tv Today in Washington CSPAN July 14, 2011 6:00am-7:00am EDT
2008 time frame. we've asked for updated analysis. the numbers have actually gone up. it's now 17%. these are very intensive examinations focused on high-risk airports. t.s.a. considers them the gold standard. they obviously conduct a whole host of other activities and inspections and testing. there's quite a few things that they do the but we thought this was worth while to single out given the significance. we do recognize, you know, they're difficult to do quickly. you have to get the f.b.i. involved. >> what i don't understand is given the imperative, given the knowledge and understanding, that we're only as strong as the weakest link. and it may be that small airport, as we saw on 9/11 when a person got on the plane, not one of the major airports, got into the system, got into the security line. why is the t.s.a. not getting towards 100%? there's 457 airports. why aren't 457 airports getting
this j.v.a. done? >> this level of assessment will be done with a limited number of airports. not all airports will be done of the they will have inspections and complete -- >> i just -- i absolutely don't understand that. i don't understand it. think it's unacceptable. let me move on. mr. orr, in your testimony you said the t.s.a. has yet to improve the airport security program. i think you said, quote, we've been trying to get revisions to our approval for about a year now." can you explain that a little bit more, please. >> yes, sir. we have acquired to amend our security plan anytime there's a change in our security procedures. we submitted an amendment to the local federal security director over a year ago, heard nothing for six or seven months, got comment, addressed
that comment. it again lay idle for a couple of months. then our assistant security director that we had been working with disappeared, a new one appeared. and then the process started all over. >> mr. salmon, do you care to respond to that? >> yes. as i understand, the request to change the -- amend the security plan was in progress, was initiated about a year ago. there was a joint vulnerability assessment with the f.b.i. conducted in the fall of 2010. it's my understanding -- i don't know this personally. but it's my understanding the parties agreed to let's hold off on completing -- rewriting the airport security plan until we understand the results of the joint vulnerability assessment. now, the joint vulnerability assessment in terms of its analysis of perimeter security
was not particularly flattering. and so in terms of where the amendment is, in terms of rewriting it, i think both parties agreed. >> it sounds like he's been waiting for a year. do you dispute that? >> both parties agreed to wait until something you brought up last time, the joint vulnerability assessment. that should be very insightful in terms of what do you with your security plan. >> mr. orr? >> we've had two joint vulnerability assessments, one in 2007 and one in 2010. at the conclusion of each one we asked for additional information, help us understand what you're talking about here. in both cases, we have not received that. we submitted our plan, our amendment. we heard nothing. we checked on it a couple of times. they said it was in the works. >> and this is the frustration. you're telling me that you have no goal to get to 1 hundred% of
joint eventual nerblingt assessments on the 450 airports. you made improvement from 13% to 17%. and then we have an airport where you have done a j.v.a., a joint vulnerability assessment, and you're not getting the responsiveness. these should be collaborative efforts. you've got people all over the country. you're supposed to be the expert in the middle of all of this. that's the concern. my time has expired. i recognize the gentleman from massachusetts for five minutes. >> thank you very much. mr. lord this joint vulnerability assessment, what's your analysis of how likely it is that 100% of the airports could undergo that particular scrutiny every year? >> well, we don't think it would be appropriate to do every year. but perhaps on a rolling basis. that's how they do now. they have a target within a three-year time frame. they try to focus, you know, complete j.v.a.'s on the high-risk airports. it's a matter of resources.
obviously they're expensive. you need to get the f.b.i.'s cooperation. >> currently a three-year rolling plan, 100% of the high-risk airports within that time frame? >> that would be difficult to achieve under that process. i would defer to mr. salmon on that >> it's your understanding that's the plan. >> it's not the plan. it's mr. -- as mr. salmon stated, the current goal is not to do 100%. my point is they do them on a rolling, three-year basis. >> so, mr. salmon, how many of those high-risk airports would be done on the three-year basis? >> i'd have to get back to our operations people and get you an answer. i'm sure we'd be happy to respond to the committee on that. >> close to 100%? 50%? >> i'd have to check with the f.b.i. we need f.b.i. cooperation. it's not a t.s.a. event. getting the resources, review of the project, signoff, so on and so forth. it's not a t.s.a. -- we don't run this thing by ourselves.
>> mr. salmon -- sammon, the screening passenger observation techniques program, the spot program. can you differentiate that from the usual type of random search? >> yes. you're looking for micro facial anomalies. the way people are behaving, particularly the kind of facial movements they have as they approach the check point. this spot program has resulted in more than 2,000 arrests since 2006. again, for people who have had perhaps criminal or illegal activity that they were engaged in. but the science is based upon that micro facial anomalies in the way that people look. and that's what they're trained to. so it's more than random. you're looking for people, looking at the crowd, looking for people who have in that
context, abhorrent looks. >> we're about 3/4 of a billion dollars into this. is that worth the money? >> i think the investment in the behavior observation certainly makes sense. all the rest of what we are doing is very much limited to detection of items. i think 10 years after 9/11 with the attempted attacks that we had during this period of time, we reached the conclusion that we need to spend more attention on the people rather than just on items. and the observing behavior is one of the basic tool that can be used at the airport. but obviously it is only one single tool in a much wider and more complex strategy. >> what kind of technologies involved in the spot program? >> well, it depends on the way
you define technology. if we are looking at technology from the point of view of the machine that are involved, computers involved in the process, this is not a highly technological process. this is more a human base process. but there's certainly room to expand that into the technological area by use of surveillance, the technology. and i mean smart surveillance technology, not just cameras out there but those that can identify certain types of events or behavior. they help us respond to it in real-time. >> so it could be done just with trained human beings exercising the process that's involved? >> well, right now it is mostly training human beings. >> i imagine you would start getting remote possibilities in there, technology for that. the class would be enormous when you talk about all the airport that are around. >> this is correct.
>> mr. orr, you talked about having the local entity be able to opt out of t.s.a. if your organization did that, would you be willing to take the full responsibility and liability for failures to succeed? >> yes, sir. i have that anyway. >> all right. good. i yield back. >> thank you. i recognize the chairman of the transportation committee, mr. mika of florida. >> thank you. mr. sammon, as of last week my figures are you had 3,905 people in washington supposedly working for t.s.a. and 27% of them were in a supervisery and administrative capacities, making on average, all of them, over $104,000. how many of those folks were dedicated to doing the vulnerability assessments that
we've been talking about here? >> in terms of the vulnerability assessment, i say is a limited number. but -- >> a dozen, half a dozen? >> i'd have to get back. i'd like to give you a truthful answer. >> well, go. could you provide that to the committee? >> be happy to do that. >> then you have personnel out in the field. how many of those folks are involved in the vulnerability assessment? those are administrative people, not screeners. >> i'd have to get you the same answers in responding to the committee. >> ok. and they're having trouble getting back with people, like mr. orr, i see, because of the f.b.i. and other agencies don't cooperate. that's your explanation today? >> no, sir. in terms of the a.s.t., i'll look into it. i'm not personally familiar -- >> you couldn't possibly have an f.s.d. or some of the people making over $100,000. and maybe for the record you could get the number of people making over $100,000 at mr.
orr's airport. none of those people could check off on a security plan to protect the perimeter of the charlotte airport? if you set the protocols and standards in washington? >> the plan has worked out locally with the airport director and the f.s.d. that's approved -- >> it takes six months to even get a response? >> i think -- >> captain you understand their frustration? the other thing, mr. orr if anyone contacts you and there's any intimidation after your testifying here today or any indication that they're giving you a hard time in any way, i want you to let this committee know immediately. >> yes, sir. >> i've seen the way these people operate, the intimidation. i mean, you're pretty brave to be with us today. what's the current most serious risk that we face?
>> i think right now in terms of non-metallic explosives on airplanes coming in from overseas. >> ok. that's a good point. actually, mr. pistol said way back in november of 2010 that we were in risk management -- business being a risk-based intelligent organization. that's what he's trying to achieve. i support that goal. do we have a plan from t.s.a. you could share would us to move towards that? >> i don't have is a plan today but i would recommend the committee work with administrative pistol -- >> can you provide us with an update from him on where you go? >> no. >> where you're going with that, a risk-based plan. >> i will tell you that he is working on a number of alternatives. and he hopes to announce something soon this summer. >> but we're looking forward to that. and you mentioned that most of the risk is coming in from out of the united states. for example, the shoe bomber
mr. reed, am merstam, the diaper christmas day bomber, the london liquid, the yemen tonor. the last count i had, well, we had under 100 t.s.a. personnel overseas. it was really 54 when i checked. do you know what the number is now? >> i don't know off the top of my head. i'd have to get that to you. >> contact with the secretary of state and others in trying to increase the presence of t.s.a. overseas? >> we work with overseas countries. >> could you provide the latest contacts with the department of state and others to the committee? because you said the threats coming -- whole body imaging equipment, which we spent $500 million on, and the deployment -- we're probably in the billion dollar range. if this march 16 hearing, i asked the question -- we know
that terrorists are moving to body cavity inserts and surgical implants. does the whole body imaging equipment direct this kind of attention? can it detect this kind of threat? the answer from all of the experts was it does not. >> it will depend -- and i can't discuss it in this setting, but i'd happy to have a classified update. >> they said it did not. now, we've known since a bbc news release from 2009, september of 2009, that terrorists were now moving. in fact, they used a bomb on a terrorist implanted and it blew newspaper front of a saudi prince, killed himself. i mentioned this back in -- what's the date, march? that appears to be a threat, that they're moving. obviously they've gone from shoes to diaper to liquid to
cartridges. wouldn't you say it looks like the body implant might be a way to go? >> i dispute that bbc report. but, again, i can't discuss it here. i'll do it in a classified setting. >> there's no dispute. he blew the crap out of the guy. >> sir, happy to discuss it in a classified setting. >> ist, i mentioned this. and it was also mentioned the equipment we spent a billion dollars on can't do anything about it. and t.s.a. finally gets -- july 6 t.s.a. recently briefed air carrier and performed partners to provide greater insights into intelligence indicating to terrorist to target i haveation. -- target aviation. and they name specifically body implants as a threat. is that something you issued? >> i'd be happy to discuss the specifics of that in a classified setting, sir. >> you can't tell me -- >> we have spoken with the airlines and talked to them about security procedures.
