Findings of Exam of TSA Aviation Channeling Service Provider

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently issued its report on TSA’s Aviation Channeling Service Provider project.

Following is a link to the report:

http://www.oig.dhs.gov/assets/Mgmt/2013/OIG_13-42_Feb13.pdf

The DHS OIG conducted the audit at the request of Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, “to determine whether the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Aviation Channeling Services Provider project selected vendors according to Federal policies and procedures, and effectively planned for the implementation of the new services.”

According to the report TSA did not:

  • Document the project’s plan, roles and responsibilities, budget and spending, and major decisions made while implementing the project;
  • Establish and enforce standard testing requirements and ensure that all vendors test system functionality with at least one airport to identify problems prior to deploying the new Aviation Channeling Services Provider system; and
  • Ensure that project challenges were adequately addressed.

In the report, the OIG indicates that this contributed to delays in airports receiving Criminal History Records Checks (CHRC) and Security Threat Assessment (STA) results.

TSA concurred with the following four recommendations included in the report:

Recommendation #1:

Develop a lessons learned report for future projects to show challenges that occurred throughout the Aviation Channeling Services Provider project. This should include improving comprehensive system functionality testing of the channeling process and developing a resolution plan to address unresolved issues.

 

Recommendation #2:

Establish a policy that requires all projects include a comprehensive plan that—

  • Designates an official(s) responsible for overall project status and completion;
  • Documents decisions made throughout all phases of the project’s design, selection, testing, implementation, communication, and oversight; and
  • Tracks and reports all project costs.

Recommendation #3:

Immediately communicate customer service expectations to vendors and monitor their performance for accountability. This would include establishing a formal process or survey schedule to obtain feedback from vetting project stakeholders on vendor performance, services, and other related concerns.

 

Recommendation #4:

Conduct a comprehensive review of badges issued under the “Exemption from TSA Regulations and Alternate Measures to Security Directive 1542-04-08 series.” Create a detailed report identifying the locations and badges involved in the use of alternate measures and the actions taken to ensure all badges issued during the backlog have been issued in accordance with Federal requirements and the proper security checks.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Christopher R. Bidwell, Vice President, Security and Facilitation, at (202) 861-8081 or Lydia T. Beairsto, Director, Public Safety and Security, at (202) 861-8082.