Menendez Statement On Port Secuity Gaps Revealed In Gov't Report

Menendez Statement On Port Secuity Gaps Revealed In Gov't Report

GAO shows vulnerabilities in program relying on companies to implement voluntary security procedures

Washington - Today, the independent Government Accountability Office released a report showing that a major part of the Department of Homeland Security's border security plan has left gaps in port security (http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08240.pdf?source=ra). The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism program relies on companies to voluntarily adopt security procedures, but GAO reported that in many cases DHS is unable to verify whether safety precautions have actually been implemented and that DHS often certifies companies before security requirements are actually met.

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who authored a successful amendment requiring DHS to work toward 100-percent scanning of cargo entering U.S. ports, released the following statement today:

"Imagine if airport screeners, instead of actually checking bags, merely asked passengers a list of questions. Would we feel safe flying? That's essentially what's happening here, only on a larger scale. We have been warned about weapons of mass destruction coming in through our ports, and that is a threat we have to tackle with a sense of urgency. The Bush administration has never approached the goal of total cargo scanning with enthusiasm, and that hampers our national security. As the author of a successful amendment to require DHS to work toward the goal of 100 percent scanning, I will continue to push the administration to embrace that goal and to make it happen."

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