TSA Improved Covert Testing but Needs to Conduct More Risk-Informed Tests and Address Vulnerabilities


To test security screening at U.S. airports, TSA regularly tries to sneak guns and simulated bombs through checkpoints or in checked baggage. TSA changed its testing practices to better identify and address screening vulnerabilities.

We observed 26 covert tests and reviewed the test program and how results are used. We found that TSA’s ability to run covert tests has improved, but a new process intended to address vulnerabilities found in testing hasn’t fully worked.

We made 9 recommendations, including that TSA establish timeframes for addressing the vulnerabilities it discovers.

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Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office