WASHINGTON – A newly released report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General found that the Transportation Security Administration has not provided adequate oversight of support service contracts due to a lack of adequately trained staff.
The OIG report, “Transportation Security Administration’s Acquisition of Support Services Contract,” was made public Thursday. It examined management of support services contracts within TSA’s Office of Security Technology (OST). The review was based on an examination of 13 contracts valued at $609 million from a pool of 29 contracts valued at $662 million.
“I am concerned that the Transportation Security Administration has not assigned a sufficient number of qualified employees to oversee its support services contracts,” said Senator Susan Collins, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “Lax oversight heightens the risk of contractors performing inherently governmental functions. It also shows that the TSA is not being a responsible and aggressive steward of taxpayer dollars.
“The report notes that TSA has made changes to improve contract administration and oversight, including having TSA’s Head of the Contracting Activity conduct an annual review of contracts valued at more than $1 million. Such reviews represent a positive outcome of the report. Nonetheless, the overall findings clearly demonstrate that more attention must be paid to requirements, development and contract administration.”
Among the OIG findings: Because TSA did not have adequate oversight, it could not ensure that contractors were performing as required by the terms of the contracts. It also could not ensure that services were paid for or that the best value for tax dollars was achieved. The report also noted that TSA has implemented changes that will improve administration and oversight.