The bipartisan bill, Transparency in Technological Acquisitions Act of 2017 (HR 1353), passed by the House, would increase transparency in the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) acquisition process and help to ensure businesses “big and small can produce technology to meet TSA’s needs.”
Introduced by Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security and former ranking member of the Transportation Security Subcommittee, pointed out that pursuant to the Transportation Security Acquisition Reform Act signed into law in 2014, TSA is required to develop a five-year technology investment plan.
“That requirement was designed, in part, to allow security technology manufacturers to align their resources and planning to meet TSA’s needs,” her office said. “When TSA released its first five-year plan in August 2015, industry stakeholders could look at the plan and invest their resources into development of the technology that TSA planned to acquire. But when the Obama administration released its budget request for that same year, stakeholders found that TSA had shifted direction and was no longer following the acquisition schedule laid out in the five-year investment plan. That lost investment of time and resources hurts all technology manufacturers, but it can completely destroy small businesses and discourage small business owners from working with the federal government.”
Rice said the bill “will help address those concerns by requiring TSA to report to Congress on the status of the five-year investment plan annually, instead of biannually, and by requiring TSA to promptly notify Congress and all relevant stakeholders of any changes or updates made to the plan.”
“This common-sense, bipartisan legislation will help ensure that businesses big and small have the certainty they need to continue developing the technology that we rely on to keep us safe,” Rice said. “Establishing this level of ongoing engagement and collaboration between TSA and manufacturers will help encourage more technological innovation, which is one of the most effective tools we can use to confront the new and evolving threats facing our aviation industry. I thank all of my colleagues in the House for giving this bill such broad bipartisan support, and I’ll keep working to get it passed in the Senate and signed into law.”