GAO: TSA adapting to new law's acquisition, inventory procedures

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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has taken measures to meet the requirements in the recently enacted Transportation Security Acquisition Reform Act (TSARA), the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said this week.

These measures include creating baselines, justifying acquisitions, submitting plans, handling inventory and other basic duties.

The GAO said that before TSARA's enactment, TSA began to implement most TSARA requirements tied to justifying acquisitions under existing TSA and DHA policies. Now, with TSARA, the TSA has amended some of its policies, such as informing Congress when security-related technology contracts surpass $30 million. Since TSARA has been implemented, TSA hasn’t made any new purchases for this kind of equipment.

Due to guidelines in TSARA, TSA officials must inform Congress about any schedule delays, performance failures or cost excesses outside of the baselines of the acquisition program within 30 days of discovering such problems. Since TSARA was approved in December 2014, there have not been any notifications of this kind.

Part of TSARA is requiring TSA leaders to use their current units before they buy new equipment. Money is saved when staff track the use, location and number of security  equipment units. This also conserves warehouse space through just-in-time delivery.

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