We shouldn’t let the fog of war distract from abuses of power and waste at home

The Los Angeles Times is reporting on gross abuse and waste at the Transportation Security Administration

    [T]he Charlottesville, Va., airport handles about 470 departing passengers a day.

    When the airlines paid for security at Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport, they managed to check passengers with a staff of 15 screeners. But since the federal government took over airport security, it deploys 39, a daily average of 12 passengers per screener.

Among other things, the Transportation Department’s Inspector General audit found that:

  • The primary contract for recruiting federal security screeners cost $700 million — up from an initial agreement for $100 million.

  • An inspector general audit found $305 million in overbilling by airport security contractors. Six of 13 companies that provided most of the security guards increased their hourly billing rates by 58% to 97% above what they had been charging the airlines before the TSA took over.

  • The TSA bought about 1,110 machines at $1 million apiece to meet an end-of-year deadline for inspecting all checked bags. The Transportation Department’s Inspector General says the performance of these machines is “a significant unknown.” What’s more, hundreds of these machines are going to be moved and reconfigured at an additional cost of at least $3 billion.

The TSA’s response?

    “I think TSA has been an excellent steward of the taxpayers’ money”

And somehow the move to Impeach Norm Mineta has faded away?!?!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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