In its rush to get airport screeners hired last fall, the federal aviation security agency lost background questionnaires, failed to run some employee fingerprints through a national crime database and was unable to complete background checks, reports the Los Angeles Times based on interviews with airport and security officials.
Los Angeles International Airport and other major U.S. airports say they plan to recheck screeners to ensure that they don’t have a criminal past.
The agency that operates LAX will start re-fingerprinting 2,600 federal employees next week at a cost of about $143,000. The agency that operates New York City’s three airports started rechecking screeners there last month.
Concerns about the the Transportation Security Administration’s process surfaced after reports that screeners at various airports, including 26 at LAX, were fired after the agency discovered they had criminal records. The employees, who had access to restricted areas, had been on the job for several months. The agency disputes allegations that its 55,600 screeners have not undergone thorough background checks, although it acknowledged it has yet to complete a deliberately redundant four-part process.