U.S. Rep. Ron Barber closely questioned a top official from the Transportation Security Administration after a government audit found that the number of misconduct cases in the agency had grown by 26 percent over three years.
Barber is ranking member of the Oversight and Management Efficiency Subcommittee of the House Committee on Homeland Security, which yesterday held a hearing on misconduct within the agency that irresponsible for screening airline passengers and baggage.
“TSA’s most important responsibility is to ensure the safety and security of travelers in a professional manner,” Barber said. “We cannot allow one bag or one person go unscreened.”
Barber noted that the GAO found, from 2010 to 2012, one fifth of all TSA misconduct cases were classified as violations in which people or baggage were allowed to bypass screening. During that same period, the GAO also found that the annual number of TSA misconduct cases actually increased from 2,691 to 3,408.
Barber also closely questioned TSA Deputy Administrator John Halinski about procedures to identify allegations of misconduct that have not been resolved.
“What potential impact could this have on the 1.9 million people who travel through America’s 450 airports each day?” Barber asked Halinski.
Barber also questioned Halinski about how open it is with the public. “What can the department do – more than it’s already done – to ensure transparency with the American people?” Barber asked.