TSA bill requires competition

House says fingerprint contract must be competed

Despite a lobbying effort by airport executives, the Transportation Security Administration reauthorization bill that passed the House on June 4 retained a provision to require full and open competition for security background screening services for aviation workers.

Under the measure, TSA must seek competitive bids for the first time to process and transmit biometric fingerprint data needed for background checks on millions of aviation employees.

Since 2001, the work has been performed by the Transportation Security Clearinghouse, an entity owned by the American Association of Airport Executives, which was designated by TSA as the sole provider to perform that work. The clearinghouse collects fees from the aviation workers, currently $27 per worker.

Under H.R. 2200, Section 233, TSA would be required to publish a notice in the Federal Register stating that airports may use any qualified provider for these services and must disclose the technical requirements.

Biometric executives supported the provision. “If this provision becomes law, all International Biometric Industry Association member companies (as well as non-member companies) that meet the requirements of TSA would have a chance to compete to provide these services to airports,” said Tovah LaDier senior vice president, said in a statement dated June 5. She said the association would continue to promote the provision’s incorporation in a Senate bill.

Executives at more than 80 airports urged Congress to consider the risks of putting the work up for competition. “While competition in this area is a worthy goal, it must not come at the expense of a process that works well and that has served our industry and the cause of aviation security admirably for nearly eight years,” the executives wrote June 2 in a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the House Homeland Security and Transportation committees.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close

Trending

  • Dive into our Contract Award database

    In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Our databases track awards back to 2013. Read More

  • Navigating the trends and issues of 2016 Nick Wakeman

    In our latest WT Insider Report, we pull together our best advice, insights and reporting on the trends and issues that will shape the market in 2016 and beyond. Read More

contracts DB

Washington Technology Daily

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.