The Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said that the Transportation Security Administration has not yet implemented all the requirements under a nearly 10-year-old law aimed at protecting Amtrak from terrorist threats.
The investigation found that as a result TSA has only “limited regulatory oversight” to strengthen passenger security at Amtrak.
“Specifically, TSA has not issued regulations to assign rail carriers to high-risk tiers; established a rail training program; and conducted security background checks of frontline rail employees,” the report said. “In the the absence of formal regulations, TSA relies on outreach programs, voluntary initiatives, and recommended measures to assess and improve rail security for Amtrak.”
The OIG said that a “complex federal rulemaking process” has hindered implementation of the federal requirement.
“Although the rulemaking process can be lengthy, TSA has not prioritized the need to implement these rail security requirements,” the report said. “This is evident from TSA’s inability to satisfy these requirements more than eight years after the legislation was passed.”
Homeland Security concurred with the inspector general’s conclusions, which call for:
• The TSA administrator to ensure the agency develops and adheres to a detailed, formal milestone plan to deliver the remaining 9/11 Act notices of proposed rulemaking to DHS.
- The DHS General Counsel to coordinate with the Office of Management and Budget to expedite the implementation of the remaining passenger-rail requirements as called for in the legislation.