TSA Lagging With Port Worker ID Card Program


The Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) identification card program for maritime workers has hit some bumps as the agency has not yet made a decision as to who will pay for the program that will include access control systems, according to the General Accountability Office.

TSA officials have been plagued by problems in terms of getting approval from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to proceed with testing. Delays can also be attributed to competition for executive-level attention and resources when the department began its consolidation efforts. Finally, Congress also delayed TSA’s plans. Congressional oversight committees asked TSA to assess different smart card technologies.

The Transportation Worker Identification Credential program, had it been started, was supposed to issue ID cards in August to 6 million maritime industry workers. TSA also wanted a partnership between federal, state and local governments with the federal government providing cards and a database to confirm identities. DHS required TSA to consider other approaches that were more cost-effective.

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