TSA Allowed People With Criminal Records To Get Airport Security Badges

March 10, 2013

"...according to a recent report from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), the agency’s bungling of an airport security badge vetting program allowed at least 11 individuals with criminal backgrounds to obtain access to secured airport areas

What’s more, says the OIG, because of the TSA’s lack of oversight, some individuals with criminal records may retain such access to this day.

TSA, in its wisdom, decided that if airports couldn’t operate without security badges and the badges were being held up because background checks were delayed, the solution was not to fix the problems with the project (or even to revert to the old system) but simply to allow airports to issue badges without background checks. Thus, from April 20 to June 1, 2012, airports could issue badges to those whose background checks were in limbo, with the proviso that these badges would be revoked if the checks were not completed within 14 days.

The OIG also recommended that the TSA “conduct a comprehensive review of badges issued” without background checks, which the TSA also agreed to do. But if that review is managed in a similar fashion as the project itself — and there is little reason to expect otherwise — it is likely to take years and still not end up with a full accounting of individuals with criminal records who possess security badges."