The US Transportation Security Agency (TSA) has failed to manage the maintenance of its airport screening equipment to such a degree it does not know if they actually work properly, a report claims.
An audit by the Office of Inspector General concluded the safety and convenience of air travelers could be impacted.
The audit found that TSA officials have not notified airports of the requirements for proper maintenance of the screening machines.
“Without diligent oversight, including implementing adequate policies and procedures and ensuring it has complete, accurate and timely maintenance data for thousands of screening equipment units, TSA risks shortening equipment life and incurring costs to replace equipment,” the OIG audit said.
“More importantly, our prior work on airport passenger and baggage screening demonstrated that these other measures may be less effective at detecting dangerous items. Consequently, the safety of airline passengers and aircraft could be jeopardised.”
The report calls for proper reporting and verifying data from maintenance contractors.
The TSA has preventive and corrective maintenance contracts with firms worth $1.2 billion.
The machines are used at 450 airports nationwide handling up to 1.8 million air travelers daily.