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Discussion Questions: Is the right to travel a fundamental right inherent to citizens, which cannot be abridged? Is this idea, well established in our history as Americans? Discuss the various new screening systems that may have civil liberties advocates concerned for various reasons including for mistaken identities or for the treatment of every individual as a “possible terrorist”. Do the nation’s new airport and screening security measures have to push aside basic civil freedoms in order to safeguard the nation from the use of planes or other forms of transportation in future terrorist attacks? What about the nation’s other forms of travel…?Instructions: Fully utilize the materials that have been provided to you in order to support your response. Your initial post should be at least 500 words. Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas. Sources utilized to support answers are to be cited in accordance with the APA writing style by providing a general parenthetical citation (reference the author, year and page number) within your post, as well as an adjoining reference list. Refer to grading rubric for additional details concerning grading criteria.
tsa_oversight_of_national_passenger_rail_system_security__rpt_.pdf

rail_security_and_the_terrorist_threat.pdf

civil_rights___transportation_security_administration.pdf

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TSA Oversight of National
Passenger Rail System
Security
May 13, 2016
OIG-16-91
DHS OIG HIGHLIGHTS
TSA Oversight of National Passenger
Rail System Security

May 13, 2016
What We Found
Why We Did
This Audit
TSA has limited regulatory oversight processes to strengthen
passenger security at Amtrak because the component has not
fully implemented all requirements from Public Law 110–53,
Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of
2007 (9/11 Act). Federal regulations require Amtrak to
appoint a rail security coordinator and report significant
security concerns to TSA. Although the 9/11 Act requires TSA
to establish additional passenger rail regulations, the
component has not fully implemented those regulations.
Specifically, TSA has not issued regulations to assign rail
carriers to high-risk tiers; established a rail training program;
and conducted security background checks of frontline rail
employees. In the absence of formal regulations, TSA relies on
outreach programs, voluntary initiatives, and recommended
measures to assess and improve rail security for Amtrak.
We conducted this audit
to determine the extent
to which the
Transportation Security
Administration (TSA)
has the policies,
processes, and oversight
measures to improve
security at the National
Railroad Passenger
Corporation (Amtrak).
What We
Recommend
We made two
recommendations to
DHS and TSA to
implement rail security
requirements from the
9/11 Act. When
implemented, these
recommendations
should strengthen the
effectiveness of
passenger rail security.
For Further Information:
Contact our Office of Public Affairs
at (202) 254-4100, or email us at
TSA attributes the delays in implementing the rail security
requirements from the 9/11 Act primarily to the complex
Federal rulemaking process. Although the rulemaking process
can be lengthy, TSA has not prioritized the need to implement
these rail security requirements. This is evident from TSA’s
inability to satisfy these requirements more than 8 years after
the legislation was passed.
Without fully implementing and enforcing the requirements
from the 9/11 Act, TSA’s ability to strengthen passenger rail
security may be diminished. The absence of regulations also
impacts TSA’s ability to require Amtrak to make security
improvements that may prevent or deter acts of terrorism.
DHS Response
DHS concurred with the recommendations.
DHS-OIG.OfficePublicAffairs@oig.dhs.gov
www.oig.dhs.gov
OIG-16-91
OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528 / www.oig.dhs.gov
May 13, 2016
MEMORANDUM FOR:
The Honorable Vice Admiral Peter V. Neffenger
Administrator
Transportation Security Administration
The Honorable Stevan E. Bunnell
General Counsel
Office of General Counsel
FROM:
John Roth~~~
Inspector ~neral
SUBJECT:
TSA Oversight of National Passenger Rail System Security
Attached for your action is our final report, TSA Oversight of National Passenger
Rail System Security. We incorporated the formal comments provided by your
offices.
The report contains two recommendations aimed at improving passenger rail
security. Your office concurred with both recommendations. Based on information
provided in your response to the draft report, we consider recommendations 1 and
2 open and unresolved. As prescribed by the Department of Homeland Security
Directive 077-01, Follow-Up and Resolutions for the Office of Inspector General
Report Recommendations, within 90 days of the date of this memorandum, please
provide our office with a written response that includes your (1) agreement or
disagreement, (2) corrective action plan, and (3) target completion date for each
recommendation. Also, please include responsible parties and any other
supporting documentation necessary to inform us about the current status of the
recommendation. Until your response is received and evaluated, the
recommendations will be considered open and unresolved.
Please send your response or closure request to OIGAuditsFollowup@oig.dhs.gov.
Consistent with our responsibility under the Inspector General Act, we will provide
copies of our report to congressional committees with oversight and appropriation
responsibility over the Department of Homeland Security. We will post the report
on our website for public dissemination.
Please call me with any questions, or your staff may contact Mark Bell, Assistant
Inspector General for Audits, at (202) 254-4100.
Attachment
OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
Department of Homeland Security

