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.