GAO: TSA/DOT transportation security effort needs clarification

| 8/4/2003

The General Accounting Office wants the U.S. Department of Transportation and Transportation Security Administration to find better ways to clarify each agency's responsibilities for maintaining transportation security.

"The roles and responsibilities of TSA and DOT in securing the transportation system have not been clearly defined," GAO said in a report. "(This) creates the potential for overlap, duplication and confusion as both entities move forward with their security efforts."

GAO suggested the Department of Homeland Security and GAO use "memorandums of agreement" to clarify and delineate DOT's and TSA's roles and responsibilities in transportation security matters.

The report noted the Department of Homeland Security and TSA generally agree with the report's findings, but disagree with GAO's recommendation.

However, the GAO report said, "Based on the uncertainty in the entities' roles and responsibilities that transportation stakeholders surfaced to us, we continue to believe our recommendation is valid and would help address transportation security challenges."