Thursday, September 2, 2010

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Issues Pipeline Security Report

In August 2010, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report reviewing the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA’s) current efforts to address pipeline security. The GAO specifically reviewed the TSA Pipeline Security Division’s (PSD’s) risk assessment process and performance measures after observing 14 PSD inspections scheduled during the review period.

The report noted that the PSD pipeline risk assessment model could be improved by adding certain non-economic impacts such as public health and safety to its consequence component. Further, the GAO indicated that although PSD has taken steps to assess its progress in strengthening pipeline security, its ability to measure improvements is still limited as PSD is not utilizing performance measures or linking them to objectives. The GAO report recommended that TSA “establish time frames for improving risk model data, document its method for scheduling reviews, develop a plan for transmitting recommendations to operators, follow up on its recommendations, include performance measures linked to objectives in its pipeline strategy, and develop more outcome measures.”

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