The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has set off alarms at the Capitol. A Congressional report issued on Wednesday reveals that TSA has been groping taxpayer dollars.
The officials of the agency have taken the buy-in-bulk mentality to new levels. The report shows that TSA has procured millions of dollars of unnecessary equipment in order to get a discount.
TSA has been buying its equipment in bulk and then putting it in storage, where it takes up space and depreciates.
The report states: “TSA is wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars by inefficiently deploying screening equipment and technology to commercial airports.”
The report continues:
Committee staff discovered that 85% of the approximately 5,700 major transportation security equipment currently warehoused at the TLC had been stored for longer than six months; 35% of the equipment had been stored for more than one year. One piece of equipment had been in storage more than six years – 60% of its useful life.
As of February 2012, Committee staff discovered that TSA had 472 Advanced Technology 2 (AT2) carry-on baggage screening machines at the TLC and that more than 99% have remained in storage for more than nine months; 34% of AT2s have been stored for longer than one year.
Committee staff estimate that the delayed deployment of TSA’s state-of-the-art screening technologies has resulted in a massive depreciated loss of equipment utility at an estimated cost to taxpayers of nearly $23 million.
But the TSA believes the practice has made Americans safer.
“To fulfill its security responsibilities, TSA rapidly deploys technology to respond to changing threat information, and stand up operations in locations affected by natural disasters and other crises,” TSA spokesperson Sterling Payne said in defense of the agency. “These factors and others require the agency to have a steady inventory of technology available to prevent supply disruptions from compromising aviation security.”
The report recommends that TSA “halt all equipment procurement unless there is a bona fide need.”