TITLE

Aviation Security: Federal Air Marshal Service Is Addressing Challenges of Its Expanded Mission and Workforce, but Additional Actions Needed: GAO-04-242

PUB. DATE
November 2003
SOURCE
GAO Reports;11/19/2003, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Government Documents
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
To help strengthen aviation security after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Congress expanded the size and mission of the Federal Air Marshal Service (the Service) and located the Service within the newly created Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Between November 2001 and July 1, 2002, the Service grew from fewer than 50 air marshals to thousands, and its mission expanded to include the protection of domestic as well as international flights. In March 2003, the Service, with TSA, merged into the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and in November 2003, it was transferred from TSA and merged into DHS's Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). GAO looked at operational and management control issues that emerged during the rapid expansion of the Service, specifically addressing its (1) background check procedures and training; (2) management information, policies, and procedures; and (3) challenges likely to result from its mergers into DHS and ICE. To deploy its expanded workforce by July 1, 2002, a deadline set by the Deputy Secretary of Transportation, the Service used expedited procedures to obtain interim secret security clearances for air marshal candidates and provided abbreviated training for them. These procedures allowed candidates with interim clearances to work until they received their final top-secret clearances. Because of a governmentwide demand for clearances, nearly a quarter of the active air marshals had not received their top-secret clearances as of July 2003; but by October 2003, only about 3 percent were awaiting their top-secret clearances. To train its expanded workforce before the Deputy Secretary's deployment deadline, the Service incrementally revised and abbreviated its curriculum. The Service has begun to develop management information, policies, and procedures to support its expanded workforce and mission, but it has not yet completed this major effort. For example, it replaced a manual system for scheduling flight duty with an automated system, but it has not yet developed an automated means to monitor the effectiveness of its scheduling controls designed to prevent air marshals' fatigue. In addition, it has gathered and used information on potential security incidents and on air marshals' reasons for separation from the Service to improve its operations and workforce management. However, some of this information is not clear or detailed enough to facilitate follow-up. Finally, the Service has implemented policies needed to support its expansion. The Service is likely to face challenges in implementing changes resulting from its mergers into DHS and ICE, including changes to its roles, responsibilities, and training and to its procedures for coordinating with TSA's security organizations, as well as administrative changes. GAO's recent work on mergers and organizational transformations proposes several key practices--set implementation goals, establish a communication strategy, and involve employees to obtain their ideas--and associated implementation steps that could help the Service implement such changes.
ACCESSION #
18210297

 

Related Articles

  • Who's Protecting The Passengers? Donnelly, Sally B. // Time International (South Pacific Edition);3/4/2002, Issue 8, p12 

    Focuses on the decision to place United States Federal Air Marshals (FAM) on so-called high threat commercial flights. Statement of President George W. Bush that many more FAM would be present on flights following the events of September 11, 2001; Question of when the Transportation Security...

  • SOFTWARE AND SMART CARDS. Levine, Samantha // U.S. News & World Report;3/14/2005, Vol. 138 Issue 9, p36 

    The article addresses the question of whether technology can improve airport security in the U.S. while reducing the hassles for passengers. The events of 9/11 affected many aspects of American life but perhaps none so much as commercial air travel. There have been unprecedented attempts to...

  • DANGER IN THE SKY. Poyner IV, Fred; Whiting, Gwen // Columbia Anthology;Fall2013, p5 

    The article discusses the history of airline and airport security in the United States, considering federal organizations including the Federal Air Marshal Service, the Transportation Security Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security. In response to the 1971 skyjacking by D. B....

  • HOMELAND SECURITY: NOW WHAT? O'Connell, Tim // SDM: Security Distributing & Marketing;Jun2003, Vol. 33 Issue 6, p40 

    Focuses on the creation of the Department of Homeland Security after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. Amount allocated for bioterrorism preparedness; Launch of a public service campaign aimed at encouraging citizens to prepare for future terrorist attacks; Increase in the demand...

  • Post 9/11 Next Steps for General Aviation Security.  // Air Safety Week;8/6/2007, Vol. 21 Issue 30, p3 

    The article discusses a study on general aviation security after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. The report says the Department of Homeland Security subordinate agencies and local law enforcement should integrate border security and general aviation security. The study...

  • A Failure of Imagination. Gaier, David // Government Security;Feb2005, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p22 

    The article focuses on issues related to homeland security in the U.S. The September 11, 2001 attacks have not caused the U.S. to genuinely rethink its overall approach to security, only to fear the unknown in a way it had not before. The creation of the Department of Homeland Security, while...

  • Ten Years After. Stossel, John // Freeman: Ideas on Liberty;Dec2011, Vol. 61 Issue 10, p40 

    The article discusses the security improvement in the U.S. following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 (9/11). It notes the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, as well as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). American writer Randolph Bourne also cites the...

  • Recalibrating Homeland Security. Flynn, Stephen // Foreign Affairs;May/Jun2011, Vol. 90 Issue 3, p130 

    An article is presented that reports on homeland security in the U.S. in 2011. The article describes American security policy following the September 11, 2011 terrorist attacks and counterterrorism measures for law enforcement and border control. The article discusses policies and agencies under...

  • Collins: TSA Security Needs Less Inconvenience.  // Air Safety Week;11/7/2011, Vol. 25 Issue 44, p4 

    The article presents information on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) which needs to develop effective security screening measures for safety of U.S. airports. As stated by senate Susan Collins to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the airport...

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of NEW JERSEY STATE LIBRARY

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics