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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 26, 2016 6:00am-7:01am EDT

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benefit as a manager of having a workforce that works directly for me rather than contracted to me. ms. watson coleman: there's only one vendor you work with other pre-check program. and that the $85 that one has to pay only covers the administrative expenses. are going to expand this opportunity to other vendors, do you think that will create competition and reduce the cost associated with that? so. really hope that was one of the things being built into the request proposal. to look for ways to reduce the fee. i think competition can do that. >> or, if not reduce the fee, allow that to be used to ensure that you have the resources you need to do the job that needs to be done. workat we look for flexible options for how you
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would fund this in a different way. know that the part-time employment is something that you have a lot of turnover in because people need full-time jobs. i would like to know how much and incoming tso gets as a full-time employee? i don't want to get the number wrong off the top of my head. it depends on location to try and make it equivalent. let me get to the number for the record. aroundto say it's 30,000, but let me to the number. >> you have a high turnover rate with full-time employees? it runs between 8% and 9%. one of my colleagues mentioned the relationship you king,i think it was mr. particularly singling out the
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port authority police. i had meetings with them and there is like one police officer assigned to a terminal. do you find that there is enough police capacity and support in the terminals? >> i've been looking at that hard. travel, i meet with various law enforcement agencies that work in the airports. some have more capacity than thats read i am finding , theye most part understand their mission, they take it seriously. we also have a reimbursement program which reimburses them for the time they spend in and around the checkpoint and as i said, we put duress into the checkpoint to make sure there is a rapid response as possible. agree that you have an extremely important job to do and for me, i don't care
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sometimes about being inconvenient. i want to get on there and -- get on the plane and be safe. i just want to make sure that i understand what you need so i can fight for what you need to make sure we are safe and that your agency -- thank you very much, i yield back. >> the chairman recognizes the chairman of the transportation subcommittee. >> good morning, mr. messenger. i want to state that preliminarily i appreciate you subcommittee.y i appreciate the frank discussions and give and take and your commitment to get things done and putting politics aside. something piqued my curiosity when we were talking, that is the fee surrounding pre-check. there is a pre-check bill in the senate that is waiting ostensibly because they want the fees to go to the general treasury. i want to talk about those fees.
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tell me, what is that $85 go towards? >> a primarily covers the full program costs. it reimburses the fbi for the background check that they do. there is a component of the fee that covers tsa's administrative process. so it pays for the overhead and the administrative staff to do that. and in the bulk of the fee goes to the vendor to cover their a physical of enrollment centers and their personnel. >> so if that $85 was taken away and goes right to the general treasury, who would pay for those costs? >> we would have to find money someplace else. so $85 the cost and you want to 10 more people, that means million defined -- $850
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you have to find? >> correct. >> i does one make sure i understand it. it directs the tsa to partner more closely with the private sector, basically a competition in the pre-check program and that would help. with that being said, you believe that would help you achieve the higher numbers with pre-check? >> what that bill does is codify what we're trying to do now which is to increase competition in the private sector with the hope of that competition driving the cost down. talkth respect, i want to about the bonuses given out. wherere a system at tsa subordinates can nominate superiors for bonuses or put them in for bonuses? >> apparently, there was a system. that does not exist under my leadership. >> there was a system and you
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stop that. i commend you for that. right now, it requires approval by me and then seconding by the department for any bonuses awarded to senior executives. >> if i may switch gears one more time, i want to expand a little bit. organizationonal that certifies the minimum level of competence for airports, do you rely on when somebody hits the level, that's it? >> we are signatory to the ik oh treaty.- iko you're up to continuously pay attention to standards and drive them up even higher. i recently met with the council in montreal. there's a general assembly this year and i pushed for an aggressive security agenda at the general assembly. in advance of that, we are
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looking at every place that services the u.s. directly and we put significant additional requirements in place to make sure we are comfortable with the screening and overview standards. >> just want to ask a couple things about that respect to these departure airport. how important are these ltds that have body scanners? scanners may be the right answer depending on where you are looking. what i'm most concerned with is are they effectively screening? i can understand why some places might not have a full body scanners. if they don't have one, they have other things in place to death with equivalent. you can do that by full body pat downs or other means. >> is the explosive trace detector -- equipment important have airports?
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>> we'd like to see it. we've been working with iko and other foreign partners to bring that out. i like to see stringent requirements that make up for the lack of that. as we try to build the capacity. >> how that document verification machines? >> that is important to me. if someone comes to the u.s., i want to know who they are. that you had an airport did not have body scanners and did not have explosive trace detection equipment, didn't have document verification machines and had trouble some, if not , thosetent canine teams tethered airports that things lacking, with those be a concern to you? >> i would make sure they meet appropriate standards for us. i wanted to talk about the
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personality airports. is it important for you to know how those personnel are trained and given proper background checks? >> that's what we try to determine. >> thank you very much, i yield back. >> the chair recognizes mr. payne. >> thank you, chair. er, youtrator neffeng have a very difficult job and i just wanted to know that a lot of us appreciate your efforts in checkpoint the final before our citizens get onto airplanes is safe. tso. with the withndicated the tso's
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behavioral training are being incorporated into document checkers. the fscs have been granted flexibility. would you have a problem with the fscs using a bdo for a checkpoint screening? determine that's the highest need, i have no problem with that. in april, the faa announced they would be redesignating north liberty international airport which is in my district as a level two slot controlled airport starting in october. potential increasing the number of flights arriving and departing from the hub. how is tsa prepared to deal with traffic andd air the larger number of passengers that will come in with this
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designation? i know there have been great efforts over the past week to alleviate some of the time in k andork and we up -- newar we appreciate that. in octoberes naturally, what we've done to this point will need to be reevaluated and looked at again. i know several tso's are coming online as well as we move forward. att would you take a look knowing this is going to change? this increased collaboration with the airlines and airports is helping us foresee problems like this in a way we hadn't in the past. i don't want to get caught by surprise with something like that. if you increase flights are
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radically, we've got to be prepared to receive those. we have been working with very closely with the airlines to understand what that might look like. when we would begin to see that so we can get ahead of it. a couple of major airlines are already considering something that they might do with respect to increased automation at the checkpoint, increasing the a look -- availability of checkpoint lanes and we are pushing resources into newark. >> we had an incredible subcommittee hearing the just the other day where we had several of the airports, in and really share with us. i think with the chairman there and mr. cap co, i heard a willingness to try and work with tsa on these issues and there were quite a few major airports and hubs that were here to speak
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. moving forward, we'd like to continue to get that collaboration that we think might not have been there up to this point or not to the level that needs to be. , i have beenay echoing this every opportunity i have gotten in the past several days. we really need to look at our tso's and see what the compensation level is for them. job.have a very important they are the last line of defense for some catastrophic situation happened. i don't know how many people can raise a family on what we might $30,000 in this country. we need to even look at the compensation of the tso's and
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understanding that they have a thankless job first of all, they are on the front lines and they should be compensated in a matter which the importance of the job is. recognizes -- >> at the beginning of your testimony, you said your first point of focus is a focus on the mission. i pulled up the mission statement for tsa and it says protect the nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement of people and commerce. buyereen reading reports agents in the midst of the crisis by making sure and increasing terrorism threat, the people are able to fly safe. and that people are able to move quickly to get were they need to be. i've seen reports that your agents are being told to support things like dozens of campaign
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events, concerts, sporting events and other things. i don't see that anywhere within your core mission or responsibility. my first question is under what authority is tsa screening americans on their way into race boarding or concert -- into a sporting or concert. second of all, where does that fit in the priority in terms of what we heard today and making sure we can get there and timing -- timely manner. where is the priority of supporting these events that have nothing to do with your core mission? >> we surprise -- right now, we provide support to secret service when they asked. they have a detailed -- a sensitive. we have 75 people on standby to assist with presidential security events over the course of the summer. campaign?ntial or >> we will likely up do this at
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the convention. i have been working with the people asking for us to let them know we are in our own crisis. we would like to have as many of those people as possible. >> so you don't get to say no? >> we support the secret service because they pretty important mission and for the federal government, we are the screening expert. >> i agree it's important to make sure these people with their best attending these events are safe, but i don't see that as part of your core mission. is it possible that we could agree on making sure people going to concerts -- concerts are safe while focusing on your core mission? >> i would like to be fully focused on my core mission. >> thank you. with aa letter to you number related of issues.
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i haven't heard back from you yet. i was wondering when i might be getting an answer to this letter? havet me find out, i don't -- tomorrow, a meeting will be held bringing some of the representatives of airports, my ceo will be there which i appreciate. she dissipated in the roundtable willie had a fruitful and vigorous discussion on some of the concerns and ideas. a couple things we were seeing going on in a small airport like tucson, people are paying $85 to go through pre-check. they are giving the violin from -- they are giving a biometric information. when they get to the terminal, it is closed. this is a concern we are hearing from around the country that if
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people are going to spend the money and time to go through, the project lane needs to be open. are you aware of this issue and is there anything in the works to rectify it? >> yes. my goal is to get those the day so they are available in passengers arrive. some of that is a staffing issue and some is a scheduling issue. on focus we are putting now daily and hourly operations is showing us where we are having the problem. some of it is best practices across the system. in the absence of that, the other thing we are doing is dramatically changing the way we move through. so you move pre-check people through the front of the line and you get them through in a pre-check way even if it is in a standard way -- lane. you have to build enough capacity, enough volume to justify pulling the bodies off to open a pre-check lane.
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are going to if we promise a service to people, that you can deliver it. >> one thing from that roundtable is the feeling by the airlines and airport authorities at the lack of flexibility by the fsd's to work in partnership with the airline. they have more authority to make tactical decisions. they feel a top-down approach from the federal government. even if you give flexibility to a person, the leader down in tucson is still stuck with these top-down answers coming out of d.c. and phoenix. are you willing to relieve some of that and allow more bottom-up decision-making so that the leaders on the ground at tsa can make more decision? >> absolutely. that's the message i've been sending out consistency -- consistently. i'm a field commander and i've resources, i want to be able to
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do that to the best of my ability and reach out as i need for additional help. >> many feel their hands are directedthey are being by d.c. of when the pre-check lanes are open. >> i have new leadership that's not following that model. we are checking on that. >> it seems that shouldn't take an act of congress. >> no. it took an active me. -- an act of me. >> the chair recognizes mr. keating. >> admiral, thank you and your staff for helping us and providing feedback. two things on the wait times. i spoken with the airport operators regarding the need to establish a more formal process in which airport operators and carriers can share predictive data.
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how many seats on a flight, where the flight stopped and try to make that as foxholes possible. i want to know where you are on that and how easily that can be done given your personnel? number two, several federal programsutilize canine . we use is in the state department. we use in some of the most dangerous places in the world. to help keep our people safe. -- tsa has an we have heard committee testimony where the airlines have testified and express their support for that. voted 16 onerity in support of these recommendations moving to a certification program. can you tell us with minimal supply and growing demand, what
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tsa can do to improve the situation to incorporate more canine screening? whether or not there's an openness to these programs? to those programs. at had a number of conversations about private screening. >> give the resources to move forward and expand? >> if by resources you mean and -- iight staff, we have have a staff that manages the current canine program and making work with private vendors who are interested. the challenge associated with that, as we have work with local law-enforcement. there has to be protocols established if a dog find something, what do i do now. long -- local law-enforcement has a state -- say in this as well. >> so you think the inhibiting factor isn't the money or the number of resources available? it's coordinating with local
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law-enforcement? >> i did not mean to imply that was in inhibiting factor. i'm willing to explore that. -- ow the >> i think we should explore the issue. i think we should explode the options. when you think about cargo screening and other cap -- types of things that are off airport property that have to be done. there is value there. law-enforcement, it seems to me they would be would function with this as well if we do provide any assistance. important i think to upgrade that. they also serve as a very visible deterrent. >> there is no doubt. with respect to predictive data, it is relatively straightforward. we are doing that with the airlines so the operational cell i've got focused daily, which i
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intend to become a permanent feature, includes airlines and airports to provide predictive data. in more real-time. find outt help me to what happened last week, it is more important to find out what is coming and do something real-time. >> if you could keep me informed, in terms of the k-9 program, i would really appreciate that. thank you for everything you're doing. thank you for the success you're doing under tough situations. and i yield back, mr. chairman. >> the chair recognizes mr. donovan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral, thank you for your testimony and your candidness with this committee. we saw with the shooting at lax last year and what happened in brussels, the vulnerability of the non-secure areas of our transportation hubs. is that the total jurisdiction of the state and local authorities, or does the tsa have a role in the nonsecure areas in the airports? >> we have a role in setting standards and expectations. my primary role is at the
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checkpoint, down in the baggage area, and out in the secure areas of the airport. we work very closely with local law enforcement to patrol and guard the public areas of the airport as well. >> i know last summer, it may have happened actually before your appointment, there was the covert testing with the tsa and the vulnerabilities of the things going through. some changes have been made. have you found those changes have improved our ability to detect things going through our checkpoints that shouldn't? is there data that supports that? >> there is. and i won't get into details in an open setting. but i can tell you that our own internal testing tells us we have improved significantly. we have a ways to go yet, but it is significantly improved. the measures that we took and the re-training we did and the changes in focus have helped considerably. i recently met with of the inspector general. they're about to kick off a new round of tests, specifically testing our improvement.
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that will take place over the course of the next few months. they don't tell you the exact schedule for obvious reasons. i look forward to working with him in understanding what he is finding and understanding if he is validating anything that we are finding. >> wonderful. my last question is with your efforts to get more people on prescreening, and off the standard lines, is that just move the delay over to prescreening? >> no, it actually dramatically improves the ability to move. you can move almost double the speed on a precheck line that we do. for example, right now, even with the dramatically increased numbers that have enrolled in pre-check, 92% across the entire system of people in precheck wait less than five minutes for screening. that's a significant improvement. >> with the increase of people going to prescreening, you think that standard would uphold? >> i do. we can now more consistently to the congressman's point, we can more consistently open the
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pre-check lanes and open more of them. you need volume to keep the lanes open. >> thank you very much, i yield back to the remainder of my time. >> the chair recognizes mr. richmond. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, admiral. i represent baton rouge in new orleans. new orleans, one of our biggest economies is the tourism industry. which means our airport is vitally important. if you are talking mardi gras, jazz fest, or any of the events, the last thing we want is people to come down and have a good time and then have a bad taste in their mouth because they waited in an airport line and miss their flight. specifically, do the fsd's have the ability to grant overtime if they need more employees? >> they do. i pushed a lot of overtime out to the fsd's. you've got a great fsd down there, by the way. >> we do. and we have some hard-working tsa's.
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unfortunately, we had the incident last year. >> you did. >> where we had to use deadly force and it was done by the book. what about k-9 teams? that's another thing that they expressed. we had it for jazz fest. it worked tremendously well. so, the question becomes, can we get a permanent one and as you expand your 10 point plan, or implement it, where would we fall on the list? >> i'll get you the exact priorities on the list for the record. i would tell you i like to expand our k-9 program beyond what we currently have. right now, i pushed k-9's to the largest airports where we're experiencing some of the biggest problems. my plan is to backfill those as we can bring more k-9's on board. i will find out where new orleans is on the priority list. >> i have read and i know about your goal to increase pre-check passengers. one idea that i think that, you
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know, let me just say off hand, i am opposed to the baggage fees. i think it's abominable. the price of gas has gone down and has been very low for the last year. so, airline ticket prices have remained the same. i think baggage fees is another way to dig into the american people's pockets and make excessive money. but i think it pushes the carry-ons through our security checkpoints. which means our margin of error, if it's 1% or .1%, now that we have millions more bags because airlines are doing their fees, i think at some point i want to just prohibit them. but if we want to push people to pre-check, why don't we just say, anybody who has pre-check, the airlines cannot charge you baggage fees. that would drive people to enroll in precheck. and we get to help the american people.
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the number ofhat bags going through our checkpoints is problematic? >> there's a lot of pressure on the checkpoints. we see a lot of bags coming through the checkpoint. four times the checkpoint of what gets checked. and so, this is why we encourage the airlines to help enforce that one plus one rule. because every additional bag coming through the checkpoint is a potential slow down to the processing of people through. >> what i noticed, probably many of the people on the committee, since we travel so much. we notice that once you get to the gate, when they make the announcements, most of them say that the flight is pretty full and they will complementary check your bag. you have had this back up at the checkpoint and once you get through the checkpoint and get to the gate they say how about we check your bags are for you now for free. well, if they're going to do that, they might as well do it and alsoont and rid
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help us protect the american people. so, i really would hope that you look at that. let me switch topics a little bit. and i know that you are going out for bid on -- you have an rfi out for your i.t. on your security flight program. and i would ask that you look at using shared services with the national finance center which already i think does your pay roll and other things for you. they have great software development team. it's already branch of government. i think they can help you get your needs to market, or they can service you a little bit faster than the process you are going to go in. i think they will save you a tremendous amount of money. so, i would just ask that you are really entertaining using a shared service with national finance center to develop the software for the secure flight program that you are looking for. with that, mr. chairman, i yield
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back. >> gentlemen, the chair recognizes mr. carter. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. neffenger, thank you for being here. mr. neffenger, as you know, i represent georgia. of course, hartsfield jackson airport, the busiest airport in the world, this is a major problem. the back log we have there. in fact i just went out, stepped outside a few minutes ago to have a picture taken with some visitors from georgia. they were telling me this morning, this morning, you know, one of them commented "i only had to wait 30 minutes in line." you know, it is unacceptable what is happening here. i just want to make sure we are on the same page here. at hartsfield recently, they just opened up the south checkpoint. they started using a new system, the radiofrequency identification on the bins, so they can put their stuff in
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there and they don't have to load the bins. i hope that is going to help some. you and i have spoken before about privatization, and as you know, and full disclosure i'm big on privatization. atlanta and the bigger airports are indicating to us, at least to me, that it's beyond the scope of a bureaucracy to be able to do this. and i just don't get warm and fuzzy feelings that you are embracing privatization here. congress passed the screening partnership program. tell me what you're doing to implement that. we need to get to a point where you are on the other side of the table, you are asking the questions and overseeing this, as opposed to being here, answering the questions from us. >> we've made a lot of changes to streamline that process. i was concerned it takes a long time because it has to go out on bid and contract and the like. i have said repeatedly, the law allows this and i will work with any airport that is interested. in fact, i have directed
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airports like atlanta to go out and talk to san francisco, because that is the only large category airport that has a contracted screening force and we will continue to work with them. i think there are things we can do. we are somewhat hammered by the -- hampered by the way the rules work. that's a work force that's contracted to the federal government. >> hold on a minute, i don't mean to interrupt you. you say you're hampered. i want to know how i can help you to become unhampered. if that is a word. >> we follow the contractors rules for under the federal contracting requirements. it's a contract to the federal government. i want to make sure it's fair and open competition and you have to give people the opportunity to participate. we will work with anybody who wants to do that. >> understand, i want to work with you so we can streamline the process. i still don't get the feeling you're embracing it. i want to know what you're doing to encourage it. the privatization of it. >> well, again, it's up to the airport to determine whether they want to do it. we advertise its availability.
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we make availability information about it. there's a screening private partnership office that manages that. what i can offer you is to bring the person who is running that office up to outline what's changed over the past year. and what we do to make that information available to airports, if they're interested and inclined. >> a couple of other things, really quickly. as you know, you do your training in my district. it's a great facility. we still incorporate that even in the private sector. i mean, they can still be trained down there. >> i trained the private screeners as well. >> absolutely. absolutely. so, you know, it's not as if they're not going to get the same kind of training we currently get for the employees. it's just going to be management. it appears to me by the conversations i've had with some of the smaller airports that that's where the problem is. that there is a void, a gap, if you will, between the local
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senior tsa reps and between the management up here in d.c. they are not communicating. can you speak to that? >> you mean the fsd's in the field? >> yes. >> well, i felt the same thing. that is why i have made some leadership changes and structural changes. i have pushed a lot of authority out to the fsd's. they already have that authority, in my opinion. they needed to know they could use that authority. i have been trying to drive less operations from head orders. you can't drive from headquarters. you have to provide guidance and resources. >> absolutely. i'm glad to hear you say that. again, i feel like what's happening here is is we're creating this bureaucracy that at some point, we are not going to be able to break it down. and now is the time for us to start going more toward privatization, so that we don't get this giant bureaucracy that obviously, is not performing to the level we want it to perform to.