>> take to you july to finally tell them? or did you tell them that this might pose a threat before that? >> we've been working on non-metallic threats to the airlines for a considerable period of time this specific threat was based on specific intelligence. >> and most of the testing of that equipment, both by this committee, directed by g.a.o., has been unsuccessful. both in reports that have been published and also in g.a.o. reports that also look at your backup system which is the spot program which they termed almost a total failure. >> i think -- >> in addressing this risk. >> i totally disagree with you. in terms of what you're looking for are other alternatives to get around technology as people tend to try to design -- >> are you aware of the hearing conducted by the science and technology committee where mr. brown from georgia, the
chairman, questioned the use -- the current application of standoff behavior detection which you employ now versus the active questioning which is done under the israeli system? >> i think they're both very good. >> well, everyone who testified, every expert said the t.s.a. current procedure is a total failure. they further validated the findings of g.a.o. >> i'm not familiar with the witnesses. >> and again, i had the opportunity two weeks ago to be in tel aviv to see how it was done. and it can be done on an interactive basis, even with a large population if we go to risk-based rather than hassling innocent americans, veterans, military, children, and people who pose absolutely no risk. i yield back the balance of my
time. >> i would encourages you to speak to work with the administrator pistol. thank you. >> we tried to get the senior most people to come before this committee and they refused. that is one of the great frustrations. no surprise to the t.s.a. i love to work with them. but that doesn't happen. that's the frustration of the committee. >> mr. chairman, if they continue -- just a point of procedure, i would be willing and i will advocate that we do subpoena the appropriate personnel. they send us people like this who cannot provide us with the information. this is the chief investigative committee of the united states house of representatives. and they're going to appear one way or the other or cooperate one way or the other. and i put them on notice again today. >> i'll recognize the gentleman from texas for five minutes. >> thank you very much. i appreciate it. sitting on committees that have the most jurisdiction over the t.s.a., i sit on this committee, mr. mica's
transportation and infrastructure committee, and the homeland security committee. these are issues that deeply concern me and my work with congress. i'm happy all are here. i'm happy to be able to discuss this again. i'm probably the recipient -- i've gotten more t.s.a. patdowns since i've been in congress than i've gotten patdowns from my wife. since the topping of this is perimeter security, i wanted to start with that, mr. sammon. to what degree does the t.s.a. coordinate with the f.a.a., for instance, on spending on airport security? in corpus christi we recently got about $5 million to improve security. but has been -- has there been action on determining where the dollars are spent? >> since the report has come out a number of things -- we've been working for several years to address the specific issue you're talking about. first of all, we work with the airport community to come up
with recommended, designed guidelines for airport planning and construction. a lot of the money the airports use for planning and construction comes from the f.a.a. next, we worked with the homeland security institute to develop a best practices from all the airports. >> i'm sorry, i've got a real short amount of time. but you are saying you are now working regularly with the other agencies to make sure the right hand knows what the left hand in the government is doing? >> working with the airports. they have a tool. it's a specific computer program. they can run through their system. the idea is to f.s.d.'s to work with the airports to come up with the optimal security spending per airport. it's not the same everywhere. >> and you talk about high-risk airports. what's not a high-risk airport when i can get on a commuter jet at any airport in the country and end up at a hub airport and be on the biggest airliner in the world? what would not constitute a critical airport? >> i agree with you 100%.
report we got in terms of the 700 innovative measures came from airports as small as asheville, from the airport such as delta county, minot. so it's a mixture of big airports and small airport that have gotten into best practices in terms of what are the kinds of things appropriate for each airport. >> again, let me go on to mr. lord. i have a lot of questions in a limited amount of time. you're talking about spending on, for instance, baggage screening equipment. i'll speak from experience the airport i use most is the corpus christi airport. we have three airlines, american, continental with small regional jets and southwest with 737's. each individual airline has a screening machine staffed by two t.s.a. agents. we bought three machines for the corpus christi airport. and there's probably a fourth one because delta used to come in there. why couldn't there just be one and a couple of t.s.a. agents?
there are never that many people there. why are -- do we have any clue why we're spending multiple -- >> that's a great question. t.s.a. has an electronic baggage screening program which they're trying to move to what they term optimal solutions for each airport. essentially what that means in many cases they're trying to remove the stand-alone machines and use more efficient systems or even so-called in-line systems which require less personnel to operate. i'm not sure if that particular airport is on track to get an in-line system. >> let me go to mr. ron for a second. one of the things i hear consistently -- consist yently from my constituents -- try saying that three times fast -- is why don't we follow more of the israeli model of dealing with people instead of things? the answer i've gotten from a lot of people within our government is israel only has a couple of airport and not nearly the amount of traffic
that we have. could we implement the israeli system for a reasonable cost in the united states? >> first i'd like to say that the israeli solution is not really an issue when it comes to volume. and i don't think that this is the main consideration. i think the main consideration is that the israeli legal, cultural, the set of very different from the american one. and therefore i would not recommend to adopt the israeli model as . -- as is. but at the same time, i strongly recommend that the concept that is driving the israeli solution which is identifying the level of risk of individual passengers and responding to that with a comparable level of search and the interview as necessary is a right way. and i think that an american solution that would be more comparable to the american environment can and should be developed and implemented.
