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Homeland Security Transportation Security Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on New TSA ID/Boarding Pass Technology

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

The Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security, chaired by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), will hold a hearing entitled "Is TSA's Planned Purchase of CAT/BPSS a Wise Use of Taxpayer Dollars?" tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. in 311 Cannon House Office Building.

The Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Credential Authentication Technology/Boarding Pass Scanning System (CAT/BPSS) is technology intended to match and verify the authenticity of passenger IDs and boarding passes. TSA currently has plans to purchase up to 1,400 CAT/BPSS units.

Tomorrow's hearing will examine what technology procurement practices TSA employed prior to the decision to purchase CAT/BPSS, including what requirements, cost-benefits, and operational challenges were identified. This hearing follows a three-part technology hearing series held by the Subcommittee last year, which examined innovative solutions to technology procurement at TSA that could generate cost savings for the Federal government. Those hearings identified a number of weaknesses in TSA's current acquisitions process.

Rogers said: "This hearing will address yet another ill-advised technology acquisition at TSA, CAT/BPSS. TSA has not addressed several fundamental weaknesses in the technology that could render it ineffective. As TSA attempts to rebrand itself as a threat-driven agency, CAT/BPSS sticks out like a sore thumb. It does not appear to be integrated into TSA's other security layers; its capabilities are not designed to prevent an attack on aviation; it will not lead to personnel reductions; and its deployment schedule does not appear to be risk-based. This hearing will provide an opportunity to examine whether purchasing 1,400 CAT/BPSS units actually makes us more secure and is a wise use of taxpayer dollars."

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