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one of the first things they taught us in the georgia legislature was, if you are in a hole, stop digging. so, we need to stop dating -- digging because it is not working the way we wanted to work now. i encourage you to push the privatization. that's the route i would see us needing to go. >> yes, sir. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> the chairman recognizes mr. heard. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i have some basic questions. i love your comments on the philosophy of getting passengers through checkpoints quickly, versus security effectiveness and how you balance that. >> oh, well. first and foremost, you have to be effective at what you do and we learned that the hard way when the inspector general report came out last year. so, it was imperative that we refocus. this was not the fault of the frontline workforce. a were doing exactly what they
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were told to do, get people through the line fast. and if you do that, you might get people through the line fast, that you might not do your job very well. that was the first thing. but you still have to ensure it you do it as efficiently as possible. those two things are not mutually exclusive, in my mind. there are efficiencies in the way we deploy our people and employ them and the way they are managed. i think an awful lot of the work i'm doing is in really reforming and transforming the management piece of the organization, because that is where the greatest opportunity for efficiency is. and then there's a technological piece as well. tsa is still operating equipment that was operated for the past 30 years in terms of with the exception of some of the upgrades to the software and x-ray machines. the basic system is a manual system. there are things we can do that will dramatically improve our ability to process people more efficiently, while still doing our job really well.
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>> the next question, and i know, this is about how tsa works with individual airports. and i know the answer is going to be, it depends. but are you getting the kind of support from airports when they build a new terminal, are you getting the opportunity to provide input and guidance on how to design it in such a way that would improve efficiencies of security? are you also -- do you get the kind of support -- you don't run the airport, and i think folks forget that. are you getting the kind of support from the airport personnel on non security tasks? i just welcome your general thoughts on that. >> with respect to the last point, we have gotten some great support from airlines and airports over the last few months to provide assistance for nonsecurity related duties. everything from monitoring exit lanes to bin running to ep
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-- to help guiding people into the appropriate checkpoints. what i believe is that tsa needed to do a better job of engaging at the local level as well as at the federal level. we have always had good relations with the big associations, but it's on the ground at the individual airport where the difference is made. so, we have been working very hard at pushing our feet. going back to the comment about the fsd's and the local authorities, we are going to get them engaged with people. share with them their staffing models, share with them their current challenges and learn from each other and more importantly, find out when they have plans to modernize or improve their infrastructure because that's an opportunity to build in new capability and some new space that would allow us to operate better. >> great. and my last is a comment, not a question. i would like to say, thank you for working with us on getting some tsa agents back into small airports in small towns.
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we have been talking a lot about wait lines at big airports, but i'm looking forward to flying back to washington, d.c. from del rio, texas, once that gets set up. i appreciate your willingness to work with us and making sure -- earlier this week, kelly hogan was removed from his post as head of security operations. we talked above the $90,000 bonuses as well. not realize they are camp too much this morning, but i want to ask a couple questions. what is mr. hogan's annual salary? >> he's an ses level, so his
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annual salary is right around $180,000. >> i have $181,000. i think we are pretty close on that. can you confirm if he's on paid administrative leave? >> he is currently on paid administrative leave. >> if my math in my head is correct that's about $500 a day. , according to the dhs administration poll su of 2015, i am sure you are familiar with that. >> yes, sir. >> i would like to read it for the record, if that is ok, mr. chairman. the policy states managers must decide whether the continued presence of the employee in a workplace might pose a threat to the employee or others, result in loss or damage to government property, or otherwise jeopardize government interests. lace. so in the case of mr. hogan, which of these cases applies? >> we are resolving this.