>> thank you very much. i am out of time. i am hopeful we'll have a second round of questioning. i've got at least five minutes more. mr. chairman, thank you. >> thank you. we now recognize the gentleman from arizona for five minutes. >> thank you. inspector parker, you know, we've spent -- we've deployed 500 advanced imaging technology devices, spent $122 million on the advanced imaging technology. we've also spent another $30 million on the puffer machines that shoot air blasts at passengers and sniffer explosives but they rarely work properly. tell me what the return on investment on dogs is. i see some problems because you have to move everybody through these technologies. but that animal moves. it covers a wide range of ground so tell me what the return on investment is. >> the return on it, sir is mobility. you don't have to spend money
to integrate any new odor to it because the dog is a little bit better machinery than technology. we can introduce odor that come out, anything new to a dog and in two, three weeks they're proficient at it. as long as you keep the proficiency up. you can take a dog to an area versus you have to bring people to the area, as you say. and it gives people more sense of security when they see a dog. especially they can see a dog working. you saw the dog was standing there. people walk through. we do it at amtrak all the time. people come out, the dog at the boarding gate, people are happy to see him. it's not intrusive. the dog is working. who don't like dogs? [laughter] >> a person who doesn't like dogs i don't want to know. tell me the average lifetime of an active canine. >> well, without any medical problems we get a dog at 1-year-old. i like to have the dog work until they're about 7, 8 years old. after the first two years or so, that's when the dog really gets into his prime.
again, if he's well trained and proficiently trained. so you'll get a good five years without adding any software to him or getting a new breed because something else came out. we just added to his scent picture and that's another odor that he's able to detect and perform. >> i'm a businessman, so tell me what the cost of that canine cost is. >> well, it ain't the same cost as technology, sir. >> interesting. would you say a little bit or a lot less? >> a lot less. and what you have to understand, dogs, like i say, don't depreciate. if anything, they go up more in value. and they'll be more effective when they get all the training that they need. >> they're also very keen about detecting behave yoffer, are they not? >> yes, sir. that's why the vapor dogs are very important right now. they can screen people without them even knowing. if you had come to amtrak, we do it all the time. know you know about the rush that comes through our gates.
and these zogs screen people that keep on going without even being aware that they're being searched. >> can they detect a bodily implanted device? >> well, sir, scientifically right now there's no data that says a dog can or cannot. but given the schematics of a person's body, and you know dogs can detect cancer on people's bodies, tumor. dogs can detect anything that they're taught i think if a dog is taught to do that, he'd be a good asset for that. >> they're very innate about picking up differences in how people, as you said earlier. one of the biggest things mr. sammon, i've seen in my limited time on the hill is uncoordination of coordination. in fact, i had to put a bill just to break down jurisdictional boundaries of two different agencies. so it seems to me like the biggest problem we have here is, tell me who the lead is in all of this. who's the kingpin? who actually dictates how all
surveillance or perimeter security should be dick tated? -- dictated? >> as i said in my opening point, t.s.a. airport. every airport has as a plan. the airport is responsible for executing the plan with their people and resources. >> i'm going to interrupt you again. is it homeland security? who oversees the whole process of these whole aspects of a perimeter surveillance? >> t.s.a. oversees plan and inspects the plan. >> so you have the jurisdiction to do so. >> if there are deficiencies in the plan, we can levy fines, civil penalties, yes, sir. >> so it seems to me like you could ante up all agencies to, say, on a timely basis that you do this. i've seen it. just a quick example. i've seen a flood. i've seen an agency head from the forest service make sure that everybody's lined up in time in real-start perspective without delays. i've seen it happen so i know it can happen so it seems to me like the buck stops with you then. >> so again, what we want to do
and i think one of the things with g.a.o. is a comprehensive look -- >> i'm very aware of what government does. it studies and studies and studies. and by the time you get a study out, it's antiquated. it seems like there should be a minimum standard that's equating all the way across the board. and it seems like we're missing the point. i think we need to be using mr. ron and inspector parker's ideas within this because we have to have some minimal standards. and i'm also from arizona. so i know that those numbers are not right. i suspect -- well, i'll just give you a quick example. we're talking about those that you know about, security breeches. -- breaches. there are not the ones you're not talking about that you don't know anything about. and you can't tell me those don't occur. we say we apprehend one in about every four. i hope those aren't the same kind of numbers here. from what we've had in previous testimony, there's a lot of people carrying beaths out there that we don't have any
recollection of on who they are in background. seriously. that was brought up in in this committee >> you have about 850,000 people who have criminal history background checks and terrorist watch list checks. in addition to other checks. >> and it's inadequate. that's because i can point to you that we take a grandmother and strip her down. because it must be the grimacing that she is going through terminal cancer. and then we have a foreign national that gets through with an invalid visa. the problem is is that there's problems with that aspect because we're not nimble enough. and we're not working, associating, with local and regional communities better. and that needs to stop. i'm out of time, sir. >> mr. sammon, if you wanted to -- >> no, no. this effort, the tool which basically allows every airport in conjunction with the federal security director to do that evaluation of what their vulnerabilities are because they are unique, in isn't one standard that applies across
