TSA preps $148 million more in grants

Port Security Grants

The Transportation Security Administration will dole out $148 million in new grants for port and bus security, Transportation Department Secretary Norman Mineta announced Jan 14.

The money will include $28 million for Operation Safe Commerce, a pilot program focused on protecting ports in Los Angeles; Long Beach, Calif.; New York; New Jersey; Seattle; and Tacoma, Wash.

"These grant programs will help [TSA] identify critical infrastructure, provide transit personnel security training, harden our seaports, enhance vehicle tracking and driver protections and increase security throughout the supply chain," Mineta said in a news release.

President Bush established TSA in November 2001 when he signed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, which mandated improvements in securing the nation's transportation systems. Congress provided the agency with funding for the grants programs in the fiscal 2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act.

The first round of grants was awarded in June 2002, with $92.3 million going to 51 ports nationwide. Of that money, $9.3 million paid for "proof of concept projects" to explore the use of new technologies, including vessel tracking and electronic notification of arrivals.

About the same time, the department completed a test of e-seals — radio frequency devices that enable agencies to determine if a container has been tampered with — and began work on a transportation worker identification system that includes smart cards.

A board, with representatives from TSA, the Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration, will judge the latest grant applications.


  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

  • Cloud
    cloud migration

    DHS cloud push comes with complications

    A pressing data center closure schedule and an ensuing scramble to move applications means that some Homeland Security components might need more than one hop to get to the cloud.

Stay Connected


Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.