Background


TSA’s
multi-layered process to vet aviation workers for potential links to
terrorism was generally effective. In addition to initially vetting every
application for new credentials, TSA recurrently vetted aviation workers
with access to secured areas of commercial airports every time the
Consolidated Terrorist Watchlist was updated. However, our testing
showed that TSA did not identify 73 individuals with
terrorism-related category codes because TSA is not authorized to receive
all

terrorism-related information under current interagency watchlisting
policy.


TSA had less
effective controls in place for ensuring that aviation workers 1) had not
committed crimes that would disqualify them from having unescorted access
to secure airports areas, and 2) had lawful status and were
authorized to work in the United States. In general, TSA relied on
airport operators to perform criminal history and work
authorization checks, but had limited oversight over these
commercial entities. Thus, TSA lacked assurance that it properly vetted
all

credential applicants.


Further,
thousands of records used for vetting workers contained potentially
incomplete or inaccurate data, such as an initial for a first name and
missing social security numbers. TSA did not have appropriate edit checks
in place to reject such records from vetting. Without complete
and accurate information, TSA risks credentialing and
providing unescorted access to secure airport areas for workers
with potential to harm the nation’s air transportation system.


The Investigation



 TSA
Can Improve Aviation Worker Vetting, June 4, 2015
[36 Pages, 5.3MB]

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