the whole country. but you take those standards, applied them baced upon the vulnerabilities, the attack scenarios possible at that airport, so on, so forth, for each airport to come up with a solution to that every dollar they have that they can apply to security, they do it in the optimal way. the best way, the best bang for the buck for that particular airport that tool exists is done in collaboration with the airports and airport authorities. we had over 100 airport as ply. charlotte was not one of them. charlotte is not particularly active in a.a.a.e. which has security committees. they are not active in a.c.i., a national airport organization that has security committees. so all the people that worked on this -- charlotte's name is not in there. so there are people who are working on this. as a matter of fact, on monday i had the c.e.o. of dallas-fort worth airport fly in with his senior staff to sit down with john pistol and our group to tell us that they are very happy working with t.s.a. and what they wanted was to volunteer for any pilot
security project that they could have. that we would work with them on. so in terms of how the relationship with airports and working with the local authorities, it may vary across the country. but there are a lot of -- a lot of work is put into these reports to get a tool that will enable them to do the best, most optimal, security assessments and reports and ways forward for each of the airports. >> then it seems to me -- you just told me that you want a nimble approach. so maybe charlotte needs a little bit different t.l.c. and maybe that's what you need to look at. you're giving an individualized plan so make sure that you're elevating that to an individualistic plans well. so, you know, be careful what you ask for there. just because somebody's complying -- to give you an example, you know, as a teacher , a teacher only is asking you to repeat what they want you to. it doesn't tell you about the knowledge about the student. you have to go a little bit
further sometimes. that's the case i'm looking here. sometimes a squeak qui wheel is the one that's doing something a little bit different that i want to know about. and i think that be hooves you at the top to understand what they're doing, why they're doing it, as well as the other different models. >> that's why we went beyond compliance with this report to get the best innovative security measures from airports around the country. compliance is not sufficient. i agree. >> we will probably have this ongoing discussion. but the idea that you haven't conducted joint vulnerability assessments in 83% of our nation's airports is not acceptable. it's just not acceptable. we need to figure out how to solve that. i appreciate the follow-up of that. as it relates to dallas, i hope that dallas would be the first ones in here. they've had 20 perimeter security breaches in the last five years. they had a truck that actually came out across the field, as i noted in my opening statement. so there is a lot that needs to be done in security with such a big airport such as dallas, for instance. let me go back to the dogs here. my understanding of the dollars
and the metrix here -- again, if we can't correct the record. it costs roughly about $175,000 per whole body imaging machine. it's $20,000, to $30,000 to have the dog ready to go. i'm pretty sure those are the records. to mr. gossar's point, the whole body i am imaging machines have something the dogs don't have. they have lobbyists. and what is infuriating to a person like this me is i think the challenge is we have continue to crease the security. we have to become more secure. but we can't give up every civil liberty. we shouldn't be look at every passenger naked in order to secure the airplane what we do knees are these good dogs. the pentagon having spent $19 billion came to the conclusion, as i pointed out with the lieutenant colonel's comments, the single best way to find a bomb-making device or bomb-making materials is the canine. and we are not putting enough
emphasis on expanding the use of canines. they're friendly. they're non-evasive, effective. they are the single best weapon, according to the pentagon, in order to fight and find these explosive devices. >> would you like a response? >> sure. >> in terms of the dogs you saw here, the t.s.a. supports the amtrak program in fact, we probably have supported up to about 1/3 of the dog teams that amtrak has. the dog, a fully equipped dog team with training, trainer, dog, so on and so forth is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars because the dog -- you pay for the salary of the trainer -- >> per year? >> yes. >> you think that's per year, hundreds of thousands of dollars? >> hold on, inspector parker, can you give me a spence sense? what does a dog handler make there at amtrak? what's their annual salary? do you ever a guess, generally what they're making? >> it depends on their rank. they probably are at $50,000 to $70,000. >> so how do you come up with hundreds of thousands of
dollars? alpo only costs so much >> we provide going teams to agencies around the country. and it is in excess of $100,000. >> you said hundreds of thousands of dollars per dog. i challenge to you verify that number. >> we'll get you the numbers. >> would the gentleman yield? >> yes. >> i assume that your whole body imaging machines require an operator, too, that require as a salary as well. it actually in corpus christi requires at least two, actually three. one to stop you going through, one to listen on the radio, and the one in the back. so that requires three operators for eye whole body machine. >> they are all expensive systems, they each have a role. >> you are suggesting that the whole body imaging machine is a cheaper alternative that using the canines. >> i'm telling you -- >> i'll tell you what. let's do this. i love to do this. i would love to do this. you take 1,000 people and put them in a room. i'll gliff you 10 whole body i