Table of Contents

Background ………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
Results of Audit …………………………………………………………………………………. 3
TSA Has Limited Regulatory Oversight of Amtrak …………………………….. 3
TSA Has Not Implemented All 9/11 Act Requirements………………………. 4
TSA Relies on Voluntary Initiatives ……………………………………………….. 8
Recommendations………………………………………………………………………………. 9
Management Comments & OIG Analysis ………………………………………………. 10
Appendixes
Appendix
Appendix
Appendix
Appendix
Appendix
A:
B:
C:
D:
E:
Objective, Scope, and Methodology …………………………… 12
TSA Comments to the Draft Report ……………………………. 13
Federal Rulemaking Process …………………………………….. 18
Office of Audits Major Contributors to This Report ……….. 19
Report Distribution …………………………………………………. 20
Abbreviations
Amtrak
CFR
GAO
NPRM
OIG
OMB
TSA
U.S.C.
www.oig.dhs.gov
National Railroad Passenger Corporation
Code of Federal Regulations
Government Accountability Office
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
Office of Inspector General
Office of Management and Budget
Transportation Security Administration
United States Code
OIG-16-91
OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
Department of Homeland Security
Background
Recent global events, such as the August 2015 armed gunman on a passenger
train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris, highlighted the vulnerability of rail
systems to terrorist attacks and the importance of security for passengers. As a
result of this incident, two members of Congress requested that the
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) provide an update on the state of
domestic rail security, including the progress made on implementing
requirements from Public Law 110–53, Implementing Recommendations of the
9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (9/11 Act).
According to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), it is the
sole high-speed intercity passenger railroad provider in the continental United
States. Each day, Amtrak operates more than 300 passenger trains, and in
fiscal year 2015, carried approximately 31 million passengers throughout 46
states; Washington, DC; and 3 Canadian provinces. Amtrak is funded by
passenger ticket revenues, annual Federal appropriations, and Federal and
state grants.
Figure 1. Amtrak Rail Stations
Source: Amtrak
Two divisions within Amtrak are primarily responsible for security policies and
operations. Amtrak’s Emergency Management and Corporate Security Division
develops emergency management and security policies and oversees security
training and exercises. Amtrak’s Police Department conducts passenger
security operations, performs counter-terrorism and intelligence functions, and
responds to incidents and events.
Amtrak and other passenger rail carriers operate in an open infrastructure
with multiple access points. Rail stations are designed primarily for easy
access, so this open infrastructure provides challenges for rail carriers and law
enforcement to control and monitor passengers for security purposes. For
www.oig.dhs.gov
1
OIG-16-91
OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
Department of Homeland Security
example, the number of riders and access points makes it impractical to
subject all rail passengers to the type of security that passengers undergo at
airports.
TSA is responsible for securing the Nation’s transportation systems, including
passenger rail systems such as Amtrak. Compared to its responsibilities for
aviation security, in which TSA screens passengers, TSA is not a security
provider for passenger rail. TSA’s main functions for rail are to assess
intelligence, share threat information with industry stakeholders, develop
industry best practices, and enforce regulations. In FY 2015, TSA dedicated
less than 2 percent of its budget for surface transportation (approximately
$123 million).1
TSA’s authority for passenger rail security and the oversight of Amtrak comes
from two main sources:
x
Title 49, Section 114 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) gives TSA overall
authority for security in all modes of transportation and authorizes TSA
to issue and enforce regulations necessary to carry out TSA functions.
x
The 9/11 Act requires that the Department of Homeland Security,
through TSA, create a regulatory framework that addresses the threats
facing our passenger rail systems. Examples of requirements include
security assessments, background checks for rail employees, security
training, and security exercises.
In 2009, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on the
key actions that TSA needs to take to enhance passenger rail security.2 In the
report, GAO indicated that TSA had only completed one of the key passenger
rail requirements from the 9/11 Act (establishing a program for conducting rail
security exercises) and the remaining requirements were still in progress. In
June 2011, TSA provided GAO with a plan for addressing uncompleted 9/11
Act requirements. The plan contained milestones for each of the remaining
9/11 Act requirements and listed proposed rules occurring in 2011. However, it
did not include expected completion dates. As of FY 2015, three key 9/11 Act
passenger rail requirements — a regulation for rail carriers to complete security
assessments, a regulation for rail security training, and a program for
conducting background checks on rail employees — remained incomplete.

