TSA Reassigns Top Official After Report of Failures Within Agency

TSA
A TSA screener gestures to a traveler at LaGuardia Airport in New York in 2010. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson reassigned the top official for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), following the release Monday of an internal investigation that found airport security fails to detect 95 percent of fake explosives and weapons.

Melvin Carraway, the acting administrator for TSA, now will serve in the Office of State and Local Law Enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security headquarters, Johnson wrote in a statement. Acting Deputy Director Mark Hatfield will lead TSA until a new acting administrator is appointed.

During a recent internal investigation of the federal agency, undercover agents from the Department of Homeland Security were able to smuggle fake explosives and weapons through checkpoints in 95 percent of trials at dozens of the busiest airports in the country. They performed 70 tests in which they tried to sneak a banned item through security. Officials briefed on the results told ABC News that TSA agents failed 67 of the 70 tests.

Among a list of demands to TSA leadership this week, Johnson has ordered officials to revise immediately standard screening operating procedures. He also wants TSA to go over the testing results with the Federal Security Directors at every U.S. airport, conduct training and re-evaluate screening equipment.

"The numbers in these reports never look good out of context, but they are a critical element in the continual evolution of our aviation security," Johnson wrote in a statement. "We take these findings very seriously in our continued effort to test, measure and enhance our capabilities and techniques as threats evolve."

Johnson urged the Senate to confirm President Barack Obama's nomination of Coast Guard Vice Admiral Pete Neffenger as the next TSA administrator.

TSA Reassigns Top Official After Report of Failures Within Agency | U.S.