amaging machines. give me 5,000 people in another room. one of his dogs. we will find that bomb before you find your bomb. that's the problem. there's a better, smart he safe irway to do this. and the t.s.a. is not prioritizing it. if you look at who those lobbyists were who pushed through those machines, they should be ashamed of themselves because there is a better way to do in, and it's with the canines. i'm batesing that based on what the pentagon did. that's what the pentagon did. they studied all the technology, that's what they're doing. you don't see whole body imaging machines in kandahar but you see dog teams of their lives are on the line every day. that's what we should be doing. you brought it up. i will challenge it. let's go look at dollar for dollar what's more expensive arkse whole body imaging machine which we know is not effective and a canine. let's see who can find more bombs and is less expensive. let's move on. >> and the dog does not work all day. thank you. >> inspector parker, how long does the dog work? >> the dogs can work two to three hours a day, sir. and you take a break and then
work two, three hours more. it's how you condition the dog to work. >> let's keep going. i really do believe that the dogs are a better, smarter solution. one of the challenges that the t.s.a. is having to deal with is the fact that we have over 900,000 security batches out there. my understanding is i was told there are roughly 16,000 just at dulles airport alone what sort of background checks are they going through? how often are those rechecked? and how are you going to deal with the fact that we are closing in on a million people with security badges across the airport. >> there are probably 150,000 badges out there active. they go through a criminal history background check. >> who does that check? >> that check is -- it he goes through the airport authority, aaae to the f.b.i. then they do a watch list check which he goes through aaae currently the channeling mechanism, he goes to t.s.a., a watch list check on them. they're pe netally vetted from
the watch list basis. in addition, there are other immigration checks on those people, person, when they originally apply. they are redone every two years. at that time the security awareness training is required at the time of the badge reissuance. >> do you have a plan to deal with the vulnerability of an insider attack? >> there are a number of things in terms of insider attacks, in terms of the security awareness training. >> is there an actual plan? >> in terms of -- what particular kind of attack? >> an insider attack. >> there are many. they can take many forms what are you thinking of? >> i just wonder if there's a plan to deal with the fact that you have 900,000 people -- >> yes. >> do you? what's your understanding of that situation? >> our commentary was related to the combined risk assessment , the latest edition released last year. a notable caveat was it exclude thed the threat of the insider attack. in various forms. and t.s.a. acknowledged it
needed to look at that. and the next due later this year will include that threat. >> mr. sammon said he already has it. >> well, i'm not sure he meant in terms of this one analysis i'm referring to. they may look at it in other forms. >> is mr. lord wrong, mr. sammon? >> your question as i took it is what he goes on daily in an airport environment. the tsra is the first of its kind across all modes risk comparison based upon excessive 550 attack scenarios. insider attack was not part of the first one. it will be included in the second version. >> i look forward to seeing that. the 25,000 perimeter breaches. i would appreciate -- it's difficult to get any sort of analysis over a period of time. is there a month boy month analysis that you can share with us? >> i don't have it with me. that's 2,5 hundred a year it could be anything from a bag left behind a door left open. >> we're hoping that the t.s.a.
can provide us details. and understand where the trend is going. is this upward, downward trend? is that something you provide the committee? >> i will go back and check into that, yes, sir. >> yes, you will provide that? >> in terms of if it's security sensitive material, we'll talk to the committee about that. yes. >> the perimeter fence at the j.f.k. airport. based on an investigative report, my understanding is that the project to fix the perimeter is running four years behind schedule. what's your knowledge of that situation? >> i'm not personally aware of that. i do know that j.f.k. and the new york port authority airports are looking at deploying state-of-the-art intrusion detection technology in addition to fencing because of the kinds of things that people talked about. the fence can be cut. you want to have the technology
tied into camera systems to alert cameras and patrols in there is a intrusion. we deploy extensively in tunnels, particularly under water tunnels. >> we're getting off topic. i'm worried about the quarter mile fence at j.f.k. that is four years behind schedule. >> i don't know right now today what the status is. >> please describe for the committee your role in responsibility. what is your responsibility? >> working with the various stakeholders, various people in pipelines in mass transit in railroads in highways, in air freight carriers -- >> so it's not exclusive to just airports. >> no, sir. >> would you say j.f.k. is one of the most -- it's got to be one of the largest targets out there. >> j.f.k. is. >> the committee would appreciate more understanding from their perspective of why this project is four years behind schedule. i understand there's a local component. but from the t.s.a. side, that would be much -- >> can i provide that. >> much appreciated. also also international airport, l.a.x.
