The Transportation Security Administration has a new strategy for improving its woeful performance in catching airport security threats, says Politico. It will likely mean longer lines at airports and more federal spending. A month after TSA was embarrassed by an almost-total failure in a security audit, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has ordered the agency to pursue a plan that will require more hand-wanding of passengers, more use of bomb-sniffing dogs and more random testing of luggage and travelers for traces of explosives. It may reduce travelers' chances of being sent through the expedited PreCheck lines at airports.
Increased reliance on PreCheck is one strategy TSA has used to become slimmer and swifter, drawing praise from a Congress that's largely criticized the agency. It has also relied more on technology like body-scanners and analyses of specific travelers' risks while leaning less on labor-intensive methods like pat-downs, allowing the TSA to save manpower costs and shrink its workforce. Then came the leak of a still-classified inspector general report in June, which found that TSA agents had failed to find fake explosives and weapons 67 out of 70 times during covert testing. “In light of the 96 percent failure, they're probably going to slow things down,” said House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul (R-TX). Kevin Mitchell of the Business Travel Coalition said, “Things are going to slow down, and consumers are going to get increasingly frustrated.”