Transportation Security Administration’s acting administrator Melvin Carraway has been reassigned to another job at the Department of Homeland Security by the Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson following the successful attempts of undercover agents to smuggle prohibited items through the airports.
The undercover agents succeeded 67 times out of 70 attempts, and they succeeded in smuggling weapons and mock explosives among other prohibited items through TSA checkpoints – leading to a wave of procedural changes at airports throughout the country.
Acting Deputy Director Mark Hatfield has been appointed to head TSA until Homeland Security would be able to find a suitable replacement.
Based on the number of successes recorded by the undercover agents to smuggle contraband through TSA checkpoints, Johnson noted that it is critical to evaluate the level of aviation security in the country and signed off on a number of recommendations and directives that were to take effect immediately.
Johnson directed that the TSA must revise operating screening procedures at airports immediately, and that intensive training of all transportation security officers as well as supervisory personnel be carried out. He also called for evaluation of screening equipment used in airports throughout the nation, and directed that undercover agents continue to carry out covert, random tests at TSA checkpoints.
Johnson admitted that a significant number of prohibited items were seized from air passengers last year following airport screenings, and that the authorities will continue to evaluate security systems and test their effectiveness across airports in the country.
However, Johnson also called for President Obama’s nomination for the TSA job to be evaluated for his suitability and qualification at handling the post.