Grant Program and the Transit
Security Grant Program. In addition, industry has spent about
$179.9 million to purchase nearly
1. 4 million TWICs as of Sept. 24,
the report said.
Going forward, the TWIC program is going to be paid for by the
fees charged to mariners to receive
the credential, according to
Thomas Cowley, director, maritime
credentialing, in the Office of
Transportation Threat Assessment
and Credentialing at TSA.
“The TWIC program is entirely
fee funded now for TSA,” he said.
Kiefer and Murk said the enrollment aspect of the TWIC program
— during which TSA processes the
application, conducts a background check and activates the
card for the licensee — is only the
first part of the initiative.
The second phase focuses on
enforcement, Kiefer said, which
involves a forthcoming federal rule
that will establish access-control
requirements and allow for biometric readers on vessels and at
port facilities that allow the TWIC card to function as
a flash pass. The rule also will ensure that MTSA facilities and vessels are in compliance with the program.
To date, 53,000 TWIC inspections and verifications
have been performed visually, Kiefer said, while they
await the reader rule.
Cowley said the cost of installing thousands of biometric readers in facilities and on vessels, when those
devices are required to come online and go into use, is
not yet known. He said the Coast Guard will take into
consideration the economic impact of installing the
readers as it crafts the federal reader requirement rule.
“They are going to be doing an economic analysis
for their rulemaking to understand what the impact to
industry would be of deploying these electronic readers, what the typical cost would be, how they would
propose to pay for that,” he said.
“We are not buying the readers for people. Those
[using readers now] are doing so voluntarily, or participating in our pilot effort to test how well they are working.”
In the meantime, Murk said, the Coast Guard is
employing a “gap fill” by using hand-held readers. He
said that in the course of testing the hand-held readers in
Captain of the Port Zones, the Coast Guard has biometrically checked about 5,500 TWICs using the devices.
U.S. COAST GUARD
Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Robin Lindsey, left, and Petty Officer 2nd
Class Baron Barrera, right, from Sector Houston-Galveston’s Waterfront and Fa-
cilities Security Branch, perform a random TWIC card check on a worker at the
Houston Refinery April 17. Random TWIC checks at various facilities help to
enforce the standards set forth by the Transportation Security Administration.
“Now, [we] are in what is called a sustainment
phase, where TSA is consolidating some centers. What
used to be 147 enrollment centers throughout the
country is now probably somewhere around 120 or
130,” he said. “There will be continuous enrollments
as people kind of trickle in and get to a port and real-
ize they need to get a TWIC to do business. So you are
going to have that — that slow trickle of people into
The TWIC card expires after five years, at which
time, Murk said, there will be another long-term
enrollment plan for transportation workers and
mariners. There is a $132.5 fee for TWIC, though
workers with current, comparable background checks
pay a reduced fee of $105.25.
According to a November Government Accountability
Office report to Congress, from fiscal 2002 through 2009,
the TWIC program had funding authority totaling $286.9
million. Through fiscal 2009, $111.5 million in appropriated funds had been provided to TWIC.
Additional funding of $151.8 million was authorized in 2008 and 2009 through the collection of TWIC
enrollment fees, and $23.6 million was made available
to pilot participants from Federal Emergency
Management Agency programs — the Port Security