H.R. 4803, the TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act of 2014

H.R. 4803

TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act of 2014

Date
July 22, 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, July 22, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 4803, the TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act of 2014, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 4803 was introduced on June 5, 2014 by Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) and was referred to the House Committee on Homeland Security.  The bill was marked up on June 11, 2014 and was ordered reported, as amended, by a voice vote.[1]

________________
[1] House Committee Report 113-513.

Bill Summary

H.R. 4803 requires TSA to implement changes to come into compliance with existing federal law concerning criminal investigator positions.  Specifically, H.R. 4803 requires that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General (IG), within 60 days of the bill’s enactment, analyze and issue findings on the methods and data used by TSA to classify employees as criminal investigators.  If the IG finds that such methods and data are invalid, TSA is prohibited from hiring new employees to work in the TSA Office of Inspection until the following occur: 1) TSA certifies that only TSA employees who meet the criteria of criminal investigators are designated as such; and 2) within 30 days of TSA’s certification, the IG verifies that DHS used adequate and valid data in its certification.  In addition, TSA must reclassify those employees who do not meet the criteria of criminal investigators and provide an estimate to Congress of the long-term savings that will result from the reclassification of such employees.

H.R. 4803 requires DHS to submit to Congress any information associated with a review of the use of a Federal firearms license by Federal Air Marshal Service officials to get discounted or free firearms.  H.R. 4803 also requires DHS to identify specific actions that will be taken to prevent the use of a Federal firearms license for such personal use.

Background

In order to qualify for premium pay as criminal investigators, such officers must generally spend at least fifty percent of their time investigating, apprehending, or detaining individuals suspected or convicted of offenses against the criminal laws of the U.S.[2]  According to the IG, the TSA has failed to ensure its officers who are designated as criminal investigators actually meet this criteria.[3]  The pay and benefits associated with the incorrectly classified TSA officers will cost as much as $17 million in federal funds over five years.[4]

_________________
[2] H.R. 4803, Sec. 2(1).
[3] Id. at Sec. 2(2).
[4] Id. at Sec. 2(4).

Cost

According to CBO estimates, implementing H.R. 4803 would cost less than $500,000, assuming the availability of appropriated funds.  The bill would not affect direct spending or revenues.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.