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GAO says transportation ID card program needs more work

The Transportation Worker Identification Card Program is floundering after millions of investment over more than a decade, a congressional committee stated last week.

The program was created in 2002 with the intent to give all personnel requiring access to secure areas of Maritime Transportation Security Act-protected facilities tamper-resistant credentials for entrance to the MTSA ports and facilities.

On May 9, the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations heard testimony from the Government Accountability Office on the program, which now boasts more than 2.5 million card holders.

A year ago, 2.1 million were enrolled, of which 805,776 were truckers. Another 267,776 were port workers, a category which includes drayage truckers. Rail workers and merchant marines also are TWIC holders.

The GAO’s Steve Lord reported that the TSA Transportation Security Administration program failed to collect and record accurate data in the pilot program test and the TWIC card can be compromised. The GAO recommended Congress hold off on finalizing regulations until a sufficient security effectiveness test on TWIC can be reported.

Both a 2006 pilot study and the agency’s second testing indicated little progress and produced flawed data, according to the report.


You both said it; interdepartmental communication.  End the redundancy in DC.  One vetting is enough.  It is costly, time consuming and unproductive.

BarbRRB 1 Like

Monk I agree with all the background checks. Hazmat background, Entering secure areas in Washington DC and military bases require the same background checks. Would be nice if all the agencies would talk to each other and stop costing legal law-abiding citizens unnecessary costs. I mean how many times does one person need a background check. I have had 4 in the last year. That is our government.

Monk 2 Like

First off, they should eliminate the TWIC card requirement for commercial drivers who already have the hazardous materials endorsement.  The same background check is performed for each.  Drivers are spending extra money and taking extra hours away from work with no increase in security.  They have already been vetted by the HME process.  They should be allowed unescorted access to secured areas of ports without any further credentialing.