Review of the Terrorist Screening Center's
Efforts to Support the Secure Flight Program
(Redacted for Public Release)
Audit Report 05-34
Office of the Inspector General
The objective of our review was to evaluate the TSCís plan to support the Secure Flight program, as requested by the House Appropriations Committee in House Report 109-072.
Scope and Methodology
We performed our audit in accordance with Government Auditing Standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States, and accordingly, included such reviews of records and procedures that we considered necessary. Our audit covered, but was not limited to, activities during the period beginning with the announcement of the Secure Flight program in August 2004 through July 2005. The scope of our review did not include reviewing the TSCís overall compliance with laws and regulations or its internal control structure.
To accomplish our objectives, we conducted work primarily at the TSC (located in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area) and interviewed contractors and representatives from various participating TSC departments working within the Operations Branch, Information Technology Branch, Administration Branch, the Terrorist Screening Tactical Operations Center or TSTOC (previously referred to as the Call Center), Nominations Unit, and other support areas. Additionally, we met with officials at the TSA responsible for the Secure Flight program and at the Department of Homeland Security Office of Policy and Redress. We also interviewed FBI officials at FBI Headquarters who previously worked in the Budget Formulation and Presentation Unit.
We gained a working knowledge of the TSCís operations during our recent audit of the TSC (for which our audit report was issued in June 2005). During that audit we interviewed additional officials from a variety of agencies, including the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division, and the FBI Terrorist Screening Operations Unit (formerly the FBI Counterterrorism Watch).
Additionally, we reviewed legislative material regarding the history of Secure Flight, program requirements, privacy and testing publications, and memoranda, correspondence, electronic communications, and minutes of meetings related to the TSCís support of Secure Flight. We also reviewed and collected financial documents, planning documents, workload data, position descriptions, prior audit reports, and congressional testimony. In addition, we attended numerous Secure Flight meetings at the TSC that were attended by key individuals from the TSA, FBI/TSOU, and the TSC.