GAO: TSA Could Improve Complaint Processes

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by KrazyKat, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    No kidding!
    GAO released the report November 15, 2012. Highlights include lowlights we've come to expect:
    GAO takes TSA assurances of improvements on the way at face value. But the report does include some interesting information:
    News to anyone who's tried to get video of their TSA experience.
    The fundamental problem of having complaints handled in the same chain of command as that complained about is emphasized throughout the report.
  2. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    And at the end of the day, what does it matter that they review the video?

    Big whoopty do! As direct reports of the FSD these "customer service" managers approach the entire episode with a customer-is-wrong bias. They have to. They are so committed to their mission, there is no way those brave :)rolleyes:) men and women on the front lines of the War on Terror! would mistreat people.

    And if they did, so what? That's the price we pay for Freedom! Freedom!

    Tug sacs and burst colostomies for Freedom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :confused:
  3. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    After every major incident, the TSA rolls out the excuse---all procedures were followed and the passenger lied or exaggerated. the old "I never borrowed your pot, besides, it was broke when I got it, and I returned it just as you lent it to me."
  4. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I can't speak for others on TSA complaints but I have submitted exactly two about airport screening. In neither case did I get much of a response.
  5. If they had a complaint system that required for complaints to be taken seriously, the system would collapse under the weight of the comment cards. Activists and frequent flyers would have an advantage if, every time you traversed a checkpoint even without incident, you submitted a complaint about having your fourth amendment rights violated, or that the line was too long, or that a screener looked at you funny. The zeks did this in the Soviet gulags, exploited the complaint system to put a serious strain on the bureaucracy. I'll see if I can find the article I read about it.

    ETA: Aha, here it is: How To Gum Up Any Institution
  6. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    We already have the ability to do that: Every time you fly, opt out, file complaints, file FOIA requests for copies of any video & notes that were made.

    What distinguishes most of us from the zeks is that we have lives outside of TSA's prison camps, whereas the zeks had nothing better to do with their free time. People with other avenues of amusement are much less likely to "go zek".

    The idea has merit, but how to organize it?
  7. I think the difference here is that you file a complaint or a comment card, maybe you hear back, maybe you don't, and nothing seems to happen to anybody if you get no response. The zeks had a little more power:

    I don't know if there's a "by the book" at all for TSA complaints, and if there is, nobody seems to be liable if they don't follow it. Though I would absolutely support a deluge of complaints campaign, even if they would all just go in the garbage.
  8. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    There is a time requirement for responding to FOIA requirements, and the DHS OIG keeps logs of all complaints, so in sufficient number they will bog down the system.

    One caveat, though, is the the DHS OIG reportedly closes complaints if he learns that you have also complained directly to local personnel, on the assumption that they are already "handling" it.

    So we need to find approaches that keep the wheels of bureaucracy gummed:

    1. OIG
    2. FOIA for relevant records
    3. Can we complain to GAO?

    Need to develop list of parallel avenues of complaint.
  9. Yes, that makes sense. But it's awfully complex for the average joe, who just wants to fill out a comment card or send an email. It would be difficult to get a large number of people sending official complaints to obscure sounding government agencies. The process would need to be outlined very clearly if this were to be an organized effort.
Tags: GAO

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