In yet another embarrassing moment for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the government body, which is responsible for airline safety, allowed security badges to be issued to 11 aviation employees with criminal backgrounds, giving them access to secure areas of U.S. airports, reports CNS News.
According to a Feb. 22 report from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), the TSA allowed airports to issue security badges to employees without conducting federally required background checks from April 20 until June 1, 2012.
The OIG stated that there still may be individuals with criminal records who are working in secured areas of airports.
According to the report: “TSA did not track which airports temporarily issued badges without the required background checks. Therefore, individuals with criminal records may currently have access to secured areas in our Nation’s airports."
An OIG survey contacted the 446 total airports in the United States, but only 290 airports responded, 168 of which reported using processes other than federal background checks.
The survey found at least 11 individuals among five different airports have received security badges despite having a criminal record. Of those 11, six had their badges deactivated, but five still had secured access beyond 14 days.
The TSA has agreed to all of OIG’s recommendations to correct their failures and claims to have revoked badges from those who should not have received them.
As of Feb. 22, the OIG still needed to confirm that the TSA identified all badges issued during the background exemption period and that badges carried by ex-cons were deactivated.
“We need to verify that TSA identified all individuals who obtained badges during the period of time when the use of alternate measures was permitted,” the OIG said. “We will review the actions taken to ensure that TSA issued all badges during the backlog in accordance with Federal requirements and with the proper security checks.”
Source: CNS News