TSA bureaucrats continue to punish whistleblowers
TSA employees told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that workers are afraid to speak up about problems at the agency and feel as though they will be unfairly punished, despite promises of protection from TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger.
“You should be alarmed and concerned with these issues, because TSA employees are less likely to report operational security threats or relevant issues out of fear of retaliation,” said Mark Livingston, program manager for TSA’s office of the chief risk officer. “No one who reports issues is safe at TSA.”
The agency ranked as one of the worst places to work in federal government last year, coming in at 313 out of 320 in the annual survey by the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit.
Witnesses at Wednesday's hearing emphasized the agency's problems stem from a select group of executive leaders who are unqualified and abuse their power but have managed to keep their jobs.
“From 2011 to early 2015, TSA chose, in abundance, unprepared employees to fill key senior leadership vacancies,” said Jay Brainard, federal security director at TSA’s Kansas office of security operations. “Many of these leaders lacked any security experience or had ever worked in a field operation their entire career.”
The TSA was created in a state of bureaucratic panic. We are reaping the whirlwind of that decision.
If Congress had any sense, it would dismantle the angency and hand security over to the private sector. But we know Congress is often a stranger to common sense.