Newark Airport security deficiencies known by Obama, congress?
By: Jim Kouri, CPP
First, in general, the level of access that TSA credentialing programs receive to Department of Justice (DOJ) Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal history records is the level of access accorded for noncriminal justice purposes (e.g., equal to that of a private company doing an employment check on a new applicant, according to TSA) which limits TSA in accessing certain criminal history data related to charges and convictions. While TSA is seeking criminal justice type access to FBI systems, the FBI reports that it is legally unable to provide this access. The FBI and TSA are collaborating on options, but have not identified the extent to which a potential security risk may exist under the current process, and the costs and benefits of pursuing alternatives to provide additional access, according to the analysts.
Second, TSA officials reported the agency was not reviewing some state-provided criminal history for Hazmat applicants because TSA did not have a mechanism to efficiently capture the data in its case system. Identifying a solution may help TSA better identify HME applicants posing security threats.
Third, the TSA Adjudication Center relies on contractors for adjudicating applicant cases, and contractor turnover has affected the agency’s ability to meet its growing workload. Developing a workforce staffing plan that considers the costs and benefits of using contractors will help ensure that TSA meets its growing credentialing workload.
The GAO recommended that TSA and the FBI conduct a joint risk assessment of TSA’s access to criminal history records; TSA assess costs and benefits of using state-provided criminal history information; and TSA develop a workforce staffing plan to address its growing Adjudication Center workload, said the GAO analysts.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.