TSA wastes money storing old equipment

TSA wastes money storing old equipment

The Transportation Security Administration could save $800,000 a year by reducing storage of unusable or obsolete equipment in Texas warehouses, a government watchdog said Tuesday.

The TSA was storing 17,000 items worth $185 million at three warehouses visited by the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security in May 2012. The equipment included X-ray units, metal detectors and machines that detect explosives.

The agency, which is responsible for security screening of air travelers, has purchased millions of dollars in equipment over the years, some of which has been pulled out of airports.

Notably among the equipment: full-body scanning machines that use X-rays to detect objects passengers may carry. They’re being taken out because they were deemed too intrusive because they provided nude-like images of passengers.

But more than 3,800 items – including 360 headed for disposal – sat in warehouses at least two years. Eight of the explosives-detection machines worth a combined $3.7 million, which the agency stopped using in November 2012, became obsolete while sitting in the warehouse, according to the 24-page report from Anne Richards, assistant inspector general for audits.

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