Aviation Security Technology: TSA Lacks Outcome-oriented Performance Measures and Data to Help Reach Objectives to Diversify its Marketplace

With the ongoing threat of terrorism, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is looking to innovative technologies to improve security. In response to the 2018 TSA Modernization Act (the Act), TSA developed a strategy to promote innovation and increase small business participation in its security technology marketplace. The Act includes a provision for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review this strategy. This report examines, among other things, (1) the extent to which TSA’s strategy includes the statutory requirements of the Act and compares to common practices of federal agencies to increase small business participation and (2) the extent to which TSA has performance measures and data to assess the effectiveness of its initiatives. GAO compared TSA’s strategy to statutory requirements and practices of comparable federal agencies; interviewed TSA and federal officials from five selected agencies responsible for small and disadvantaged business programs, and a nongeneralizable set of small businesses selected to provide various perspectives on participating in TSA’s acquisition processes; and analyzed data from the Federal Procurement Data System–Next Generation. GAO is making two recommendations, including that TSA (1) develop outcome-oriented performance measures and (2) collect data, where appropriate, on small businesses’ progress across TSA’s acquisition phases. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) concurred with the recommendations.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 53p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01766892
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO-21-146
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 3 2021 11:17AM