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TSA equipment gathering dust, House investigators say

The Washington Post

May 8, 2012

By Ashley Halsey III

The Transportation Security Administration has shelved $184 million in security equipment in a Texas warehouse rather than in the airports for which it was bought, according to a report compiled by House Republican investigators.

When House investigators sought information about the stored material, the TSA “provided inaccurate, incomplete, and potentially misleading information . . . to conceal the agency’s mismanagement of warehouse operations.”

TSA operations have come under repeated fire from Rep. John L. Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, who advocates scaling down the agency and farming out many of its duties to private contractors.

Central to Mica’s criticism has been the contention that the TSA has wasted money on equipment that wasn’t fully tested and did not live up to expectations. He also has questioned the speed with which new devices are deployed to airports.

The report is consistent with his belief, saying the TSA “is wasting millions of taxpayer dollars by inefficiently deploying screen equipment.”


The report by staff investigators said the TSA was slow to supply them with an inventory of the warehoused equipment and then stalled their efforts to visit the site. The delay was a deliberate effort to get rid of 1,300 pieces of unused screening equipment before investigators arrived in February, the report said.


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