Investigating Federal Programs to Make Sure Public Dollars are Spent Wisely

March 25, 2013

For the past five years, federal watchdog Steve Lord has been looking at airport body scanners and baggage screening equipment differently than most of the traveling public, focusing an objective, critical eye on airport security systems and machinery, and informing powerful people about what he sees.

Lord, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) director, has helped evaluate multi-million dollar passenger, baggage and air cargo screening programs run by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), including the canine teams that roam airports sniffing out explosives.

TSA spends billions of dollars a year, so it’s critical that GAO, Congress’ investigative arm, oversees how effectively the agency runs its programs, Lord said. “The agency plays a critical role keeping airplanes secure and finding terrorists. It’s up to GAO to find if the money is well spent and, if there are gaps, where do they exist,” he said.

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