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i wanted to make a leadership change. it is my opinion that i needed a new direction going forward. we're working process with the spec mr. hogan. thehy is it that your made choice to put them on paid administrative leave when it is not seem to be any threat to the organization? >> it is a very short-term decision the next step. so that we can move forward with the new direction to ensure immediate challenges coming forward. >> i want to respect that. when you say short-term, can you give us a ballpark idea? what does that mean? >> i intend to determine that this week. >> ok. i want to go back also, where there's tough places to dig out, but also where i want to commend you. in the past, the tsa has had infant -- involuntary or bontrager moving expenses of i $200,000. believe the one gentleman testified from maine that he had $100,000 relocation expense. is it my recollection that
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you're no longer operating under that particular mind set or those procedures? >> i discontinued that practice. and i have capped relocation expenses. >> i appreciate you doing that. let me follow up with one more question. in the same memo that announced mr. hogan was no longer minister here, you announced -- website, tsa'sur assistant administrator for security operations is responsible for "airport checkpoint and baggage screening operations." is that true? is that a fair statement? >> yes, sir. >> and concluding with mr. hoggan, before we move on to some thing else air. -- else here. are you at a place where you can reveal any long-term plans with mr. hoggan at this point? >> at this time i cannot, sir. >> at this time, i will respect that.
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i have a minute and a half and i want to give you the opportunity. the overall culture of the tsa has not been where the american people expected. can you tell me from a philosophical perspective why , are you able to turn this tide? we've heard several members saying your trying to take on an apology -- impossible task. obviously with your background, you would not have taken on this position unless you felt like there were improvements that could be made and things that could be done. you can say or share a couple specifics if you'd like, but i would like to hear a general overview of why you think you're able to turn the ship in the right direction. >> let me start by talking about the workforce. we have a really tremendous workforce. i don't say that lightly. i have been meeting with them in the 10 months plus i have had the job. i go out to the front lines. we have people that come from
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all walks of life. seeing not only the passionate dedication in the workforce. i believe we have -- that one of the toughest jobs in government. they have to remain professional and these are that said, i think true public servants. they needed a clear sense of mission, a clear focus from leadership on mission. it is a clear sense of purpose. a reminder of that engagement across the workforce. i was surprised to discover when i came to tsa, that there was no
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true, formal training program across the organization at any level. to me, that is foundational to creating culture and engagement. i was really pleased that congress agreed that that any tsa academy for the first time ever was a very important first step. it is a first step. i want to get that workforce back engaged and connected in a way they hadn't before. we were training them all over the country individually and inconsistently. now we have a consistent training program. you need to do that across the entire workforce. i started for the first time ever this year a rising leader development program, which looks at all of the midgrade employees and starts to teach them about what it means to be in charge and leading. we need to do leadership training, skills training, and we need to do it consistently. the reason i believe the ship can turn is i look to where the united states military was post vietnam. everybody said it was a broken organization. it turned itself around by doing exactly those things. focusing on the mission, reengaging with the workforce, going back to fundamentals and
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training across the board. i believe that is the answer. it doesn't happen overnight, but we're already seeing some good signs with some of the new people that have been coming out of the academy. i should share with you some of the e-mails i'm getting. >> i will say my time has expired, it would be up to the chairman to extend that. but i appreciate your answers. the yield back. >> the chair recognizes mr. radcliffe. >> i would like to thank the chair. mr. neffenger, thank you for being here today. over the course of the last year, we have had hearings on this committee on security breaches caused by improper ploy ease of the airports and vendors. we have had hearings about the agency's trouble with excessive waste and cost and security
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failures. specifically, on the dhs ig's investigation that showed we had as many as 95% of band security items and able to get through. i say that not to lay blame with you, but to highlight that you were brought in at a very challenging time at the tsa. and clearly, there is a lot of work to be gone. i do want to say that i've noticed that you have taken proactive steps to try and rectify some of these problems. today, with another problem to talk about. are not just an inconvenience to travelers, they pose a security risk. having hundreds of passengers standing closer together in an unsecured area, with solid happen in brussels with respect to that. i know the tsa is working to prevent those types of things that happen.
