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ACRP Announces New RFP

 

  Project Data
Funds: $60,000
Contract Time: 13 months
(including 3 week panel review each for Tasks 1, 3 and 4)
Authorization to Begin Work: 6/1/2014 — estimated
Staff Responsibility: Marci A. Greenberger
Phone: 202/334-1371
Email: mgreenberger@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 4/8/2014
Fiscal Year: 2011

 

 

The impact of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution on security restraints at commercial airports is one that calls into question the limits of authority of both the federal government through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and state/local law enforcement officials who assist in overseeing security at these airports. Responsibility for the oversight of airport security and the screening of passengers and property at the screening checkpoint at U.S. commercial airports rests with the TSA under the Aviation & Transportation Security Act (ATSA). However, the airport operator and employees of state and local law enforcement authorities also play a significant role in carrying out airport security responsibilities.

With the TSA operating across the country, and in some cases, private contractor providing the checkpoint screening, handling their responsibilities slightly differently, coupled with local and state regulations and laws, there is a potential for misunderstandings between the TSA and the local airport operator/law enforcement.

This paper will explore:

  • Federal statutory and regulatory authority of airport operators and local law enforcement after the TSA has conducted airport screening operations and transitions to local law enforcement with respect to federal constitutional limits, especially under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, of such searches of person and property.
  • The requirements of airport operators to maintain an air transportation security program and to provide “a law enforcement presence and capability” that is “adequate to ensure the safety of passengers” under 49 U.S.C. Section 44903(c).
  • The legal issues that airports and local law enforcement confront and need to understand when responding to TSA’s request for assistance based on findings from the ETD, and secondary screening as it relates to the right to privacy.

The research should include a summary of the roles of the airport operator, as well as the role of state and local law enforcement officials under ATSA, relevant case law and how it intersects with the TSA or screening entity.  It should provide practical advice and strategies for addressing typical issues that arise in airport searches. This examination should include a review of federal Fourth Amendment cases that recognize the administrative or “special needs” searches as a justification for TSA screening at airports—both at security checkpoints and in other areas. The analysis should also include a summary of federal Constitutional constraints and operational protocols that should guide commercial airport operators in this area. In some cases, coordination with the FBI, Secret Service and Customs and Border Patrol may be required when contraband or other issues arise during the airport screening process. To that extent, the research should also include any Fourth Amendment issues that arise when these, among other federal agencies, become involved in handling airport travelers.

 

Research Implementation

This research will be conducted in two (2) phases pursuant to a firm fixed price agreement. Phase 1 will consist of Task 1. At the conclusion of Phase I, TRB will make a determination whether to proceed with Phase II.

Phase I

Task 1. Research Plan and Detailed Report Outline. The consultant will conduct background research and develop a complete research plan. This background research should include a comprehensive description of current federal statutory and regulatory authority of the TSA in conducting airport security operations, and will examine the federal constitutional limits, especially under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, of such searches of person and property. It will further explore the requirement of airport operators to maintain an air transportation security program and to provide “a law enforcement presence and capability” that is “adequate to ensure the safety of passengers” under 49 U.S.C. Section 44903(c). The final step of this task will consist of an amended work plan to complete tasks in Phase 2, and the results of research identifying federal Constitutional constraints and operational protocols that should guide commercial airport operators in this area. Consultant will also develop a detailed outline for the report. The outline should contain sufficient detail to inform the panel of what a report of appropriate length will contain. This outline should also contain the pagination for each proposed section and/or subsection. This material will be submitted to panel for review and consideration. The consultant will participate in a conference call with the panel 3 weeks after submission of the plan and outline.

Phase II

Task 2. After TRB approval of the Task 1 detailed outline, the consultant should conduct thorough research, case and statutory/regulatory analysis, and collect additional primary data to the extent necessary.

Task 3. Draft report in accordance with the approved outline (including modifications required by TRB). Participate in a conference call with the panel 3 weeks after submission of the draft report.

 

Task 4.   Revise report as necessary and provide a red-line and clean version of the draft final report. The panel will provide written comments to which each comment will need a response point-by-point and the report will need to be revised as appropriate, and submitted as the final report.

Funding: $60,000

25% paid upon submission and approval of the Task 1 outline

50% paid upon submission and approval of the Task 3 report

25% paid upon submission and approval of the Task 4 final report

How To Propose

If you are interested in being considered as the researcher and author, your reply should include:

  • PDF file containing a statement of interest and qualifications
  • resumes of key team members along with a description of responsibilities;
  • a list of your relevant prior publications (you may enclose one or two samples);
  • a statement of resources you will allocate to this project and timelines;
  • any additions, deletions, or changes you may wish to suggest for undertaking the work;
  • and an executed, unaltered liability statement. Here is a printable version of the Liability Statement .

Proposers are evaluated by project panel members and ACRP staff consisting of individuals collectively knowledgeable in this problem area. Evaluations are based upon the proposers’: (1) experience in the subject area; (2) understanding of the work (demonstrated by the commitment of resources); (3) prior relevant publications (including briefs); and (4) schedule for completing the work.

Proposals should be submitted electronically to mgreenberger@nas.edu by 4:30 pm (EST) by April 8, 2014.

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