Aviation Security: Progress Made, but Challenges Persist in Meeting the Screening Mandate for Air Cargo, Statement of Steve Lord, Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issues, Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Transportation Security, Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 278KB]

"The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the federal agency with primary responsibility for securing the air cargo system. The Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 mandated DHS to establish a system to screen 100 percent of cargo flown on passenger aircraft by August 2010. GAO [Government Accountability Office] reviewed TSA's progress in meeting the act's screening mandate, and any related challenges it faces for both domestic (cargo transported within and from the United States) and inbound cargo (cargo bound for the United States). This statement is based on prior reports and testimonies issued from April 2007 through December 2010 addressing the security of the air cargo transportation system and selected updates made in February and March 2011. For the updates, GAO obtained information on TSA's air cargo security programs and interviewed TSA officials. GAO has made recommendations in prior work to strengthen air cargo screening. Although not fully concurring with all recommendations, TSA has taken or has a number of actions underway to address them. Continued attention is needed to ensure some recommendations are addressed, such as establishing a mechanism to verify screening data. TSA provided technical comments on the information in this statement, which GAO incorporated as appropriate."

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