So how does private screening save money?

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    According to the New York Times, it is "estimated that the government could save $1 billion over five years by using private screeners at the nation’s 35 largest airports."

    However, another article out today indicates that there are some contraints on reducing costs through private screeners:

    However, the SPP model allows for little variance in screening operations at SPP airports. For example, in accordance with ATSA, private screeners must meet the same standards and requirements for hiring and training that apply to federal screeners, abide by the same standard operating procedures, and be provided compensation and benefits at a level not less than their federal counterparts.

    If they have to meet the same standards and receive similar pay & benefits, what's left to reduce?

    They must be getting rid of the thousands standing around, i.e. better utilization of the human resources that they're paying to work at the checkpoints.
  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    There's also a GAO report out on the subject ...

    Aviation Pros: GAO Report Shows Problems with TSA SPP Program

    "This report reveals that some privatized airports do not perform passenger screening as well as their federalized counterparts. It also reveals that TSA does not have the proper controls in place to regularly monitor private screener performance and does not validate data on attrition, absenteeism, and injury rates for privatized screeners."

    Basically, what they're saying is that TSA is incompetent, as usual. :D
  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

  4. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    That's where it falls apart - we've learned over the past two years that TSA considers sexual assault to be proper procedure (this will be held true and publicized widely, to TSA's detriment, pending unauthorized disclosure of SOP SSI material to prove otherwise). This would require private screeners to be sex offenders as well.

    Don't get me wrong - I'm overjoyed at the prospect of TSA clerks losing their jobs and potentially starving to death since they're not qualified for any other form of employment. It's not enough though - the gropes have to stop.
  5. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Oh, but some of them are qualified for real jobs.

    The scary part is that those who aren't so stupid as to believe they're "preventing another 9/11" are the ones who actually enjoy groping travelers their victims.
  6. FliesWay2Much

    FliesWay2Much Original Member

    There are gives and takes:

    1. The straight salary and benefits (company, not federal government) is higher because the contractor can apply their overhead and general & administrative (G&A) costs.

    2. The huge cost saving is that we would be out from under the huge civil service logistics tail -- health care, Thrift Savings, retirement, etc. These costs are part of the overhead and G&A costs described above. For a large company, these costs are spread out over numerous government contracts.

    3. A contractor can much more easily respond to increases and decreases in workload. It's the company's decision whether or not to lay people off or keep paying them out of overhead. The bottom line is that they are only directly charging the government when they are on the clock.

    These types of contracts are basically body shops.Overhead rates (as a percentage of direct billing hours) are usually low because the government isn't paying for a lot of company facilities, especially big manufacturing high-bays. As a matter of fact, many of these types of competively-bid contracts are won or lost because of the management section of the proposal. Any company expecting to win would have to make contingent employment offers to most of the existing TSA clerk workforce in place today.
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  7. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    And that's simply unacceptable.

    The problem is that the current employees are incapable of doing the real work required - which is why we need the current dolts, thieves, and thugs to be replaced with competent privately-managed workers.

    Let's face it - the current crop of TSA "employees" are fundamentally incapable of remembering that TSA policy doesn't make photography at the checkpoint prohibited, nor can they read clocks or tell the difference between incoming and outbound trains.

    Having written "replacements" contracts before (mostly for IT services) there comes a time when one needs to tell the customer, "You're hiring us because your current staff is incompetent. We're not taking them on board after the change." This is what needs to happen with the TSA.
  8. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Probably a union water boy ...

    Washington Post: Lawmaker calls for suspending privatization of airport screening operations

    The top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee wants the Obama administration to halt privatization of airport security screening operations until the costs and any benefits can be determined.

    Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) said a Government Accountability Office report “shows that under the current system, it is impossible to accurately measure any system cost-savings or efficiencies by moving to the SPP [Screening Partnership Program] model.” He urged John Pistole, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, “to refrain from approving additional SPP airports until the costs and possible benefits can be accurately assessed and we can more closely monitor the program.”
  9. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    I was thinking more like Mel Brooks' role as "Jacques" in "History of the Word, Part I," in the French Revolution section.
  10. N965VJ

    N965VJ Original Member

    I don't have a problem with front line TSA employees applying for the private sector screening functions, as long as it clear to them that what has been done in the past is no longer acceptable going forward, and the scope of screening functions is narrowly defined like a laser beam. The Slackers, Whackers, and Gung-Ho Guys will be naturally weeded out.

    How big of a workforce are you talking about?
  11. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Last one I was involved in was 1100ish personnel. We ended up taking a number of the previous employees anyway, but managed to avoid the "You must take a certain percentage" argument up front.
  12. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    Why didn't they do a cost/benefit analysis before they spent all those millions of dollars on the Nekid-O-Scopes?:confused:
  13. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    Oh, but they did.

    The only catch is that they define "benefit" differently than We The People do. The ability to coerce, threaten, traumatize, and intimidate travelers into obedience IS the benefit they shelled out for.
  14. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    They did. It certainly benefited Chertoff and his cronies, didn't it?

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