S.697 - Contract Screener Reform and Accountability Act

A bill to reform and improve the oversight of the performance of passenger and baggage security screening at domestic commercial airports by private screening companies, and for other purposes. view all titles (2)

All Bill Titles

  • Official: A bill to reform and improve the oversight of the performance of passenger and baggage security screening at domestic commercial airports by private screening companies, and for other purposes. as introduced.
  • Short: Contract Screener Reform and Accountability Act as introduced.

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Introduced
 
Senate
Passes
 
House
Passes
 
President
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04/10/13
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Official Summary

Contract Screener Reform and Accountability Act - Repeals the authority of the Under Secretary of Homeland Security (Transportation Security Administration [TSA]) to waive the requirement that a private screening company be owned and controlled by a U.S. citizen for any company that is a U.

Official Summary

Contract Screener Reform and Accountability Act - Repeals the authority of the Under Secretary of Homeland Security (Transportation Security Administration [TSA]) to waive the requirement that a private screening company be owned and controlled by a U.S. citizen for any company that is a U.S. subsidiary of a foreign-owned corporation that has implemented a foreign ownership, control, or influence mitigation plan approved by the Defense Security Service of the Department of Defense (DOD). Repeals the requirement that an airport operator, when submitting an application for a private screening company at the airport, to recommend to the Under Secretary which company would best serve the airport's security screening and passenger needs. Prohibits the Under Secretary from:
(1) entering a screening services contract that would allow for a subcontractor to perform such services, or
(2) providing funding (for bonuses or other awards) to any private screening company in excess of the amount required for the performance of screening services. Repeals specified requirements to grant the Under Secretary discretion in whether to approve airport operator applications to have screening operations carried out by a private company. Allows the Under Secretary to take up to 270 days to award a screening contract to a qualified screening company after approving the application. Directs the Comptroller General (GAO) to provide to the Under Secretary guidance on how to analyze the total annual cost incurred by the federal government with respect to screening services by private companies. Requires the Under Secretary to use such guidance to identify costs incurred by the government from overseeing the performance of private screening companies, compared with costs incurred at airports using federal personnel for passenger and baggage screening. Requires any airport operator using contract passenger and baggage screeners employed by a private screening company to display signs prominently to notify the flying public that screening is conducted by contract screening personnel and not by federal personnel. Requires the Under Secretary to inform any airport operator opting to discontinue screening by a qualified private company in favor of screening by federal government personnel on how transition to TSA screening services will be carried out. Directs the Under Secretary to develop and implement a system to enhance monitoring of private screening company performance by the contracting officer overseeing each respective company. Requires a private screening company that provides screening services at an airport to report to the Under Secretary each security breach at that airport. Requires the Comptroller General to conduct annual covert testing of airports where private screening companies do the screening. Makes it a condition for the Under Secretary on contracting with a private screening company to provide screening at an airport that neither the private screening company, nor its parent company, if any, has knowingly compromised any covert security testing, especially by notifying its employees that it was occurring. Directs the Under Secretary to require each private screening company to provide all its employees with annual training for the proper handling of all sensitive information, including sensitive security information. Adds to the qualifications of a qualified private screening company that it will provide the right of first refusal of employment to the federal government personnel who performed screening services at an airport before it was awarded the screening services contract. Requires each private screening company with a contract for screening services to provide the Under Secretary each month with:
(1) information on retention rates of screeners and supervisory personnel it employs at an airport, and
(2) a detailed description of adverse employment actions taken against any of such screeners or supervisory personnel. Directs the Under Secretary to establish a process by which any person may report problems, deficiencies, waste, or vulnerabilities with respect to screening services provided by a private company. Prohibits a private screening company from discharging or otherwise discriminating against any employee with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or other privileges of employment because of such reporting, or related testimony to Congress, or any refusal to engage in any unlawful practice.

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