House Hearing: How Well Is the TSA Doing?

I would have liked to participate in this hearing: Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency: "Assessing DHS 10 Years Later: How Wisely is DHS Spending Taxpayer Dollars?" February 15, 2013.

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 7:10 AM • 13 Comments

Comments

nkFebruary 26, 2013 7:51 AM

Seems everyone missed important point about complete safety and zero risk being not existant, which Mr. Rick "Ozzie" Nelson has very nicely summarized:
"Moving to a risk based model for security will not be without its challenges, and will require that Congress, DHS, and the American people engage in an ongoing dialogue about our priorities and the level of risk we are willing to accept. It is important to emphasize and to understand that no matter how well executed, any adoption of a risk based model will inherently mean assuming some degree of risk; in implementin g them, we must be willing to accept not only the risks, but the potential consequences, and that we cannot simply revert to trying to provide complete protection if and when there is an attack."

Snarki, child of LokiFebruary 26, 2013 8:16 AM

I'm sure that the non-invitation was an act of mercy.

Just imagine how TSA would treat you, trying to make you late to the hearing.

PiperFebruary 26, 2013 8:29 AM

They don't invite real experts to these things. They learned that the hard way when Richard Feynman made them all look like chimps in the Challenger hearings.

AlexFebruary 26, 2013 8:57 AM

How is the TSA doing? Is it possible to get a grade worse than Failing? If so, they deserve a dozen or more of them.

@NK: Very valid point. There is NO risk-free behavior or situation. Ask the Russians about the sky falling...or at least meteors randomly falling. The trouble is getting Americans to understand this.

Unfortunately, some Americans still don't get it.

Clive RobinsonFebruary 26, 2013 11:35 AM

@ Bruce,

The last place a person with honesty and integrity needs to go is a "House Hearing".

The basic premise of these dog and pony shows is the status quo will not change. The results of such hearings are known before they are held. The rest of it is going through the motions with if you are very lucky a bit of showmanship. If not it's procrastination, grandstanding and other forms of bloviating to fill out the time and look good for the reporters and presumably get a politicos name mentioned on the news in their home constituency. Mainly to remind the mostly disinterested voters that the politico exist and supposadly represent their intrests and not those of those lucrative special interest groups.

kashmarekFebruary 26, 2013 3:40 PM

If you honest and an expert, attending would be more like a "sheep shearing". The true answer is well know ahead of time...the TSA is doing lousy.

AlexFebruary 26, 2013 10:14 PM

@ kashmarek:
Any honest meeting about TSA effectiveness should be a sheep slaughtering rather than shearing.

mooFebruary 26, 2013 10:28 PM

@ Piper:

Compared to Richard Feynman, they are chimps!

A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain.
  -- Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein's "Time Enough For Love"

Clive RobinsonFebruary 27, 2013 5:18 AM

@ moo, Piper,

On the subject of committees Scott Adams has indirectly postulated a reason for their existance...

One of Scott's "Rules of Managment" is,

"Never be in the same room as a decision"

A committee can be seen as a very effective way of discussing an issue in all respects ad nausium but importantly not make a decision.

Thus the "worker drone" people "implicitly" carry out a chosen set of activities which the manager has indicated by various non command methods. Whilst the manager has the fall back of having not made a decision to carry on the activity in any particular way, but importantly can show via meeting minutes that there was uncertainty in any method chosen.

Whilst this might sound mad, there is a plusssssssss

Clive RobinsonFebruary 27, 2013 5:37 AM

Agh the cures of the LG Android Mobile strikes again...

@ moo, Piper,

Soory as I was saying before my smart phone so rudely interupted...

... there is an upside to this, in that those who know how to do a particular task just get on with it in the way they think best (which nine times out of ten causes no problems) and for which the manager can (unjustly) claim credit. And on tthe few occassions it does go wrong but not majorly so the manager can castigate the worker drone. On the very rare occasion it realy goes pear shaped and the managers superiors get involved he as a wormy way out so his number two or a lesser drone cops the "walk the plank" punishment.

The more bureaucratic the organisation the more likely things are to go realy pear shaped so the more you see juniors "walking the plank" normaly with their managers sword (the one they should have fallen on in a more honourable organisation) firmly prodding the poor junior in the back.

But when you come to the utimate SNAFU of bureaucracies "Government" where pear shaped at the most senior levels is the norm commitees are the ultimate form of dirt with which the bodies are hidden.

So the old saying about personal failures needs updating to,

What cooks do with sauces,
Lawyers do with words,
And doctors do with dirt,
Politicians do with committees and inquiries.

JohnPFebruary 27, 2013 11:12 AM

How is the TSA doing?

They are wasting billions of hours of productive time around the world for very little extra "security."

That is how they are doing.

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