Friday, August 16, 2013

TSA Publishes SSI Threat Assessment 60-day ICR Notice

Today the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) published a 60-day ICR renewal notice (78 FR 50076-50077) for their threat assessment program for allowing the use of Sensitive Security Information (SSI; 49 CFR Part 1520) during court proceedings. Section 525 of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2007 (Public Law 109-295) required DHS to establish procedures for the use of SSI during Federal civil court proceedings, including {§525(d)} the conduct of a threat assessment of court personnel (including lawyers and expert witnesses) who might need to have access to the SSI information.

The procedures established require TSA to conduct a threat assessment that includes:

• A fingerprint-based criminal history records check (CHRC);
• A name-based check to determine whether the individual poses or is suspected of posing a threat to transportation or national security, including checks against terrorism, immigration, or other databases TSA maintains or uses; and
• A professional responsibility check (for attorneys and court reporters)

Burden Estimate

The table below shows the current estimated burden estimate for the renewal of this ICR along with the previously approved burden estimate. The time estimate is the time necessary for individuals to provide the required information necessary for TSA to conduct the various background checks.

This Notice
Previous Notice
Burden Hours
Cost Burden

[Corrected typo in the 'this notice' column changing '100' to '120' in both response and burden hour lines, 1-15-14 5:00 am CST]
There is no explanation for the decreased number of annual responses required, but presumably it is based upon recent history. Nor is there an explanation for why there is a drastic reduction in the amount of time necessary to provide the information (from 2 hours and 20 minutes to one hour). Looking at the previously approved TSA Form 2211, I don’t see how anyone would have taken an hour to complete the form, much less 2 and 2/3rds hours. Perhaps the additional time included the time to get fingerprinted.

Public Comments

The TSA is soliciting public comments on this ICR renewal notice. Such comments need to be sent to TSA PRA Officer ( Again as I noted this morning, there are no provisions explained in this notice for using the Federal eRulemaking Portal for submission of comments. Interestingly, there is a docket for this ICR at; Docket # TSA-2013-0001-0012 and there are already two comments posted there.

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