The Government Accountability Office is warning the Transportation Security Administration that the agency’s 2007 study on the efficiency and effectiveness of private screeners doesn’t tell the whole story.
In 2007, TSA studiedÂ the cost, wait time in security lines, customer satisfaction, threat detection capabilities and recertification test passage ratesÂ of private security screeners at six of the nationâ€™s airports and compared the results to federal screeners.
A newly released GAO report reviews a TSA assessment of cost savings and performance of private screeners and found the agency didnâ€™t account for all costs in its study, which found private screeners were equal to or better than federal screeners in terms of cost and performance.
Among the costs TSA didnâ€™t account for:
- overlapping administrative staffs in the cost of airports participating in the Screening Partnership Program, which allows private-sector screeners to screen luggage at six commercial airports.Â
- lost tax revenues when private screeners were converted to federal screeners.
TSA also did not conduct a statistical assessment of the reliability of the data used in the report, which was conducted by a contractor in 2007.