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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Dec 17, 2016.
(This measure has not been amended since it was passed by the Senate on December 10, 2016. The summary of that version is repeated here.)
(Sec. 1) This bill directs the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to commence actions to improve its process for vetting individuals with access to secure areas of vessels and maritime facilities.
These actions shall include:
conducting a comprehensive risk analysis of security threat assessment procedures, including identifying procedures that need additional internal controls as well as best practices for quality assurance at every stage of the assessment; implementing such internal controls and best practices; improving fraud detection techniques; updating the guidance provided to Trusted Agents (Credentialing Office) regarding the vetting process and related regulations; finalizing a manual for such agents and adjudicators on the vetting process; and establishing quality controls to ensure consistent procedures to review adjudication decisions and terrorism vetting decisions. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shall commission a national laboratory, a university-based center within the Science and Technology Directorate's centers of excellence network, or a qualified federally-funded research and development center to conduct an assessment of the effectiveness of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Program at enhancing security and reducing security risks for maritime facilities and vessels that pose a high risk of being involved in a transportation security incident.
The assessment shall review:
the credentialing process, the process for renewing TWIC applications, and the security value of the TWIC program. If the assessment identifies a deficiency in effectiveness of the TWIC Program, DHS shall submit to Congress a corrective action plan that:
responds to assessment findings and includes an implementation plan with benchmarks, and shall be considered in any DHS rulemaking with respect to the TWIC Program. The DHS Inspector General must review and report on the corrective action plan.