Federal Manager's Daily Report

Chicago O'Hare: Officer Lori Potoczek - TSA Explosives Detection Canine Handler, with Doc, a black lab. (Potoczek and Doc were not cited in the report.)

An IG audit has found a range of management issues related to canine teams at TSA, adding that use of the teams may be creating a false sense of security because of their limitations.

In a redacted version of a report that previously was classified, the IG said the TSA “cannot be assured” that airports are properly using what TSA calls passenger security canine teams, “because it does not adequately oversee” them.

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Issues with the 287 teams deployed in 2018 at a cost of nearly $77 million included that TSA: “has not determined the number of teams needed to provide security and mitigate risks because it does not identify and document mission needs, capability gaps, and operational goals for deploying the teams; may not be allocating PSC teams to the highest risk airports because it does not properly justify and document allocation decisions; and has not determined whether the limited use of PSC teams provides sufficient security because it cannot justify the teams as the best, most cost-effective checkpoint security,” the report said.

In addition, the dogs “may not be able to detect” something that was redacted, but presumably is an explosive since the report said it leaves airlines “at risk of a catastrophic event caused by an undetected explosive device.”

It said management agreed with recommendations to improve oversight of its the teams, formalize its canine allocation methodology, validate its canine management decisions, and improve internal controls.

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