TSA Non-compliant with Congressional Mandate
Thursday, February 12, 2009, 12:40 AM - Public Policy
Posted by Administrator
In response to a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request
for documentation regarding the Information (Data) Quality Act
, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) stated that it doesn't even have the required administrative guidelines on how to implement such a policy. This is in violation of both the law passed by Congress and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) mandate.Many, if not most federal agencies
have such a policy publicly available on their websites, whereas TSA does not have one at all. And as for the report that is supposed to go to OMB every year? They haven't created one of those, ever.Public Law 106-554, Section 515
, passed in December of 2000, states that Executive Branch Agencies shall:
(A) issue guidelines ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information (including statistical information) disseminated by the agency, by not later than 1 year after the date of issuance of the guidelines...
(B) establish administrative mechanisms allowing affected persons to seek and obtain correction of information maintained and disseminated by the agency that does not comply with the guidelines...
(C) report periodically to the Director--(i) the number and nature of complaints received by the agency regarding the accuracy of information disseminated by the agency; and (ii) how such complaints were handled by the agency.
As far as I can determine, TSA has never done any of these.
And an interesting note for anyone that has not tried submitting a FOIA request before, I received a letter postmarked on December 22 letting me know that my email
was received on December 15. I sent the email the night of December 9. First, that means it took them nearly one week to acknowledge that they received
my email. Note that this did not include processing of any kind besides giving me a tracking number. Second, this means it took them an entire week to get the letter from the FOIA office and into the mail. The entire process, from start to finish, took nearly two months, just to tell me that they did not actually have any records for me. I can't imagine how long an actual
document would take to get out of them.
[UPDATE 02-22-2009] OMB Guidelines
require that each agency publish their Information Quality Guidelines on their website and also a notice in the Federal Register