Due to backlog in the screening process, the TSA is allowing some personnel to be hired prior to the standard background check and security assessment.
WSB-TV in Atlanta received a copy of an internal memo from airline officials, which outlined the Transportation Security Administration directive to employers and contractors at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
TSA sources told WSB-TV that the backlog was caused by a computer glitch which kept clearance information from being sent to the TSA for processing.
“To allow for a continuity of operations, TSA has provided airports and airlines with interim regulatory relief,” TSA spokesman Jon Allen said in a statement. “At no time was security at risk, and all new employees will still undergo identity verification and be subject to watch list matching.”
Lawmakers are allegedly outraged, with several expressing concern that individuals could be hired and given access to airport facilities without having an appropriate background check.
While almost all TSA positions list security clearance eligibility as a requirement, only supervisors and headquarters managers are processed for higher-level secret security clearances. In 2010, the TSA announced it would be requiring security clearances for all supervisors, increasing the number of cleared TSA personnel from roughly 774 to over 10,000.