Take off your belt and shoes, empty your pockets, step through the metal detector and pay an extra $17.5 million.
That is how much investigators say has been spent on “premium” salaries for Transportation Security Administration employees who have been promoted without doing any additional work.
“The office employed personnel classified as ‘criminal investigators,’ even though their primary duties may not have been criminal investigations,” said a report by the Homeland Security inspector general. “These employees received premium pay and other costly benefits, although other employees were able to perform the same work at a lower cost.”
The inspector general said the extra salaries could cost taxpayers $17.5 million over five years in salary alone for all 124 of the TSA’s criminal investigators. The inspector general did not calculate the additional cost of the benefits those employees receive.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael T. McCaul, Texas Republican, said the TSA should not waste taxpayer dollars on staff salaries that don’t fit the workload.