TSA Allows Airports To Hire People Without Finishing Background Check

While the TSA dare not let a hug-friendly 4-year-old go by without a pat-down, the agency is apparently just fine with allowing airports to hire new employees who haven’t gone through a complete background check yet.

The reason, reports Atlanta’s WSB-TV, is that the TSA backlog on background checks has been holding back airports from bringing on new hires. Thus, the agency opted to delay the checks in order to get these people working.

WSB learned about the delayed checks when it obtained an internal security memo from Hartsfield-Jackson International.

A rep for TSA tells WSB why it granted airports “temporary regulatory relief”:

The TSA was recently made aware that a newly implemented change to the system used to process airline and airport employee background checks resulted in a delay for requests submitted through the American Association of Airport Executives. The cause of the issue was quickly identified, and TSA and AAAE have worked together to implement a solution… At no time was security at risk, and all new employees will still undergo identity verification and be subject to watchlist matching.

So it’s perfectly okay to detain someone long enough for them to miss their flight, but heaven forbid the airport food court goes understaffed? Makes sense.

This has not been a good week for the TSA. In addition to the two headline-making incidents involving allegedly over-zealous screening of young children, two current and two former TSA screeners were arrested in Los Angeles, accused of accepting bribes to allow drug-carrying travelers to slip through checkpoints.

TSA delays background checks for new hires [WSBTV.com]