Frequent flyers would probably know better…
U.S. Government Accountability Office has released a report on Transportation Security Administration has been released citing a 26% increase in misconduct among TSA employees between 2010 and 2012.
Some of the examples of violations by the TSA crew is quite similar to what one finds usually finds happening at the airports in sub-continent countries like Pakistan and India where the airport security officials steal stuff from people’s bags, take bribes, report late on duties, sleep during work hours and sneak off their personal contacts/relatives in order to escape security screening.
The report might not come as a surprise to frequent travelers who have to go through intense groping and probing and pat-downs by TSA employees but it does sound a bit alarming when put in an official document. It sort of makes you realize how nasty the traveling experience has been for people lately.
All in all misconduct cases involving TSA officers, everything from being late to skipping crucial security protocols, rose from 2,691 a year in 2010 to 3,408 in 2012.
Following are the three MAJOR offenses cited in the report:
About a third of the cases involved being late or not reporting for work, the largest single category of offenses.
10% of offenses involved inappropriate comments or abusive behavior.
Screening And Security Failures:
About a quarter involved screening and security failures, including sleeping on the job, or neglect of duty offenses that resulted in losses or careless inspections.
No specific cases of theft were mentioned in the report but CNN aptly points out two very notable cases including a 2012 incident in which two former employees pleaded guilty to stealing $40,000 from a checked bag at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, and a 2011 guilty plea from an officer who admitted stealing between $10,000 and $30,000 from travelers at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.
GAO has recommended TSA to establish a process to conduct reviews of misconduct cases to verify that the officers at airports are complying with policies and procedures for adjudicating employee misconduct.
Let’s see if this report yields positive results.