Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Private Screeners Do a Better Job than TSA Screeners

Wed Apr 20, 12:46 AM

WASHINGTON - A congressional investigation found airport screeners employed by private companies do a better job detecting dangerous objects than government screeners, according to a House member who has seen the classified report.

The Government Accountability Office found statistically significant evidence that passenger screeners, who work at five airports under a pilot program, perform better than their federal counterparts at some 450 airports, Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. and chairman of the House aviation subcommittee, said on Tuesday.

"You get a statistically significant improvement if you go to federal supervision with private screening companies," Mica said.

In a separate report issued Tuesday, the inspector general for the Homeland Security Department faulted the Transportation Security Administration for allowing lavish spending on a $19 million crisis management center, including about $500,000 to acquire artwork, silk plants and other decorative and miscellaneous items.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, Congress ordered every commercial airport but five to switch from privately employed screeners to a government work force.

The five exceptions - in San Francisco; Tupelo, Miss.; Rochester, N.Y.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Jackson Hole, Wyo. - all have private workers supervised by Transportation Security Administration officials.

Mica wants to see that system at all U.S. airports.

Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio, a senior Democrat on the aviation subcommittee, opposes private screeners.

DeFazio, who has seen the classified GAO report, said the difference between the private and government screeners was statistically significant but still slight.


Ah, the nail in the coffin. As I think about it though, I do perfer the federal screeners over the private, simply because they look more professional, and generally speak better english than the old contracted ones. But the TSA screeners are too costly and inefficient.

On a side note, I have to replace the tires on my car today. That makes twice in two weeks i've had to replace the tires on one of my cars. It sucks, it's an unexpected expense.


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