TSA Reform Bill Signed into Law by Obama
By Anthony Kimery
Editor-in-Chief of Homeland Security Today
Special to In Homeland Security
President Barack Obama signed into law the Transportation Security Acquisition Reform Act (HR 2719).
Introduced by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), chairman of the House Transportation Security Subcommittee in July 2013, HR 2719 was approved unanimously by the House in December of that year. Following introduction of companion legislation by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and unanimous Senate passage, the legislation as amended unanimously passed the House.
“As chairman, I set out to increase transparency and accountability at TSA while keeping travelers safe and saving our tax dollars,” Hudson said in a statement. “This law is an important step that will root out the waste at TSA and increase safety by ensuring that the most effective, cost-efficient security tools are implemented. Despite Washington’s gridlock, the bipartisan support of this law shows that Republicans and Democrats can work together to solve problems.”
The Transportation Security Acquisition Reform Act introduces greater transparency and accountability for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spending decisions through a series of commonsense reforms.
Specifically, it requires TSA to:
- Develop and share with the public a strategic 5-year technology investment plan;
- Share key information with Congress on technology acquisitions, including cost overruns, delays, or technical failures within 30 days of identifying the problem;
- Establish principles for managing equipment in inventory to eliminate expensive storage of unusable or outdated technologies, and
- Report on its goals for contracting with small businesses.
The legislation stated that, “TSA has not consistently implemented Department of Homeland Security policies and government best practices for acquisition and procurement; TSA has only recently developed a multiyear technology investment plan, and has underutilized innovation opportunities within the private sector, including from small businesses; and has faced challenges in meeting key performance requirements for several major acquisitions and procurements, resulting in reduced security effectiveness and wasted expenditures.”
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