A review by a panel of the National Academy of Public Administration gave a positive overall assessment of the TSA’s purchasing of screening equipment, IT, data systems, and other items, as well as for training and equipping personnel.

TSA had asked the good-government group to assess its competitive procurement goals and identify best practices to use.

“The panel concluded that TSA’s competitive procurement goal is reasonable, particularly given the challenging procurement environment it faces with respect to security technology equipment” and “is consistent with leading federal agency practice,” the Academy said in a summary.

It added that “continued progress depends most importantly on building stronger support from program leadership and top agency leaders for competitive procurement and planning.” It recommended ways to boost leader support for “communicating the importance of competition and procurement planning in terms of improved mission performance, enhanced budgetary management, and reduced risks to agency reputation.”

It further recommended that the procurement office present a plan to agency leaders to strengthen program accountability for competitive procurement. “This plan would include requiring that contracting officer representative duties be incorporated into the performance plans of designated program staff and that oversight of the COR be included in the performance plans of COR supervisors.”