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After the attack of twin tower in the United States, the federal government allocated funds towards the establishment of specialized security apparatus to cater for the safety and security of all borders and entry points in America. The 9/11 attacks led to the formation of Transport Security Administration, a unity embedded within the homelands; conversely, TSA has come under sharp criticism regarding unethical behaviors and practices, which has undermined the credibility of the latter institution. The paper will delve to analyze the ethical issues surrounding the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
The primary function of the transportation security administration is to offer security to the general public on all major border or exit point, especially in airports. The TSA serves as an agency mandated by the act of Congress to inspect, investigate, and peruse every passenger, luggage, or cargo being "checked-in." the constitution provides rights to individuals to be protected while both in private or public spaces, where unreasonable seizures and searches will be considered a "violation of this right." Ideally, the right to peruse every passenger in airports or train stations without their consent is perceived as unconstitutional and unethical.
For instance, in the united kingdom, body scanners at all airports were not used on persons below the age of eighteen years since it violated laws that protect a child "The legislation prohibits the creation of indecent images of children and privacy advocates and civil liberties… graphic the process amounts to" a virtual strip search." Therefore, the transportation security has come under sharp criticism of the unethical policies and practices, which requires all passengers to be subjected to body scanners, which portrays anatomical body organs that include the private parts. The issue of the full-body scanner was perceived as unethical a significant number of frequent fliers in America stating that the TSA methods are unethical and obscure since the scanners infringe on the rights to privacy.
The transportation security administration management has been accused of rampant mismanagement practices and policies. Recently, in a congressional house committee- employee from transportation security administration "went-on-record" stating that the top executives were unqualified and inexperienced, which in the long-run places the safety of travelers at risk (Sweet, 2018). Furthermore, the congressional hearing noted that many TSA employees are subjected to intimidations, fear, and threats among other unethical practice that limits their ability to undertake their duties and responsibility effectively. The macho attitude demonstrated by the management at TSA portrays an array of issues, which can be termed an unethical, for example, many employees working for TSA cannot report any issues or problems relating to safety and security of passengers, goods, or cargo to their superior; for fear of intimidation or other forms of retaliation from their supervisors.
Such ethical issues relating to management and employees have severely dented the performance and image of transportation security administration. The intimidation or humiliation of workers is naturally perceived as an unethical practice in any organization since it promotes a negative culture that may hinder the organization from attaining its goals and objective. The unethical issue of TSA top management of harassing and intimidating junior employees has affected the operations and efficiency of the organization to execute its mandate. For instance, transportation security administration staff failed to uncover and detect a covert-test mission that involved smuggling of dangerous weapons in airports; close to ninety-five percent of the dummy weapons were undetected by TSA's staff.
Transportation security administration is considered among the most important jobs globally because TSA's staffs are tasked with the duty of ensuring that weapons of destruction do not cross the border and enter the United States. Over the last few years, the TSA has fallen victim to many incidents relating ethical issue (LaPorte, 2015). There is a continuous trend of negative activities emanating from the operation of the transportation security administration. The TSA has come under sharp criticism on multiple grounds; such condescending "challenges" exposed a fundamental issue, which can be associated with lack of proper ethical policies or practices. The increasing number of cases and lawsuit geared toward the TSA by employees, customers, and industry stakeholders illustrates the sheer ethical issues surrounding transportation security administration. Ideally, a government body or institution subjected or linked to negative activities relating to its policies, regulations or practiced typical "showcase" signs of unethical issues. The aviation industry has recently observed a significant amount of growth and expansion; therefore, increasing pressure to organizations operating in the above field hence many institutions such as the TSA would undertake or implement policies, which would have ethical implications.
The TSA receives types of equipment and funding that allows the agency to undertake its functions of providing safety and security to the public. For transportation security administration to successfully attain its objectives, ideally, all members and supporting staff ought to be trained and equipped with the necessary knowledge to undertake their individual responsibility. However, TSA has failed to balances between ethical implications and security responsibility, where a significant number of current and previous employees are "speaking out" on the various challenges attributed to the unethical practices and conduct of the management.
The transportation security administration has a culture of intensifying its "services" during holidays or any other special day(s) under the pretext of "boosting security." The "pat-down" procedure is the most commonly used method by the TSA staff to search and detect hidden items or devices, which can cause harm to the public. The technique mobilizes the use of advanced methods that mobilize the use of canine dogs, advanced imaging, and explosive detection among others. Such measures have come under public scrutiny through media attention where ethical issues have been raised between safety-security and civil liberty. The advanced screening methods, especially at the major airports across the United States, have triggered ethical controversies from medical and legal perspectives. A significant number of passengers are raising the issue of the small amount of radiation emitted by the screening devices (approved by FDA), which can be medically hazardous to frequent fliers. Additionally, the aggressive pat-down procedure has emanated as an ethical subject between a passenger's dignity and security, a significant number of frequent flier deem the procedure as invasive. An example, a rape survivor identified the rigorous TSA guideline devastating because of the trauma experienced. Such sentiments illuminate the multiple ethical issues surrounding the transportation security administration in the United States.
A study by the Government Accountability Office deduced that there is an increasing number of misconduct cases among the transportation security administration, which is estimated to be at twenty-eight percent. Coherently, the TSA agency lacks sufficient resources to address such conflicts within the organization; a significant number of misconducts ranges from leave, attendance, and security. Close to two-thousand cases were related to violation of security protocols and procedures, which may have hampered one of the primary objectives of TSA, which is to detected terrorist activity in United States entry points. Director of the homeland was quoted stating "TSA agents engaging in misconduct raise security concerns because these employees are charged with helping to ensure the security of our nation's aviation system (Frederickson, 2016)." Such comments explicate the ethical issues portrayed by TSA's employees demonstrates ethical issues relating to unprofessionalism, indiscipline, and lack of integrity among other issues. The TSA has created redundant measures to ensure that matters relating to employee misconduct are addressed and resolved immediately. Thus maintain and uphold and climate existing ethical issues relating to work malpractices, which is an effective and efficient service delivery for the general public.
The transportation security administration continues to face various ethical issues that pose challenges, which are affecting the performance of the organization. The various ethical issues addressed in the paper such as full body screening; pat-down, and employee intimidation among other. Therefore, demonstrating the ethical issue revolving around the management policies and frameworks, that has significantly affected the performance and operations of transportation security administration. TSA should devise new methods that would cater to eliminate the ethical issues, which are posing as a threat towards the attainment of the goals and objective of the agency.
Frederickson, H. G. (2016). Public ethics and the new managerialism: An axiomatic theory. In Ethics in public management (pp. 173-191). Routledge.
LaPorte, T. R. (2015). Airport security, high reliability, and the problem of rationality. Public Administration Review, 62, 33-43.
Sweet, K. (2018). Aviation and airport security: terrorism and safety concerns. CRC Press.
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