Government: Aviation security testing could better eliminate vulnerabilities

August 14, 2008 1:54:36 PM PDT
The Transportation Security Administration's Office of Inspection neglected to document security failures, such as broken screening equipment, during undercover testing of national airport security systems, therefore limiting its ability to identify vulnerabilities in the system, according to a Government Accountability Office report released today. TSA's national and local covert testing programs were designed to examine the performance of the aviation security system and reduce vulnerabilities.

The GAO also stated TSA does not have a specific procedure that ensures its Office of Inspection's recommendations are taken into consideration nor does it document the reason those recommendations will or will not be implemented.

GAO said it is too early to see if the program, conducted from September 2002 to June 2007, will meet its goals because TSA is still analyzing test data.

The report says that while TSA has a well established covert testing program in commercial aviation, other types of transportation are not regulatory tested.

To view the GAO's entire report:

Transportation Security - TSA Has Developed a Risk-Based Covert Testing Program, but Could Better Mitigate Aviation Security Vulnerabilities Identified Through Covert Tests. GAO-08-958, August 8