Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 24, 2006

TSA’s personnel policies criticized

Filed under: Aviation Security,Organizational Issues — by Christian Beckner on April 24, 2006

From a Washington Post op-ed yesterday by TSA officer Ron Moore:

In a Dec. 7, 2004, op-ed column, “Training Daze at TSA,” I wrote about my experience as a screener at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, now BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. I described the difficult working conditions there and the Transportation Security Administration’s failure to meet its obligation to provide ongoing training for its workers.

The day after my column appeared, I was given a trainer who supervised me one-on-one and criticized my every minor misstep. I was told that if I wasn’t perfect on recertification testing, I would be terminated. The recertification process is grueling, but I passed.

A few days later, I received a letter from the TSA giving me 10 days to resolve a $1,200 tax lien problem I had with Maryland that dated to the early 1990s. I hadn’t even known about the problem, because Maryland places such liens as a matter of course without informing the taxpayer.

Although I quickly made arrangements for payment of the lien, which turned out to be partially in error, the TSA terminated me anyway for neglecting the issue in the first place. A manager told me I was considered a bribery risk.

The articles goes on to criticize TSA’s personnel policies, and considers the impact of the lack of workplace protection on employee morale and agency effectiveness.

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