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Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021

TSA could better measure effectiveness of cargo screening, GAO says

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued three recommendations to improve how the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) inspects air carriers and assesses foreign airports in regards to U.S.-bound air cargo.

The GAO examined the TSA’s screening process to monitor the status of, and measure the effectiveness of, the TSA’s security efforts.

Researchers discovered the TSA found security violations in 25 percent of its foreign airport assessments and 16 percent of airline inspections between 2012 and 2017.

To improve performance, the GAO recommends the TSA administrator develop and monitor outcome-based performance measures for determining the effectiveness of the cargo portion of its foreign airport assessments and for determining the effectiveness of national cargo security recognition programs (NCSP).

“Once TSA determines a program is commensurate with TSA’s, it monitors NCSP implementation through regular air carrier inspections, foreign airport assessments, and dialog with government officials,” the GAO said.

The GAO also recommends the administrator differentiate which air carriers correct violations related to cargo and which develop outcome-based performance measures for their air carrier inspection program.

Between 2012 and 2017, air carriers were in full compliance with cargo security requirements 84 percent of the time, and foreign airports were in full compliance 75 percent of the time.