TSA’s FY 2015 funding was $7.4 billion. TSA’s $123 million surface transportation budget
does not include fees collected for Transportation Worker Identification Credentials and
hazardous materials. 
2GAO-09-678, Key Actions Have Been Taken to Enhance Mass Transit and Passenger Rail
Security, but Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Federal Strategy and Programs, www.gao.gov.
1
www.oig.dhs.gov
2
OIG-16-91
OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
Department of Homeland Security
Results of Audit
TSA has limited regulatory oversight processes to strengthen passenger
security at Amtrak because the component has not fully implemented all
requirements from the 9/11 Act. Federal regulations require Amtrak to appoint
a rail security coordinator, report significant security concerns to TSA, and to
allow TSA to conduct inspections. The 9/11 Act requires TSA to establish
additional passenger rail regulations; however, the component has not fully
implemented them. Specifically, TSA has not issued regulations to assign rail
carriers to high-risk tiers; established a rail training program; and conducted
security background checks of frontline rail employees. In the absence of
formal regulations, TSA relies on outreach programs, voluntary initiatives, and
recommended measures to assess and improve rail security for Amtrak.
TSA attributes the delays in implementing the rail security requirements from
the 9/11 Act primarily to the complex Federal rulemaking process. Although
the rulemaking process can be lengthy, TSA has not urgently prioritized the
need to implement these rail security requirements. This is evident from TSA’s
inability to satisfy these requirements more than 8 years after the legislation
was passed. Without fully implementing and enforcing the requirements from
the 9/11 Act, TSA’s ability to strengthen passenger rail security may be
diminished. The absence of regulations also impacts TSA’s ability to require
Amtrak to make security improvements that may prevent or deter acts of
terrorism.
TSA Has Limited Regulatory Oversight of Amtrak
TSA’s oversight of Amtrak through security directives and regulatory
inspections is limited. TSA has an active security directive, which is applicable
to Amtrak, but it is partially enforced. Additionally, Title 49, Part 1580 of the
Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.), imposes two regulatory requirements on
Amtrak — appointment of a rail security coordinator and a process in place for
reporting significant security concerns. TSA performs compliance inspections
to ensure Amtrak meets these requirements.
TSA Security Directive to Amtrak
TSA has statutory authority3 to issue security directives to Amtrak based on
emerging threats but does not fully enforce these directives. Following the 2004
terrorist attack on a passenger train in Madrid, Spain, TSA issued a security
directive applicable to Amtrak titled Threat to Passenger Rail Systems – National
Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK) and Alaska Railroad Corporation.

3
Title 49, Section 114(l) of the United States Code
www.oig.dhs.gov
3
OIG-16-91
OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
Department of Homeland Security
This directive contained a series of security measures for Amtrak. TSA
incorporated some of these measures into Federal regulations.4 These
measures require Amtrak to allow TSA to conduct inspections for any security
threats, but TSA only conducts inspections to confirm that Amtrak designated
a rail security coordinator and reported security concerns to TSA.
The security directive also contains additional security measures for Amtrak to
implement. These include the use of bomb-resistant trash receptacles, canine
teams, rail car inspections for suspicious items, and passenger identification
checks. However, a TSA official said that TSA is not prioritizing enforcement of
these remaining security measures and may consider rescinding or modifying
the security directive in the future once TSA issues additional passenger rail
security regulations.
TSA Regulatory Compliance Inspections
TSA performs regulatory inspections over Amtrak, but they are limited. The
inspections ensure that Amtrak has appointed a rail security coordinator
(which includes ensuring the coordinator meets certain requirements) and that
Amtrak has a process in place for reporting significant security concerns. A
significant security concern is defined as any incident, suspicious activity, or
related information that could constitute a threat to rail transportation.
Although TSA performs inspections to enforce compliance with 49 C.F.R. §
1580, TSA does not evaluate any additional security measures that Amtrak
may have in place during these inspections.
TSA Has Not Implemented All 9/11 Act Requirements
TSA has not fully implemented key passenger rail requirements from the 9/11
Act. The legislation requires TSA to take a number of passenger rail security
measures. Among other things, the 9/11 Act requires TSA to:
x
x
x
x
x
x
develop a national railroad security strategy,
assign rail carriers to risk-based tiers,
award grants to Amtrak,
establish a security exercise program,
create a training program for rail carriers, and
perform background checks on frontline railroad employees.

