Congress

TSA Overstates Costs of Private Alternatives

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From the Washington Times:

Federal auditors found the agency erred in its cost comparisons, and a skeptical lawmaker said TSA did so to stop the use of private contractors to do screening — an option Congress wrote into the 2001 law that created the agency.

Sixteen airports throughout the country use private screeners under the Security Partnership Program (SPP), but TSA has barred other airports from joining the program.

In a letter to Congress released Wednesday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said TSA's new estimates show that private screeners are just 3 percent more expensive than federal workers—not 17 percent, as the agency previously had stated.

Auditors said that earlier TSA estimates had not accounted for the costs of workers compensation, liability insurance, retirement benefits and administrative overhead involved in using federal employees

"TSA cooked the books to try to eliminate the federal-private screening program," said Rep. John L. Mica, Florida Republican and chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. "GAO found that TSAignored critical data relating to costs."

Mr. Mica said the revised 3 percent cost difference is likely still too high because it does not take into account "the full cost of TSA's bloated and unnecessary bureaucratic overhead."….

Five airports recently have applied to join the SPP but have been denied by TSA officials, Mr. Mica said.

In January, TSA Administrator John Pistole announced those applications were being refused and that no other airports would be allowed to participate in SPP unless they could demonstrate a "clear and substantial advantage" in doing so.

Mr. Mica said his staff will continue to investigate the "distortion and misstatement of facts used in the denial of each of these five airports' participation in the federal-private screening program."

The Reason Foundation's Robert Poole on getting the TSA out of passenger screening.

The GAO study on TSA discussed above.

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  1. TSA. Totally. Scamming. America.

    1. Totally Screwing America?

        1. Touch Spooner’s Ass

    2. Total Scrotal Assault

    3. Tsardom of Sexual Assault

    4. Taint-Searching Assholes

    5. Taint-Searching Assholes

  2. Federal auditors found the agency erred in its cost comparisons, and a skeptical lawmaker said TSA did so to stop the use of private contractors to do screening ? an option Congress wrote into the 2001 law that created the agency.

    The kind of agency only a mother[f*cker] could love!

  3. Any more updates on the Amtrak head scolding the TSA for its VIPR shenanigans?

  4. We don’t need the TSA, we already have the Second Amendment.

    Rand Paul Fights for Freedom and Tells Uncle Obama to Lay Off the Toilets and Light Bulbs.
    http://libertarians4freedom.bl…..y-off.html

    1. ^^^ Blog whore ^^^

      1. Stop insulting whores.

      2. Whatever bitch, someone clicked.

        SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WHITE STUDENTS, WHY IS THAT RACIST?
        http://libertarians4freedom.bl…..hy-is.html

  5. Maybe we should just scan each other before getting onboard – would be less costly, less intrusive, and at least as effective.

    1. I am intrigued by your ideas, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  6. A government agency would lie just to increase their own budget and power?

    But they’re noble public servants, how can this be?

    1. They’re just too decent to do such a thing! I mean, they’re non-profit, right???

  7. “TSA Administrator John Pistole announced those applications were being refused and that no other airports would be allowed to participate in SPP unless they could demonstrate a “clear and substantial advantage” in doing so.”

    This is what happens when federal authority is not divided. Who decided to give them powers beyond security procedures?

    1. I’m trying to figure out how TSA gets the authority to refuse all applications for airports to use private security when Congress wrote into the law establishing the TSA that contractors could be used instead.

  8. Each and every day, the governments of this country show how inefficient and dishonest they are, yet all my lefty friends can complain about is how evil the republican party is for taking away collective bargaining rights, wanting to cut spending, and not raising taxes.

    Like, seriously, you want our governments to have more power and money, you numbskulls?

    I dislike the repub party as much as the democrat party, so I’m not defending them, but to be ignorant as to how wrong Obama and the dems have been is just amazing to me.