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i do want to follow-up in this i knowlar area because you've attributed some of the long lines to personnel departure beauteous a in previous years. and the agency is not play some of those folks. i know through the appropriations committee, we repurposed -- congress has repurposed some $34 million to allow for the hiring of additional tsa agents. i have some concerns about the allocation of additional agents. it is not just about getting screeners to the airport, but about allocating those resources strategically to alleviate some of the long lines that we're seeing right now. to that point, i know there was a transportation security roundtable last week where stake holders repeatedly said they thought the staffing model at the tsa was fundamentally flawed. no one wants to sacrifice
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security simply to lower wait times at the airport. but if you, or if we, can improve efficiency of security processes without sacrificing safety, i know that is something we all want to get to. so, i have heard in the past that tsa had the capability to schedule its workforce to match up with the airline flight schedules and passenger load, but it dropped that. and instead, now it uses electronic time and attendance system that has a lot of -- it requires a lot of manual changes to deal with employees on leave and the regular operations and weather-related delays. first of all, is that correct. >> well, we do use an electronic time and attendance system. but we still have the flexibility to meet them. i do still think we did it very -- i don't think we did it very well. >> are you looking at any commercial technology solutions that would align workforce needs with airline and airport
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passenger flow? and if so, when would that be deployed? >> what we have done immediately is working with the airlines directly. we have opened up the full staffing model to the airport. we had all of the major airlines in at a very senior-level to say, "here it is." airport by airport, anybody wants to look at it, looking at -- them andarn a lot from they are helping us adjust our stfing model. we even saw in chicago, a couple of the key adjustments made the day that we had
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all the challenges, it dramatically decreased the line weights. >> i am glad to hear you are engaging the airports and airlines in that regard. to that point, about the are you taking into account the different layouts. the layout in texas is 15 screening check ones where i know the denver airport only has three. obviously that makes a big difference in terms of staffing requirements. is that being taken into account? >> it is and you have to do that. what you say implies the real challenges. some airports are big and open and have lots of opportunities to run efficiently. other airports are constrained by space and you have multiple small checkpoint distributed across the airport. you have to think very differently about managing those more constrained airports than you do any large airport.
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i do time has expired, but want to ask you this question as well. you think the federal security director is located the air desk located at the airports you have more flexibility determining the local needs of the airport where they are stationed? >> i have given them complete flexibility. it is important to note that i'll only have so much staff to go around. but within the resources that i've currently allocated, they have the ability to flex those resources however they need to, working with the local airports and airlines. if they need more, they have the ability to say i need more and here's what i need. >> thanks for being here today and thank you for your candor and answering the questions. i will yield back. >> i'd like to remind members that tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m., the subcommittee on transportation will be holding a
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hearing with local airline authorities, airport authorities and airlines are it we look forward to that perspective tomorrow. members of the committee may have additional questions or it we would ask you to respond in writing and the ranking members recognized. >> thank you mr. chairman. i would like unanimous consent to enter into the record a letter to administrator neffenger, dated april 19, 2016. >> without objection, that is so ordered. pursuant to committee rule 7-c, the record will be open for ten days for statements and questions from members. admiral, thank you for being here today. i know you're a newcomer to this job. certainly the challenges are great, but i think you are well-equipped to solve those. we look forward to working with you to solve these problems for the nation. we thank you for your service.
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without objection, the committee stands adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 201] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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>> today on c-span, washington journal is next. live coverage of the house today , they are scheduled to vote on final passage of the annual energy and water spending bill. livelive road to the white house coverage of cap presidential candidate hillary clinton. at a campaign rally in san jose, california. we talk to congressman bobby scott in about 45 minutes.
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we talk about a recent gao report that found certain by raceare segregated and income. and senator bruce westermann talking about passing a budget. ♪ host: good morning. thursday, may 20 6, 2016. the house will gavel in at 9:00. we will take you there for life gavel to gavel coverage. until then, we are glad you are with us on "washington journal." discuss the latest headache for hillary clinton and her use of private e-mail for official business during her tenure as secretary of state. a watchdog report released yesterday down hillary clinton violated federal records policies and her private server


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