Thursday, October 18, 2007

Airport Screeners: Private Contractors Perform Better

I have argued for a long time that creating the vast bureaucracy of the Department of Homeland Security is a bad idea as it has been executed. The original idea was good- to centralise intelligence operations and remove Jamie Gorelick's wall between intelligence and law enforcement. However, as put into practice, the DHS has been a huge boondoggle that simply exacerbates the public's patience.

In a story today, USA Today highlights the fact that the government, while its intentions may be good, simply cannot match private enterprise in either competence or in efficiency. A new TSA survey of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Chicago O'Hare International Airport and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) found that the TSA-employed screeners at Chicago and Los Angeles missed over 60 percent of the guns, bombs and other weapons that TSA testers carried in tests. LAX's screeners in particular performed abysmally, missing over 75 percent of the test weapons. However, the privately-employed screeners at SFo missed only about 20 percent of the testers' weapons. According to USA Today,
A report on covert tests in 2002 found screeners failed to find fake bombs, dynamite and guns 24% of the time. The TSA ran those tests shortly after it took over checkpoint screening from security companies.

Tests earlier in 2002 showed screeners missing 60% of fake bombs. In the late 1990s, tests showed that screeners missed about 40% of fake bombs, according to a separate report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.

These tests should put to rest the idea that government can be trusted to perfom any task better than private enterprise. While the business of national defense (maintaining armed forces and providing the equipment necessary) and representing Americans abroad can be perfromed only by government, the component pieces of defense, such as security screening, can best be carried out by companies that are accountable. Government, especially the beaureaucracy, has virtually no accountability, which is why such programs as Social Security or the DHS are such disastrous failures.

1 comment:

Colonel Robert Neville said...

Dear Stonehead, found your cross reference at good old Michelle Malkin.

Yes, I find more and more, being a rather heavy reader and researcher, that the MSM seems determined to be eventually useless, except to the clueless and wilfully deluded.

Not long ago in Australia, the Government multicultural SBS TV 'news' had a report on how lousy Iraq is etc, etc, by er, Dem Senator Robert Byrd.

Gee, their zero journalistic standards forgot to mention their impeccable source for baloney was um, a long time KKK member.

Here's a link to a post I did on Byrdy Num Nums, and one on the couch ready mind set of Leftism.

All the best from Colonel Neville and the old Osaka Missus.