an airport official noted that although the current eight-mile perimeter fence complies with federal regulations it has been built in stages over the past decade that has no one security consistent standard. is there a consistent standard for perimeters? >> the standard varies based upon the location of the facility. >> it's not going to vary in an airport, right? it may vary between l.a.x. and boseman, montana. >> it may vary based on the location of the airport, the geography. >> are those standards tore those various components? >> those standards, we've done the work. i've showed the committee earlier today in terms of developing for each airport based upon their vulnerabilities. but they do vary within airports. >> mr. lord, what's your understanding of this situation? >> vile to defer to mr. sammon on that whether standards vary within the actual airport. i'm not -- i don't have the expertise. >> in 2009 the government accountability office issued a report stating t.s.a. lacks, quote a unifying national
strategy, end quote. where is that today? >> well, first of all, that's a great question. at the time we did the work we were concerned about the variety of players involved, multiple airports, multiple industries, stakeholders, t.s.a. had more of an indirect oversight role. we thought it was important to come up with an overall game plan to unify the current efforts. it's our understanding drafts strategies then included as motal antics to document which is currently under review. close to releasing it. we have not seen it yet. >> one more question. the software update as inspector parker pointed out, the hardware needs software. and that software needs updating. some of the software is as old as 1998, is my understanding, based on whenever you're at.
is that your understanding? >> as i understand, the all new equipment being purchased is being purchased at the 2010 standard. the 1998 standards are more stringent than anything in the world. and that there is a plan to update incrementally machines that are out there in phases to the 2010 standards. that's my understanding. >> mr. lord? >> i agree that. that characterization. >> are you prioritizing the 1998 machines? is there -- >> i'll have to get back to with you the specific plan to update those machines. i don't have that with me >> mr. farenthal? >> thank you very much. i appreciate the opportunity for "second round of questioning. again, i want to start with the actual topic. we've gone into a lot of areas here. perimeter security. once you're within the perimeter of the airport there is a real potential of you being able to do some damage. what's being done to address
much more ease of access to the tarmac area from those involved in general aviation as opposed to those in commercial aviation? for instance, i drive in to the general aviation area to board my friend's private plane, and then i wander over and sneak something on a plane, commercial plane. >> first thing we've done, about two years ago, required extended the badging requirements to people in general aviation. that caused quite a fuss. there was a lot of pushback on that. >> there's no photo i.d.'s for a pilot to access his or her plane? >> fezz regularly on that airport, he has to have a badge, yes, sir. based upon where it is. but if he has proximity to the tarmac, the commerm airport -- and this caused quite a bit of a ruckus in 2008 whether we extended the badging requirements for larger populations within the airport. >> but i don't need a badge to get on to the tarmac in a general aviation area. i don't need anything.
>> you either have to be accompanied to your aircraft back and forth or in and out of that facility. but if you can be challenged just as anyone else on the facility, if you were there. >> it seems like -- again, just speaking from what appears to me to be common sense, that there really ought to be a focus on the ground staff that doesn't go up in the airplanes. the 9/11 box cutters were potentially put on the plane by ground crew. the ground crew doesn't go up with the plane. so their life isn't at risk in an attack. it seems like there ought to be a strong focus there. >> that's why they are all badged. and they have security awareness training. that's why there's covert testing of those, and random screening, of people on the tarmac, yes, sir. >> let's talk a little bit about the behavioral detection. before i was elected to congress, i actually had time to watch tv and watched "lie to
me." is it really a science that works? you mentioned we were able to apprehend hundreds of criminals. have we seen any positive results of that in apprehending anybody with contraband at the airport? >> we did. i believe it was in orlando several years ago. a person had actually explosive material in his bags. he attempted to get them on to the belt. he was detected as he came through the door. by his behavior. he had not been screened. his bags had not been screened. he was pulled over and found that he had -- >> so we got one. mr. lord, did you want to comment? >> i'd like to respectfully disagree with mr. sammon on that i'm not sure he was detected through the b.d.o. program. he had such an unusual appearance, i think he alarmed the passengers waiting in line and the ticket agent may have alerted. i'm not sure that was truly a b.d.o., behavior ze tecks, success. also, as i recall from reading
his case file, he was an iraqi war veteran suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and wasn't on his medication at the time. >> mr. ron, would you like to dement? i know the israelis were pioneers in this. >> yes. the israeli principle behavior of detection is wider principle identifying revel of -- level of risk of the individual passengers. and it's also based on looking at other sources of information rather than just observation. so you have to look at that time in that context. but i still have to say that the b.d.o. program, despite the fact that it has been noted both by -- there's no scientific support. but i need to say that there hasn't been a serious research into this so that by itself doesn't prove that it doesn't
stand. i think those airports here in the u.s. that we have worked with on this issue, mostly with local police officers, there's been a reasonable level of success in detecting people with malicious intentions. >> let me just ask you one more question mr. ron. if for some reason i became president tomorrow and i appointed you head of the t.s.a. what are the top five changes you would make to improve security and improve the efficiency of the system? can you list maybe five off the top of your head? >> i'll start with two. the first one is i would redirect the strategy towards real risk-based strategy that identifies the level of risk of the individual passenger by the access to information that we have starting with prior to his or her arrival at the airport. and later on, with the ability
to talk to very few passengers that we find as high-risk passenger based on our earlier analysis and not just search them but also talk to them and interview them to a level that would provide us with more information. >> it's really interesting. i did this just as a thought experiment. i'll give you -- i went from corpus christi to washington, d.c., without saying anything other than thank you to a person at the airport. no interaction beyond saying thank you to people who helped me. >> this is a critical point. i think the lack of contact between the security people and the passengers is one of our greatest shortcomings. because we just focus on items. and that is doom to failure because the technology we have at this point is not good enough to provide us with a reasonable level of detection.
