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Secretary Mineta Applauds Legal Action, Assigns Team to Philadelphia Airport

At the request of the Secretary, a joint OIG-FAA team was dispatched to Philadelphia International Airport to scrutinize screening operations and ensure that Federal standards are being enforced. The team will also ensure that the court's compliance order is adhered to by Argenbright Holdings, with specific focus on verifying employee background checks, testing, and training. The action was taken after the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennslyvania filed a request for a hearing on allegations that Argenbright had violated the terms of its probation. A hearing is set for October 23, and the review is ongoing.

As part of Secretary Mineta's action, OIG also initiated similar assessments for the 13 other airports cited in the U.S. Attorney's motion. A review of a sample of Argenbright employees at the airports found cases in which employees: (1) were not able to pass the skills tests required as a precondition of employment; (2) had a prior criminal record, which disqualifies them from employment as a screener; or (3) were foreign nationals not authorized to work in the U.S. These assessments are ongoing.