Sneak Preview: TSA Developing Plan To Mitigate Amtrak Attacks

September 8, 2011 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

(This post is based on an upcoming article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) Federal transportation security officials are working with Amtrak on a systemwide security plan with grants to reduce the risk of terrorist attacks at Amtrak’s train stations, according to a recent Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General audit.

Although it already receives grant funds to coordinate risk mitigation projects at high-risk rail stations, Amtrak has not addressed critical vulnerabilities reported in previous risk assessments, the OIG audit said. The Transportation Security Agency, which determines the security priorities for grant funding, approved Amtrak’s investment justifications for lower-risk vulnerabilities without requiring Amtrak to develop a corrective action plan for its highest-ranked vulnerabilities, and did not document the agency’s roles and responsibilities in the grant award process.

DHS provides grants to states, territories and transportation authorities, including Amtrak, through programs to strengthen national preparedness capabilities and protect critical infrastructure.

More information on the Amtrak audit will be available in the October issue of the Federal Grants Management Handbook.

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