TSA aiming to fire 25, suspend 19 at Newark Star-Liberty International Airport

More woes: The TSA wants to fire 25 employees and suspend another 19 at Newark airport Photo: Barry Bahler/DHS

ATLANTA, Oct. 20, 2012 – The woes continue for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as the federal agency said Friday it wants to fire 25 employees and suspend another 19 at Newark Star-Liberty International Airport.

The employees failed to properly conduct baggage screening, according to the TSA and published reports.

Critics have long bemoaned the TSA as a bureaucratic boondoggle. Supporters say the federal agency, founded in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is necessary to ensure the flying public remains safe.

“TSA holds all of its employees to the highest professional and ethical standards and has a zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace,” the agency said in a statement. “Accountability is an important aspect of our work and TSA takes prompt and appropriate action with any employee who does not follow our procedures and engages in misconduct.

“The decision to take disciplinary actions today with the proposed the removal of  25  individuals and suspension of 19 others today reaffirms our strong commitment to ensure the safety of the traveling public and to hold all our employees to the highest standards of conduct and accountability,” the agency added.

The firings and suspensions at the Newark airport are merely the latest setback for the agency.

The agency’s Inspector General (IG) recently found shortcomings in the TSA’s procedures, standards and oversight at Honolulu International Airport in 2010.

U.S. Reps. John Mica, R-Fla., and Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, requested the IG “review to determine why a portion of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) screener workforce at Honolulu International Airport did not perform critical transportation security screening of baggage,” according to the report released last week by Mica.

“Without ensuring that baggage is screened as appropriate, TSA risks the safety of the traveling public by allowing unscreened baggage on passenger aircraft,” the IG said in the report.

“There are system-wide problems with this massive bureaucracy,” Mica said in a statement about the IG report. “…This agency continues to fail its employees and the American public by devoting itself to managing a bloated 65,000-person workforce rather than focusing on providing the best transportation security standards and strong oversight for more efficient, more cost-effective private screeners. TSA is an agency crying out for reform.”

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Todd DeFeo

Todd DeFeo jouned The Washington Times Communities in May 2012. He covers travel and Georgia. A marketing professional who never gave up his award-winning journalistic ways, DeFeo revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He also serves as editor of The Travel Trolley.


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