The TSA implemented new background check requirements in 2015 requiring port authorities of all sizes to consider their options when it comes to fingerprinting badged employees. The new requirements require screening every two years, so what is a port authority to do? These are the options:
(1) Send badged employees to a local police department to be fingerprinted. In most cases, the local police department does not have an electronic connection to the Transportation Security Clearinghouse (TSC), so the badged employee must walk away with a fingerprint card. The card gets sent to TSC and TSC converts it to a digital record and sends it off to the TSA and FBI. The rolling fee at the police department is on average $10 per card. Then there is the postage to send the cards to the TSC and then TSC charges $2/card to scan the card and $30 vetting fee (includes FBI and TSC fees). All told, this option costs approximately $42 per person assuming (1) card is printed. This does not include travel fees and time, nor postage. Response time is typically 4 weeks or more. Then, there is a $3/person/year vetting fee for a total of $45/person in the first year.
(2) Ink fingerprint badged employees in the port authority either by a designated port authority official or port authority partner (airline). If inked, the cards still need to be sent to TSC. Same fees as the option 1 above, except the rolling fee may go away the travel fees and time are less. Estimated average cost is $32 per person assuming (1) card is printed. Then there is a $3/person/year vetting fee for a total of $35 per person in the first year. Response time is still typically 4 weeks or more.
(3) Livescan fingerprinting will be the most cost effective and preferrable option for almost any size airport, except for the very small airport that has only a handful of badged employees to screen. There are no postage or travel fees if the badged employee is able to go to the port authority security office to be fingerprinted. The records are transmitted electronically, which means the response time is cut from weeks to most of the time less than an hour. The fees are less too. On average the cost per person is $30/person and the annual vetting fee drops to $1/year/person for a total of $31 per person in the first year.
All in all, port authorities can expedite their screening process considerably while saving $17/person for the initial screening year and then $2/per person per successive year for the annual vetting service if they choose option 3.
More information can be found on the TSC website https://www.tsc-csc.com/aviation/index.cfm?do=faq#38. You can also download WoVoIS' FingerPRO ID - TSC datasheet for more information about our livescan options for port authorities.