Congress: TSA Covered Up Millions in Misspending - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Congress: TSA Covered Up Millions in Misspending

North Texas warehouse at center of probe



    North Texas Warehouse at Center of TSA Probe

    The TSA spent millions on equipment it doesn't need and stored it in a North Texas warehouse, according to a congressional report. (Published Thursday, May 10, 2012)

    The Transportation Security Administration has wasted hundreds of millions of dollars by buying equipment it doesn't need and storing it in a North Texas warehouse, according to a congressional report released Wednesday.

    The blistering report also accuses the airport security agency of trying to cover up the misspending by misleading investigators.

    The probe largely focused on TSA's Transportation Logistics Center in Grapevine, which stores approximately 5,700 pieces of equipment such as baggage screening machines.

    Congressional investigators claim that as of February, 85 percent of the equipment in the warehouse had been stored longer than six months, and 35 percent had been in storage longer than one year.

    The report faults TSA administrators for buying unneeded equipment in bulk -- including machines used to detect trace explosives -- in order to receive a discount "under an incorrect and baseless assumption that demand would increase."

    The agency "willfully delayed Congressional oversight" in "a failed attempt to hide the disposal of approximately 1,300 pieces of screening equipment from its warehouses in Dallas, Texas, prior to the arrival of Congressional staff," the report said.

    While the report said the warehouse was in Dallas, it is actually located not far from DFW Airport in Grapevine.

    TSA also gave investigators a list of equipment that "falsely identified disposal dates and directly contradicted the inventory," according to the report.

    In Dallas, TSA spokesman Luis Casanova declined to answer questions about the report but did issue a short written statement.

    "TSA is responsible for deploying and operating state-of-the-art security technology at over 450 airports," the statement said. "The overwhelming majority of all screening equipment that is currently in storage (nearly 80 percent) has been warehoused for less than a year."

    Wednesday's joint report was issued by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

    More: Read the congressional report