4
Four of 16 security measures of the directive were incorporated into 49 C.F.R. § 1580.
www.oig.dhs.gov
4
OIG-16-91
OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
Department of Homeland Security
As shown in table 1, TSA has completed many of these important
requirements, but three remain incomplete.
Table 1. 9/11 Act Passenger Rail Requirements Status
Completed Requirements
x
x
x
x
x
x
Award security improvement grants to Amtrak.
Ensure grants are expended.
Develop railroad public outreach and awareness.
Establish a task force to assess risk of a terrorist attack.
Develop a railroad exercise program.
Issue a regulation prohibiting rail carriers from making false statements to
employees while undergoing TSA security background checks.
Recurring or Annual Requirements*
x
Develop and implement a National Strategy for Railroad Transportation Security
and submit a report to Congress.
Incomplete Requirements
x
x
x
Issue regulation for high-risk railroad carriers to conduct vulnerability
assessments and implement DHS-approved security plans.
Issue regulations for a railroad security training program for frontline
employees.
Establish a program to complete security background checks against the
terrorist watchlist and immigration status checks.
*TSA has completed the initial requirements and continues to report on a recurring basis as
required by the 9/11 Act for these items.
Source: TSA
TSA officials said that the complex process for issuing a Federal regulation,
known as “rulemaking,” is the cause for the delays in completing these
requirements. For TSA officials to publish a regulation, they must develop
proposed regulatory language, have the regulatory language approved by other
Federal agencies, and allow the public to comment on the proposed rule. See
appendix C for additional details on the standard Federal rulemaking process.
9/11 Act Requirements
For TSA to be effective in strengthening security for rail carriers, it must
implement the requirements from the 9/11 Act. The legislation sets forth
mandatory requirements for TSA and rail carriers to implement industry best
practices to improve passenger security. The 9/11 Act requirements require
TSA to identify high-risk carriers, develop training to prepare rail employees for
potential security threats, and conduct background checks on rail employees
www.oig.dhs.gov
5
OIG-16-91
OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
Department of Homeland Security
against the terrorist watchlist. Without fully implementing and enforcing the
9/11 Act requirements, TSA cannot require rail carriers to make critical
security improvements that may prevent or deter acts of terrorism. For
example:
x
Section 1512 of the 9/11 Act requires TSA to issue a regulation to
identify high-risk rail carriers and require those carriers to conduct
vulnerability assessments and implement security plans. This section
also requires TSA to review and approve those security plans.
x
Section 1517 mandates TSA to issue regulations for a railroad training
program to prepare frontline employees for potential security threats.
x
Section 1520 requires TSA to complete a security background check
against the consolidated terrorist watchlist and an immigration status
check for railroad frontline employees.
Although TSA has provided insight on the difficult rulemaking process, such as
the vetting process with the railroad industry, numerous requirement
revisions, and interagency reviews, TSA has not implemented all of the 9/11
Act provisions.
As shown in figure 2, TSA has not prioritized the implementation of the three
remaining 9/11 Act rail security requirements. This is evident from missed
implementation dates and TSA’s inability to satisfy these requirements more
than 8 years after the legislation was passed. TSA also made commitments
during prior audits and during congressional inquiries to issue these
regulations in a timelier manner during FYs 2009–15, but it still has not done
so.
www.oig.dhs.gov
6
OIG-16-91
OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
Department of Homeland Security
Figure 2. Timeline for Implementing Passenger Rail Requirements from
9/11 Act
Source: Office of Inspector General (OIG) analysis of TSA documentation.
TSA Projected Milestones
TSA officials are currently in the process of issuing regulations to satisfy the
three remaining 9/11 Act requirements. …
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