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3/02/2009 – Congress Approves TSA To Purchase US Made Uniforms…WHAT?
The Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration has a clearly defined Mission. Many government agencies have lengthy Mission Statements, while the TSA’s Mission Statement is concise and to the point.
This is the TSA’s Mission Statement:
The Transportation Security Administration protects the Nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.
Whenever I read about the TSA coming before the United State House of Representatives I cringe. I do not cringe because I fear the TSA’s public image will be tarnished, because the TSA has done a good job of doing that for its self in the past. I cringe because often when the TSA’s issues come before The House, it is often related to issues that stray from the TSA’s mission, and involve politics that have nothing to do with national security, transit security or addressing what the TSA needs to do to improve its self to become a more effective security operation.
This past week as the 111th Congress, 1st Session, passed House Resolution 1 (HR 1 : American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009), along with an amendment that addressed the approval of the TSA to seek out and procure uniforms manufactured in the United States. This amendment that was passed, along with the rest of ‘HR 1’ states that all future uniforms, and textile products, purchased by the TSA must be made from US materials and manufactured in the US.
Don’t get me wrong, I am an American, I live in the same current deep recession as every other American. I am all for purchasing goods and services that further the economy I live in and that my neighbours live in.
What I do not understand from the amendment to ‘HR 1’ is this.
1) Why weren’t US Transportation Security Administration Uniforms already purchased from US manufacturers?
2) Why does the amendment in ‘HR 1’ address TSA uniforms specifically, but not the uniforms of the roughly 100,000 other DHS agents, such as those from US Immigrations, Customs & Border Protection and FEMA?
3) Why does it take an Act of Congress to get involved in the mundane task of uniform procurement for TSA agents? This issue could have been handled and approved internally as an internal policy directive.
The Transportation Security Administration has a serious job. The TSA’s job is often mocked. TSA agents’ procedures are often misunderstood (to give them the benefit of the doubt). The TSA has significant internal problems that need to be addressed. The TSA has a public relations problem on multiple levels.
When the TSA’s issues go before The Congress shouldn’t they deal with more important issues, such as National Security? The approving of funds for additional training and the investigation of multi-million dollar no-bid contracts?
I am glad the TSA will soon be wearing US made uniforms…that is should the United States Senate approve ‘HR 1.’ I hope the ‘Made In The USA’ labels used in the clothing as also US produced.
…now that the TSA’s upper management has been distracted briefly by dealing with uniform procurement, hopefully we can get back to issues such as clarifying 3oz vs 100ml; allowing liquids through check points; eliminating SSSS; creating consistent operating procedures and the furthering of internal security of the agency.