>> i recognize mr. tyranny. >> thank you. mr. sammon, i want to give you an opportunity to make some comments with respect to that. >> i don't disagree with what mr. ron is saying the. the first thing -- the fundamental part is access to information. the more information you have, the more you know about people. and can you say -- because most of the people going through the airport on any given day are trusted. they are fine. they just want to get on their way. the challenge is to have information that differentiates people, one group of people or individuals in a larger group. and getting that, as he said, that information prior to the arrival at the airport. right now we know their name, their date of birth, and kind of where they're coming from, going to. we can't even through secure flight track where they've been for the past three years. so right now we're in the situation of looking at how do we do better risk-based
security. but also, what kind of information can you have access to, to do a better job? that's one of the challenges. >> thank you. just some very quick things. the committee would appreciate the opportunity, player with mr. sammon here to ask some additional questions. i'd ask all members of the panel, some of them weren't able to be here today. submit those within the next seven days. we would also appreciate the t.s.a. providing us a copy of each of the incident reports. i know it's a massive amount of paper. but we would like to pour through those and would appreciate if would you provide those to us. he would also like to have a briefing on this risk-based approach, something that you offered earlier. recognize it needs to be in a secure setting, but something we would like to schedule and work out with the t.s.a. moving forward. i've also appreciate -- i also appreciate some definitions, if you will, and some specific
statistics on the number of stowaways. it's something we asked for. it's something the t.s.a. has not yet provided to us. this committee would appreciate those. of those things asked, is there any reason to think that those things can't happen? >> i will go back and check and make sure -- the status of those requests and where they are. >> and a couple of those are new. the stowaways was a previous request. the last question here about transportation security inspectors, or t.s.i.'s it's referred to in a lot of documents. how many of them are there? i know they can pose civil penalties. so how many civil penalties have we posed over the past few years. i don't know the time frame. >> i think that would be a good request. i don't have data with me so it would be a conjecture on my part. we could give you the total number of inspectors, number of penalties, of open scaces. -- cases. also, in terms of the findings,
in some cases the airport on spot resolves the issue. in other cases, they do go to civil violations and civil fines and that kind of thing. built i think it would be good to get you a breakout on that that's concise and accurate. >> we would appreciate that. as we conclude here, i'd like to give you each a moment, please. brief. we'll start with you mr. sammon, go down the line. what's the number one thing you'd like to see happen whether it's your wiggest -- biggest concern or what specifically you would like to see happen. >> again, with the committee and all committees in congress is to support and work with the administrator pistol as he goes forward with the risk-based security. he is focused in that direction. it's going to take -- there are going to be challenges as we referred to in terms of information. how do we go forward. but he definitely is going in this direction. i would say to give him the benefit of the doubt and work with him in terms of where he's trying to go. >> i would just like to say we stand ready to support the
committee's efforts to oversee t.s.a.'s effort to move to more of a risk-based approach. i agree with mr. ron, we need to spend more time worrying about dangerous people versus dangerous objects. and there's various ways to do it. and we need to do it in away that makes sense. >> i'd like to note that most of our joint vulnerability assessments noted no compliance issues. we were in full compliance with all of the regulations. what i would like to see is a collaborative partnership between us and the t.s.a. to address the real issues. >> thank you. mr. ron? >> beyond the need for a better risk-based approach to passenger and bag screening, i strongly recommend to create a better balance between the airport facility security and
the passenger and bag screening operation. because right now we are spending most of our efforts on the front door when the backdoor is not secured at all. >> thank you. inspector parker? >> yes, sir, thank you. i'd like to see continued support for the canine programs because as stated before, amtrak is doing a lot and we definitely appreciate what congress has done for us to fund us. >> thank you. thank you all for being here. i appreciate it. it takes a lot of time, effort, and preparation of your testimony and for you being here today. we do appreciate it. and thank you. we wish you the best. our mutual goal on both sides of the aisle is to make this country as safe and security -- secure as possible. but at the same time, we need to make sure we're filling those gaps and asking the hard questions. that's what makes this country great, is our ability and opportunity to do that. so, again, i appreciate all being here. the committee stands adjourned. [captions copyright national
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