Jul 28 2008

DHS Ignores OMB Government Approval Process on TSA’s Questionnaire Form for Travelers Without ID

Since June 21st, TSA has required all air travelers in the United States to present identification when entering a secure area at airports. Prior to then, a person could simply say they had lost their ID or didn’t want to show it, and they would be subjected to a secondary screening to enter the area. Now you can only get through security if you can convince TSA and their behavioral detection specialists that you lost or forgot your ID and are “cooperative” with their efforts to identify you by means of commercial data. Part of that process involves filling out their Certification of Identity form.

It appears that DHS has ignored the process of procuring an OMB (Office of Management and Budget) number for their new form. The OMB process requires publication of a notice in the Federal Register and the opportunity for public comment whenever the government gathers information from the public. The law clearly states that someone can’t be punished for failing to answer questions on a government form unless the questioning agency has an OMB number associated it. Despite this, TSA’s new Certification of Identity form states that failing to answer the questions may result in your inability to fly. Further, false statements made by travelers when using the form may be punishable by up to five years in prison. DHS is again showing that it doesn’t believe the rule of law applies to them. Read More