Terrorism: October 22, 2001


The debate continues over the future of airport security screeners. These are currently low-paid employees of lowest-bidder contractors. The work is hard and the pay is low; few stay more than a few months. With massive turnover, the state of training is low. They often fail to follow their trained procedures and catch security tests. The airlines (which currently pay the contractors) have long wanted to have the Federal government take over this security task due to its cost. Democrats in Congress want to create a new airport police agency that would fill these posts with better trained and paid personnel who would, presumably, make a career of it and stay long enough to become experts. Republicans in Congress (and President Bush) want a compromise plan, in which the contractors would continue to provide the bulk of the screeners, but new Federal airport police would have a supervisory role, making sure that the contractor-employee screeners follow their training. In theory, the contractors would have to pay for better people (or enough to keep the people they have) and would then get more from the airlines. The concept of having the employees of one company supervised directly by Federal police is somewhat bizarre, but similar "inspection" regimes exist in many government contracts. President Bush and the Republicans in Congress do not want to hire thousands of expensive new government police. --Stephen V Cole


Article Archive

Terrorism: Current 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999



Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close