The Department of Homeland Securityâs office of the inspector general has said theÂ Transportation SecurityÂ Administration lacksÂ oversight and guidance over theÂ Transportation Worker Identification Credentials program’sÂ background checkÂ process.
A DHS OIG report published Sept. 1 stated the TWIC program office focusesÂ more on customer service than the program’s effectiveness and the program office lacks authority overÂ other TSA offices that support the TWIC program.
The report notedÂ TSA has issued more thanÂ 3.5 millionÂ biometric credentials to giveÂ individuals unescorted access to secureÂ areas of U.S.Â maritime facilities andÂ vessels.
Auditors saidÂ TWIC program’s security threat assessment does not use fraud detection techniques to complete the background check and adjudicators may grant credentials despite “questionable circumstances.”
TheÂ background checkÂ and terrorism vetting processes also lackÂ quality assurance and internal controlÂ procedures, the reportÂ stated.
DHS OIG called onÂ TSA’s assistant administrator of the officeÂ of intelligence and analysis to identify a coordinating bodyÂ that willÂ provide guidance and leadership across all securityÂ threat assessment processes and supporting offices.
The TSA assistant administrator should also develop and implement internal controls and quality assurance procedures that will addressÂ risks within security threat assessment processes, DHS OIG said.
The report also recommended forÂ TSA toÂ alignÂ TWICÂ performance metrics with program objectives; review TWIC security threat assessment guidance; and establishÂ measurable and comparable criteria to help select the bestÂ criminal and immigration recurrent vetting option.