  9. So lets say I need to get my driveway repaved, and I’m considering 2 contractors: contractor A and contractor B.

    Now, why on earth would I go to contractor A and say “could you give me a report on which will be more cost effective, using you or using contractor B”? What do you think that report would say?

    1. Because you can only use contractor B if contractor A gives them the okay to take the job away from them…

  10. Is anyone else even a little surprised at how quickly the TSA has figured out how to protect their absurd rents?

    1. Is anyone else even a little surprised at how quickly the TSA has figured out how to protect their absurd rents?

      No, they have had at least 70 years of reference templates.

  11. Why isn’t whoever knowingly submitted the original false estimate under arrest?

    Why isn’t Big Sis under arrest for lying to Congress last week?

    1. “Why isn’t Big Sis under arrest for lying to Congress last week?”

      It wasn’t lying-lying, it was sort of a misstatement, that’s all

  12. Auditors said that earlier TSA estimates had not accounted for the costs of workers compensation, liability insurance, retirement benefits and administrative overhead involved in using federal employees.

    Not factoring in non-monetary compensation as part of their overhead cost? That seems a common “misjudgment” in virtually every sector of government. I wonder why . . .

  13. In January, TSA Administrator John Pistole announced those applications were being refused and that no other airports would be allowed to participate in SPP unless they could demonstrate a “clear and substantial advantage” in doing so.

    Gee this is surprising. A government agency refusing to allow private contractors to do the same thing they do. Who’da thunk it?

    1. Just defending their turf. Probably take a court ruling to get the TSA to let go of the bone.

      1. Probably take a court ruling to get the TSA to let go of the bone.

        You typed this with a straight face?

  14. BTW, headline in SF Chron:
    “Wis. defeat could help launch counterattack on GOP”
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/…..327S58.DTL
    Note that to a supposedly neutral newspaper, the chance of fixing a structural budgetary problem and saving taxpayers’ money is a “defeat”.

    1. Sevo, are you joking? The SF newspaper is no where near neatral. They are representitive of all the left wing a_holes in SF.

      1. I’m certainly willing to believe that, but in this case it’s an AP article the title of which they didn’t alter (based on it showing up with the same title on Yahoo’s AP feed).

  15. What sort of DUMB congress would let TSA regulate its own affairs.
    Probably just as good as Congress doing their own regulations.

  16. Wait, we could use a private entity to conduct our unconstitutional crotch gropings and body scans? Who knew?

    I’m not living in the US currently, but every time I fly back for a visit, I feel like I’m going from a free, sane country to a fascist police state. Fuck the TSA and their money-wasting dog-and-pony show.

    1. It’s a damned weird fascist police state, where, to give a perhaps somewhat relevant to you example, it’s a matter of settled law that the states are required to issue concealed handgun carry permits to permanent resident aliens (Green Card holders) on the same basis as citizens.

      (Most recent example was an “oops” in South Dakota, I think, where the legislature was trying to also use it for a NICS shortcut; NICS checks for aliens are a bit more involved than for citizens.)

  17. Honestly,
    If the source of revenue is public; does it really make a damn bit of difference whether its a private company or government agency cashing the checks?

    1. Bingo! Most “privatization” entails one politically connected company getting a monopoly contract to perform a certain service or provide a certain product. And then it gets conflated with a free market in order to tear it down.

  18. The TSA investigated the TSA and determined that the TSA is doing a good job.

  19. Is there some reason TSA gets to decide this point? That’s pretty clearly a conflict of interest…

  20. “TSA Administrator John Pistole announced those applications were being refused and that no other airports would be allowed to participate in SPP unless they could demonstrate a “clear and substantial advantage” in doing so.”

    It seems to me that this reasoning is backward. Shouldn’t it state something to the effect of, “the federal government will not do the work of a private entity unless they can demonstrate a clear and substantial advantage to doing so?” (And that’s just on general principles – doesn’t even address the question of whether the federal government should have authority for a given activity…)

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