Airport security screening Credit: Carolina K. Smith, M.D./Shutterstock.com

A House oversight committee has asked for information about cash bonuses and performance awards paid to top Transportation Security Administration officials, keeping the agency under pressure to release information as it remains under investigation.

The latest request for records by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, follows a whistleblower complaint highlighted in a Reveal story earlier this month.

Andrew Rhoades, an assistant federal security director in Minnesota who has whistleblower protection, alleged that a top official received nearly $100,000 in additional pay despite security lapses. He also has filed a complaint with the House oversight committee that alleged top officials who make more than $162,000 annually automatically receive bonuses.

The request for top leaders’ bonus pay came the same day – Friday – as a deadline Chaffetz set earlier in the week for other information the committee had asked for in late 2015. Chaffetz had threatened to issue subpoenas and pursue “compulsory process” if the agency didn’t make five officials available for interviews or provide other requested documents.

A spokeswoman for Chaffetz said in an email that TSA had provided some of those documents, which aides were reviewing. She did not say whether the agency has scheduled the requested interviews.

Chaffetz’s newest request for information to TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger was made public Monday, the day after a report aired in Minnesota on the whistleblower’s allegations. The House committee set March 4 as the deadline to release information on bonus pay.

 

Andrew Becker is a reporter for Reveal, covering border, national and homeland security issues, as well as weapons and gun trafficking. He has focused on waste, fraud and abuse – with stories ranging from border corruption to the expanding use of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles, from the militarization of police to the intersection of politics and policy related to immigration, from terrorism to drug trafficking. Becker's reporting has appeared in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Newsweek/The Daily Beast and on National Public Radio and PBS/FRONTLINE, among others. He received a master's degree in journalism from UC Berkeley. Becker is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.