Up 26% in three years; no consistency in disciplining thieves, molesters, and those neglecting security
July 31, 2013
A report out of the Government Accountability Office shows that TSA employee misconduct is rapidly rising, with a 26% spike in reported incidents over the past three years.
The report detailed instances of theft, sleeping on the job, leaving work without permission, and allowing friends and family members to bypass security screening procedures, to name but a few.
The report states that there have been close to ten thousand discovered cases of misconduct since 2010, 1,900 of which were classified as security threats.
When you consider that there are around 55,000 employees, these figures are appalling.
The report notes that almost one-third of allegations made against TSA employees over the three year period were concerned with poor attendance and leave issues, as well as lateness. The report also found 426 cases of neglect of duty.
The GAO document also notes that 56 TSA agents have been caught stealing significant amounts of money from baggage, totaling thousands of dollars. In one incident in 2011, a screener at Orlando (Fla.) International Airport stole over 80 laptops and other electronic devices valued at $80,000.
The report also notes 384 cases of ethical violations such as bribery or credit-card abuse.
Other TSA agents were accused of taking bribes from drug traffickers in Los Angeles last year, while one officer was fired after being caught red handed stealing an ipad by ABC News.
In the last ten years the agency has fired 381 employees for stealing.
“There’s not even a way to properly report some of the offenses, so this may be just the tip of the iceberg of some of the offenses,” Rep. John Mica, a staunch critic of the TSA commented.
“Why are there so many cases and then, what is TSA doing about that? The report says they can’t really get a handle on it. That raises a lot of issues,” Mica said.
The report also finds that punishments for misconduct are not consistent throughout the agency. It notes that half of employees accused of sleeping on the job received less than the lowest penalty possible.
The GAO notes that TSA has stopped short of suspending or firing agents caught sleeping, and has also limited punishment of some officers accused of stealing to a letter of reprimand only.
The report added that the agency has routinely failed to properly review cases of alleged serious misconduct, including allowing people to bypass screening.
“TSA plays fast and loose with its use of recommended penalties for misconduct,” Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., chairman of the Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee, said in a statement. “These findings show why many Americans have lost respect for the agency protecting our airports.”
“TSA has already been publicly scrutinized for its behavior and treatment of the American public, and when Americans hear about ethical misconduct from TSA employees, whether it be theft, neglect of duty, or even abusive language, it makes the problem even worse.” Duncan added.
The GAO concludes that TSA needs to improve the monitoring of allegations of misconduct and subsequent follow up actions after investigations. The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on how the agency disciplines employees.
Of course, none of this should be surprising to regular readers who will know that the government’s own reports, as well as whistleblower testimonies, have revealed that TSA deliberately hires psychopathic criminals and sexual predators, supplying them airport security badges without worrying too much over background checks.
You can read the entire GAO report below:
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.