSA plays fast and loose with its use of recommended penalties for misconduct.”

For example, the TSA is supposed to punish employees caught sleeping on the job with a punishment ranging from a 14-day suspension to outright firing. But the GAO found that 50 percent of cases in 2012 led to minor punishments like a letter of reprimand or a three-day suspension.

In another incident, a TSA employee allowed a family member to bypass screening before being stopped by a supervisor. The bag was found to “contain numerous prohibited items.” The employee was suspended for seven days.

The report did not specify what the prohibited items were.

But one of the agent’s union leaders is trying to defend against the report.

“If you look at a population the size of a small city — 56,000 people in this work force — and the numbers then on an annual basis are then really, really small,” David Borer of the American Federation of Government Employees told CNN.

The report comes with recommendations on what the TSA can do to help monitor allegations of misconduct and and how to follow up after incidents occur.

You can read the entire report below:

GAO report on TSA misconduct.


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