By Keith Laing
The agency stood by its finding that it would cost more to privatize airport security.
“Since GAO's audit in January 2009, TSA has worked to address the recommendations in the report,” TSA spokeswoman Sarah Horowitz said in a statement provided to The Hill. “The cost difference varies on the individual contracts. Currently, private screening contracts on average cost the government more than a federalized work force.”
Mica, who co-sponsored the original 2001 law that created TSA, did not appear ready to accept that answer.
“I am investigating the full cost differential between the two screening models, and I believe the federal-private program model will prove to be less expensive and provide the best model for U.S. aviation security,” he said.
The TSA law, created in the wake of the 9/11 allows for private screeners that are approved by the federal agency. But TSA director John Pistole recently decided not to expand the program beyond the 16 airports that currently have private screeners, a decision that has drawn harsh criticism from Mica.
Horowitz, however, said the decision “aligns with his (Pistole’s) vision of the agency as a federal counterterrorism network that continues to evolve to keep the traveling public safe.”