TSA headquarters to reorganize, with new mission support chief as leader

The Transportation Security Administration announced the second phase of its agency reorganization. A new chief of mission support will oversee TSA's human capi...

The Transportation Security Administration is taking the next step forward in reorganizing its headquarters operations, and it’s creating a new chief of mission support position to lead the charge.

“I am pleased to announce we are ready to implement the next phase of the advancement of our enterprise: the creation of a chief of mission support (CMS),” TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger said in an Oct. 19 email to agency staff, which Federal News Radio obtained. “Just as the chief of operations allowed us to consolidate and intensify our operational focus, the CMS will strengthen the delivery of support services by unifying TSA’s approach to human resources, acquisition and procurement, training, logistics and other important mission support functions.”

Neffenger said the agency made the decision after it reviewed executive level management and acquisition practices, findings separate studies from the RAND Corporation and Defense Acquisition University confirmed.

These changes will impact several areas within the agency, particularly the TSA acquisition space.

TSA will separate existing acquisition programs from its procurement function, Neffenger said. Each function will have its own specific office. TSA will also streamline the acquisition programs it distributes across the agency into one office.

The chief of operations will now oversee the requirements and capabilities analysis function, Neffenger added.

The reorganization also officially puts the TSA chief risk officer in charge of enterprise risk and performance management.

“These efforts are critically important to ensure we always deliver the resources you need to do your job,” Neffenger wrote. “I am confident these organizational changes will allow us to provide more efficient support to our frontline workforce.”

This person will be a part of TSA’s executive team and will serve out of the Office of the Administrator.

The new chief of mission support will oversee and manage several TSA offices, according to the position announcement on USAJobs.gov:

  • Office of Acquisition.
  • Office of Human Capital.
  • Office of Information Technology.
  • Office of Inspection.
  • Office of Professional Responsibility.
  • Office of Security Capabilities.
  • Office of Training and Development.

TSA will implement these changes “over the coming months,” Neffenger said. The agency first planned to advertise the position on USAJobs, which it did starting Oct. 17.

TSA has undergone a few other recent organizational changes among top leadership.

The agency announced a similar reorganization in February, when it brought TSA’s intelligence, operations and stakeholder engagement functions under the chief of operations. Neffenger said TSA has since been able to put more focus behind its counterterrorism mission since he established the COO position.

The agency’s deputy administrator, Mark Hatfield, also retired last November. Huban Gowadia, former director of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office within the Homeland Security Department, took his place in May.

The agency’s human capital management shop is also seeing some changes. The TSA Office of the Human Capital Officer is bringing all human capital management activities under its purview, Gowadia told the House Homeland Security Committee in July.

Multiple offices within the agency had varying degrees of responsibility to investigate criminal, administrative or misconduct cases. Members of Congress called TSA’s approach to managing its workforce disorganized and confusing, claims that were underscored by troubling allegations from whistleblowers.

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