Watchdog Says TSA Screening Ineffective

New report says program that costs $1 billion annually has not proven effective

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The Transportation Security Administration’s program to screen airline passengers for suspicious behavior has not proven effective, according to a federal investigation.

In a report released Wednesday, the Government Accountability Office said that the TSA program, known as Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, is “no better than chance,” the Associated Press reports. The program entails agents talking to people they identify as suspicious to see if they pose a threat. The effort has cost nearly $1 billion annually since 2007.

The probe found that the behavioral indicators the agents used were subjective, and that the TSA is still collecting evidence to determine its efficacy. Lawmakers will discuss the GAO report Thursday at a subcommittee meeting of the House Homeland Security Committee. Both Republican and Democratic members of Congress have voiced concerns about the program in wake of the report.