Washington, D.C. – An investigative panel of the U.S. House of Representatives heard the Government Accountability Office (GAO) testify that Transportation Worker Identification Card Program, TWIC, pilot program to produce a reader for access to our ports continues to flounder.
U.S. Rep. and Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations John Mica said “After more than a decade and hundreds of millions of dollars spent, TSA has produced an ID card that is flawed and has conducted a pilot program to produce ID card readers that is also a failure.”
GAO Director of Forensic Audits Steve Lord told the Committee that TSA failed to collect and record accurate data in the test for the $23 million pilot program. GAO said the TWIC card can be compromised and failed to correct testing.
Nearly 2.3 million cards have been issued since 2007 of which more than one million are soon due for renewal. TSA pointed fingers at the U.S. Coast Guard, which recently posted a notice of public comment on rulemaking for final standards for ID card readers.
A one year pilot study was conducted in 2006 and TSA’s second round of testing has shown little progress and produced flawed data. GAO criticized the pilot program and recommended Congress should halt DHS’s efforts to finalize regulations until a sufficient security effectiveness test using TWIC can be reported.
The hearing also disclosed that other agencies have successfully adopted ID’s and readers with advanced biometric capabilities while TSA’s efforts have failed for more than a decade to produce a viable Transportation Worker ID Card and reader to accurately verify the carrier’s identity.
For more information on today’s hearing, click here. For archived video of today’s hearing click here.