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27/04/2009 – The TSA Needs To Receive A Permanent Boss
Following the swearing in of President Barack Obama at the end of January, Gale Rossides was appointed the “Acting Administrator” for the Transportation Security Administration, which I wrote about here: 23/01/2009 – The TSA Gets A New Boss : Will We See A New TSA?
While the primary focus of the current White House Administration is on the economy, the dual wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and negotiating a health care bill, they must also work on appointing a permanent Administrator for the TSA.
The White House on more than one occasion has down played the significance of appointing a permanent TSA Administrator, however this is dangerous. Not having a permanent leader for the TSA gives the agency, of more than 60,000 employees, no sense of stability. Since the TSA’s creation in 2002, the agency has had four permanent Administrators and now an Acting Administrator. No agency can act effectively if top management is constantly in flux.
The TSA plays an important role in not only protecting travelers in the United States but on a global platform as well, as the TSA is responsible for the security of millions of passengers traveling from the United States to destinations overseas. While the TSA is often on the tips of people’s tongues when it comes to mistake, the agency has taken the lead in certain global security initiatives, such as the creation of the 3-1-1 system now in place around the world.
As important a role as the TSA plays, and no matter how professional their agents, the agency needs to be overhauled, repaired and relaunched. In the role of “Acting Administrator” Rossides cannot perform what needs to be done…the rebuilding of the TSA.
If Rossides is to be appointed the permanent Administrator for the TSA the White House needs to ensure that is put into place quickly. Rossides is certainly qualified to lead the TSA, as one of six original handpicked Federal Executives tasked with creating the TSA in 2002 and experience in overhauling the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms, her experience can benefit the agency as a whole.
If the new Administrator for the TSA is to be someone other than Rossides, that person needs to be quickly identified so the TSA can move forward, continue to integrate its intelligence with other Federal Agencies and become a defined agency that is at the forefront of technology, intelligence gathering and protection of the traveling public.