Today the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced its decision to award a contract for Advanced Technology 2 (AT-2) X-ray scanners. Mal Maginnis, the president of Smiths Detection, which had competed for that contract, issued the following statement about the TSA announcement:
“Smiths Detection very strongly disagrees with the TSA’s selection in its Advanced Technology 2 (AT-2) X-Ray scanner program. TSA’s decision disregarded better detection capabilities that would have provided safer air travel and at a longer-term value for taxpayers’ money.
“TSA’s decision ignored its own stated needs for higher levels of detection capability, which the agency itself has deemed critical to ensuring the safety of air travellers. The decision also minimizes the future cost of ownership and the time and investment needed to ensure detection of new and emerging threats. Smiths Detection equipment already has the capability of detecting these threats, and represents the best value solution to TSA’s needs, now and in future, considering total cost of ownership.
“We are also very concerned that TSA is awarding this contract to the same manufacturer who it recently moved to debar from federal contracting and significantly scrutinized for a lack of acceptable business quality and compliance management. If past performance is a factor in this decision, as TSA has stated, it is difficult to understand the choice they have made.”
Smiths Detection designs and makes advanced solutions to detect and identify threats including explosives, chemical agents, biohazards, nuclear, radiation, narcotics, weapons and contraband. A market leader worldwide in providing layered security technologies, Smiths Detection has major plants in three U.S. states. It partners federal and state government agencies and first responders to strengthen homeland security and safeguard the military. Major customers include the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It is part of Smiths Group, a global leader in the practical application of advanced technologies. Smiths Group employs around 23,000 people, including more than 9,000 in the U.S. where it operates around 100 sites in 40 states.