|Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc.|
Written testimony of TSA Administrator for a
Good morning Chairman Rockefeller, Ranking Member Thune, and distinguished Members of the Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today about the
TSA's primary mission is to protect the Nation's transportation systems, including aviation, mass transit, rail, highway, and pipeline, to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce. Each year TSA screens approximately 640 million passengers and 1.5 billion checked and carry-on bags on domestic and international flights departing from U.S. airports. TSA also strengthens and enhances the security of an inter-related, multi-modal transportation network that includes 751 million bus passengers and 10 billion passenger trips on mass transit each year. To fulfill this vital mission, TSA employs a layered approach to security through a well-trained frontline workforce, state-of-the-art technologies, intelligence analysis and information sharing, behavior detection, explosives detection canine teams, Federal Air Marshals (FAMS), and regulatory enforcement. This multi-layered approach helps to ensure the security of the traveling public and the Nation's transportation systems.
It is my goal to consistently apply a risk-based approach to all aspects of TSA's mission. Whether it is the deployment of Federal Air Marshals (FAMs), the allocation of Transit Security Grant resources, or air cargo screening policies, TSA is working to implement a risk-based approach that allows us to deliver the most effective security in the most efficient manner. To this end, TSA continues to examine the procedures and technologies we use, how specific security procedures are carried out, and how screening is conducted. When I last testified before this Committee in 2011, TSA was in the initial stages of operationalizing our first Risk Based Security (RBS) screening initiatives. I am pleased to report to the Committee that RBS measures are now being broadly implemented across the nation and throughout the various modes of transportation.
Focusing on risk management is also the most efficient way to use TSA's limited resources and enhances the value we provide to the American people. I recently created the position of Chief Risk Officer to assess and standardize our approach to risk management across our mission operations and business support operations. This effort allows TSA to better assess new policies with respect to risk and value creation. As I have testified previously, it is not possible to eliminate risk altogether so our efforts must remain focused on managing and mitigating that risk. This is the most appropriate and sustainable model for TSA.
TSA Pre[check](TM} was one of the first initiatives in TSA's shift toward a risk-based and intelligence-driven approach to security. I am pleased to report that the TSA Pre[check](TM) initiative has developed into an effective security program at 118 airports nationwide. TSA Pre[check](TM is a key RBS initiative that allows us to expedite security screening at aviation checkpoints for low-risk passengers. As you know, passengers may qualify for the TSA Pre[check](TM program through a
Another key initiative to expand the TSA Pre[check](TM eligible population is the TSA Pre[check](TM application program that we started in